Neo Garden joins SSA’s growing list of partners
SSA's list of partners grows after latest sponsorship deal with Neo Garden
They fed volunteers and officials at swimming meets here, like the Fina World Junior Championships last month.
Yesterday, Neo Garden Catering went one better, signing a one-year sponsorship deal with the Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) worth $120,000 (backdated to June this year).
The agreement will see the home-grown company pump $100,000 into the SSA's coffers, while the remaining $20,000 will be in the form of catering services at events like the Neo Garden National Swimming Championships.
Local aquatics hit a new high after the Singapore team's impressive 26-gold haul at the SEA Games at home in June, and Joseph Schooling's historic bronze in the World Championships in Kazan last month, but Neo Group Limited founder and chairman Neo Kah Kiat said the decision to support the SSA goes beyond just medals and results.
At the sponsorship ceremony yesterday morning at the OCBC Aquatic Centre, Neo said: "We define success as more than just winning trophies... swimming is a sport that I strongly believe in. It is an exercise that is affordable, accessible and suitable for people of all ages.
"Neo Garden is proud to set the example of how homegrown companies can lead the way in inspiring and cheering on our own aquatic talent."
Neo added that his company, which also has a sponsorship deal with the Singapore Table Tennis Association, is open to long-term partnerships if they are "win-win" for both parties.
He said: "I support you, you appreciate me - this works both ways. We are not talking about just one year; we are talking 10, 20 years where we want to support sports.
"And we are not just restricting ourselves to just $100,000 - we might give even more."
This is SSA's second high-profile sponsorship deal of 2015, after inking an agreement with OCBC earlier this year. It also renewed its association with Volkswagen recently.
SSA president Lee Kok Choy said that while they receive "a lot" of government funding, sponsorship deals help propel themselves to a different level.
He said: "Sponsorships really change the playing field significantly. It gives us the confidence to do things and execute programmes without fear of hitting a wall along the way."
Grassroots initiatives like the swimming proficiency programme, as well as education programmes for coaches and technical officials, can benefit.
"(Sponsorships) increase the possibility that grassroots programmes will be boosted, and we do have a lot," Lee added.
"It is not just limited to the athletes at the top."