Zheng Wen is Liberty Insurance's brand ambassador
National swimmer gets monetary deal as brand ambassador for Liberty Insurance
The sensational pool exploits of national swimmer Quah Zheng Wen have won many admirers here and abroad.
And now he has caught the attention of Liberty Insurance, which hopes to become one of Singapore's leading insurers.
Zheng Wen yesterday received a boost to his Rio Olympics hopes when he was unveiled as a brand ambassador for Liberty Insurance.
The 19-year-old is set to be the face of the insurance firm as it prepares to launch a national brand campaign.
As part of the one-year deal, Quah will appear on Liberty Insurance's advertisements, website and social media platforms. He will also help run swim clinics for local children.
In return, the company will back Quah's training expenses towards the Olympics in August.
Although Liberty Insurance Singapore chief executive officer Chang Sucheng would not disclose the sum involved for the ambassador's role, describing it only as "a pretty good figure", The New Paper understands it is in the high five-figures.
"It's a pretty new experience for me, I've never done something like this before," said Quah, who bagged 12 medals at last June's SEA Games on home soil.
"But I've got to say, it's been pretty fun. I'm really enjoying it."
Chang explained why the company plumped for the national swim star to front its campaign.
"As someone who has watched swimming for a while, I noticed Zheng Wen is someone who really spends a lot of time on his craft," he said.
"The amount of work he puts in in practice, on the minute details of how to get better... Because it's a game of inches in swimming.
"It's the same for us. We're trying to get better every day for our customers.
"So I thought there were a lot of great parallels between swimming and insurance."
Chang was coy when asked if Liberty Insurance had plans to back more local athletes, only saying the partnership with Zheng Wen was "a good start".
But TNP understands that there are plans for a tie-up with the Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) in the near future.
Zheng Wen is one of only two Singaporean swimmers who have made the 'A' qualifying marks for the Olympics.
The other is US-based Joseph Schooling, who is in contention to win just Singapore's third individual medal at the Olympics, in his pet 100m fly event.
Zheng Wen is hoping to make a splash of his own in Rio, and said yesterday his experience at the London Games as a 15-year-old four years ago will help him this time round.
"Swimming with big names never gets old," he said.
"Having world champions, Olympic medallists, world-record holders next to you... It's not something you get used to overnight.
"But I've been competing with a lot of these guys recently at the World Cups, World Championships and Asian Youth Games, and it has really helped me gain a lot more experience.
"It's going to make a world of difference for me in Rio."
Jose Raymond, SSA's vice-president for finance, said: "Zheng Wen is an athlete with immense potential.
"Poised for global success, he is a great role model, and will be an outstanding brand ambassador for Liberty Insurance.
"The SSA will continue to provide additional exposure for our athletes, giving them a better understanding of their own commercial value and allowing them to gain further recognition."