Saunders' tips for Singapore athletes on securing sponsors
Australian writer Saunders says Singapore athletes have 'abundance' of opportunities
There is an "abundance" of opportunities for sports sponsorships in Singapore, but you've got to do your homework first.
That is the view of Vickie Saunders, author of the book Sponsorship for Athletes.
"I have worked with athletes around the world who do not have as many opportunities around them but, here in Singapore, there's an absolute abundance for athletes and sponsors to connect," said the Australian, who partnered the Singapore Sports Institute and the National Youth Sports Institute to write the book.
Four hundred copies of the book, adapted for the Singaporean context from an earlier edition, have been printed and funded by Deloitte Singapore, which hosted the launch yesterday.
For the book, Saunders - who has worked with the Australian and English Institutes of Sport, as well as the English rowing team on sponsorship matters - spoke to Singapore athletes such as sprinter Calvin Kang, swimmer Tao Li and bowler Remy Ong to share their experiences in securing sponsorships.
Saunders has three top tips for athletes of all levels and sports who are looking to secure their own sponsorships.
She said: "Firstly, know the company that you're approaching and find out about them.
"See what they are marketing and advertising, and look at how you can help them do that better.
"Secondly, be really sure of what you want as an athlete.
"If you believe in helping the environment, look for companies who also share those beliefs and values.
"Lastly, take the time to plan. Don't just go in and ask anyone to sponsor.
"Take some time to do your research, find out what you can offer and then confidently go and make that offer to the companies."
Sponsorship in local sports have come into the spotlight recently, after it was revealed that S.League club Tampines Rovers are facing cash-flow issues, while Olympic-bound rower Saiyidah Aisyah resorted to crowdfunding to support her Olympic qualifying campaign.
Asian Games gold-medallist Tao Li believes that Singapore athletes can do better in packaging themselves to offer value to potential sponsors.
The 26-year-old said: The government cannot totally fund you for what you need, and where will the remainder (of the money) come from, especially when you're studying or training full time?
"Athletes in Singapore are under-selling themselves (to sponsors) sometimes, and lack people who can help them package themselves.
"This needs to be changed."
The SIM Global Education and the University of Stirling announced yesterday that they will be offering bond-free sports scholarships for two local athletes to pursue a Sports Studies and Marketing degree.
SIM Global Education director for higher education Ho Soon Eng said: "Local athletes will be able to train and compete and at the same time pursue their degree aspirations, by taking advantage of the flexible and modular nature of the Stirling programme offered locally through SIM Global Education."