Team Singapore

Schoolings engage communications and marketing professional

Olympic champion now has someone to help with deals like sponsorship and appearance requests

Since Joseph Schooling's historic gold medal triumph at the Rio Olympics last month, the Singapore swimming star and his family have been inundated with requests from all quarters.

Companies want to approach him and his family with gifts or offers, while various organisations have asked for the Schoolings to make appearances at their events.

Numerous media outlets, local and international, want to interview the family.

The Schooling family - dad Colin, mum May and Joseph - yesterday announced that they have appointed former Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) marketing and communications director Mohd Hafidz Ja'afar to handle all such matters.

The 33-year-old, who left the SSA last week, was officially appointed yesterday and will hold a similar marketing and communications role for the family, as he did with the association.

Contacted by The New Paper yesterday, Colin Schooling said: "Since the Olympics, we have been getting requests from (potential) sponsors and for interviews, and May and I simply have no patience, stamina and time to manage all of this.

"Hafidz has been doing this for us for a while now; he does a good job, he is meticulous in his planning and we trust him and, with Joseph's success, it now requires someone to do this full-time."

"With him on board, May and I can now focus on our business which we have neglected for a while now," added the 68-year-old businessman.

Hafidz expressed pride over being selected to do the job.

"I have been helping Joseph and his family for about a year now, on top of my SSA duties," he told TNP.

"I have been with the association for about two years now and was looking at my options after this Olympic cycle."

PROMOTIONAL OFFERS

Several companies have used Joseph's image and name for their own promotional offers in the wake of his stunning victory in the men's 100m butterfly in Rio last month, while others are keen to offer him sponsorships and freebies.

Schooling, an undergraduate at the University of Texas who is back in Austin, will not be able to accept such offers as it would impact his amateur status and thus his eligibility to compete in collegiate competitions in the US.

Reaching out to these organisations will be part of Hafidz's responsibility and he said: "Perhaps some companies here are not experienced in these matters, so I hope to educate them on how to approach this."

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