Aviva to stop Badminton Open sponsorship but continue with Ironman 70.3

Contributed by Peggy Chong

Monday, August 31, 2009 - Aviva announced it will not be renewing its sponsorship of the Aviva Open Singapore but will continue its support for the Aviva Ironman 70.3 Singapore for another three years until 2012.

Mr. Shaun Meadows, CEO of Aviva Singapore & and Hong Kong, said, "Aviva is proud to contribute to the growth and success of the Aviva Open and to Singapore sports in general. In our 6 years of being title sponsor, we have garnered significant brand awareness and actively engaged the community through organising related activities to promote interest in the sport. We now pass the baton to the next title sponsor, whom we believe will build on the event's success and bring it to even greater heights.

Moving forward, we are looking to focus on participatory sports events where we can elevate the level of brand engagement with the local community, such as our sponsorship of the Aviva Ironman 70.3 Singapore. In today's sponsorship environment, it has become increasingly important for our company to engage consumers rather than simply talk at them. This is particularly important as Singapore moves towards being a regional sports hub."

Aviva has been the title sponsor of the local leg of the Super Series badminton tournament since 2004. In their 6 years of title sponsorship, Aviva has contributed to the growth of the tournament and actively promoted a growing interest in the sport. In May this year, the company organised a Guinness World Record for the World's Largest Badminton Rally by inviting members of the public to showcase their own badminton skills and be part of history. Over 600 people of all ages turned up, including national shuttlers Ronald Susilo, Kendrick Lee, Vanessa Neo and Samantha Neo. The record was set with an amazing total of 96 different people each hitting a shot in one continuous rally.

Last year, Aviva organised the Aviva Colour Day, where they donated S$1 to local non-profit organisation Food from the Heart, for every spectator who turned up in yellow for the final, giving spectators the opportunity to contribute to a worthy cause while enjoying their favourite sport. More than S$7,000 was raised.

Mr. Edwin Pang, CEO of the Singapore Badminton Association (SBA), agreed that Aviva has been a key partner in elevating the Aviva Open Singapore, held annually around June every year, into a key sporting event both locally and internationally.

"The tournament has grown in stature over the years, from a second tier USD170,000 Badminton World Federation (BWF) 5-star event to being part of the BWF's top level Super Series with prize money amounting to USD200,000. This would not have been possible without the dedication and unwavering support of Aviva with whom SBA has struck an endearing partnership with. Having such a world-class tournament in Singapore bodes well for the development of the local badminton scene. As such, we sincerely thank Aviva for their contribution in the past 6 years, and we will work with the next title sponsor to continue their good work."

In expressing his gratitude to Aviva, Mr. Lee Yi Shyan, President of SBA, said: “Aviva came to us at a time when the badminton sport badly needed funding support to bring it to the next level. Not only did Aviva come forward, they brought along with them the professionalism, commitment and excellence associated with the Aviva brand name to promote the Aviva Open Singapore to a world-class event. We are very grateful for what Aviva has done for badminton in Singapore. It was a terrific 6-year partnership and I thank the leaders and staff of Aviva for their tireless contribution. I am proud of the association SBA has with Aviva and hope to be able to work with them in future in some other ways.”

Aviva has been the title sponsor of the Aviva Ironman 70.3 Singapore triathlon since its inception in 2007 and has recently extended its title sponsorship for another 3 years to 2012. The extension affirms Aviva's growing focus on engaging the community through participatory sports events, and is part of its ongoing commitment to promote healthy lifestyles among Singaporeans and foster local sporting excellence.

The next edition of the Aviva Ironman 70.3 Singapore is scheduled for 21 March 2010.

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