Friday, February 12, 2016


This Train Is Bound For The SLeague

I have been critical of the SLeague administration and marketing for so long it has become my default mode. The babble of business school speak has just become background noise hiding the lack of any meaningful deeds when it comes to promoting local football to a football mad populace.

All that now it seems must end. One announcement has turned on its head the whole notion of suits in an ivory tower playing chunes on their iphones while the game of football slowly dies an ignoble death amid a plethora of replica shirts and whiney letters to the local paper.

To quote the official, relatively jargon free blurb...

The S. League and SMRT Commercial today announced a landmark partnership to promote Singapore's only professional sports league.
This unique collaboration will bring Singapore football and clubs closer to over two million passengers across the SMRT transport network – in formats such as S. League concept trains, video contents showing goals and highlights on the screens, as well as localised club advertisements in strategic MRT stations.

Like, bloody hell. This takes the SLeague from near famine to near feast in one fail swoop when it comes to spreading the word. Yes, the TNP gives the local game good coverage as does increasingly 442 but they are speaking to the gallery. Now, with SMRT as a partner people will be getting to know a bit more about their local club...surely the first step to building a local pride in the local side.

Yes we have the internet, Singapore Pools etc but fixture information does take some tracking down for the uninitiated. Now commuters will roll up at their local station in the morning and will be greeted with the latest news and views from their local club and, crucially, when their next game will be. There can be no excuse for not knowing when a game will be played because the news will be there, right in front of their eyes.

The arrival of ex Arsenal and Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant at Tampines Rovers was an event of tsunami proportions on the local football scene. This move now to promote the game to a wider audience is a good step forward in building on that momentum and hopefully more will be done, especially by the clubs, to build on this increased awareness in their area.

The SLeague kicks off tomorrow with champions DPMM meeting Singapore Cup winners Albirex Niigata in the traditional season opener...a reminder the last campaign saw a clean sweep of the trophies by foreign sides. The likes of Tampines Rovers, Warriors and Geylang International have responded with some canny signings of their own and now with a visible, and hopefully viable, marketing programme in place hopefully fans can rediscover their local side and bring a bit of passion to the terraces from Hougang to Jurong via Toa Payoh and Jalan Besar.

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