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Which SG brand has what it takes to be the next big sponsor for Singapore GP?

Which SG brand has what it takes to be the next big sponsor for Singapore GP?

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Singapore will host the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix (Singapore GP) for another seven years, from 2022 to 2028. This is the fourth contract renewal for Singapore, and the seven-year extension is the longest for the race to date. This will give Singapore a longer runway to capture pent-up demand as international travel recovers. It will also allow the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), Singapore GP, and industry partners to develop new experiences to meet the evolving interests of locals and visitors.

Singapore Airlines (SIA) was previously the title sponsor for the event since 2014. When asked by MARKETING-INTERACTIVE if it plans to resume the same role, SIA's spokesperson said: "We are unable to comment on any confidential discussions that we may or may not be having."

Meanwhile, STB and the Singapore GP will work closely together with Formula One, relevant government agencies and industry stakeholders to refine and implement appropriate protocols to prioritise the health and safety of all participants, staff, fans and the community in the lead up to this year's race.

They will also work together to reduce the carbon footprint of the Singapore race and foster the transition to more sustainable business models starting this year. Initiatives include switching to renewable energy sources, increasing recycling efforts and switching to sustainable materials. Formula One is exploring maximising logistics and travel efficiency through process and volume optimisation and by using the least carbon-intensive transport available. Additionally, a full sustainability audit will be undertaken, which will guide the development of other green initiatives that will be implemented for the rest of the new term. As part of its corporate sustainability efforts, Singapore GP will also continue to engage the local community, and encourage diversity amongst event personnel and volunteers.

Singapore has hosted the race 12 times since its debut in 2008, with about 268,000 spectators attending the event when it was last held in 2019 - the second-highest attendance for the race. The Singapore race experience is also elevated by an exciting line-up of lifestyle and entertainment programmes that extend beyond the Circuit. Since its debut, the race has generated more than SG$1.5 billion in incremental tourism receipts and attracted more than 550,000 unique international visitors, STB said.

Keith Tan, chief executive, STB, said that the Singapore Grand Prix for another seven years is "an experience like no other in the world" that reinforces Singapore’s position as a vibrant and exciting global city. "STB welcomes the opportunity to work with our partners to introduce new ideas and concepts to enhance the race experience and to make the entire event one of the most environmentally sustainable street circuits in the F1 calendar. We look forward to welcoming international travellers back to Singapore in 2022 for the race, and encourage them to also explore our new and reimagined offerings,” he added.

In a conversation with the industry, we asked several professionals what brands had the potential to take over the crowns previously worn by SIA and Singtel. Here's what they had to say.

Which brand has the potential to become the next title sponsor?

Dominic Mason, MD, SEA, Sedgwick Richardson

dominic mason

My choice would be Grab - why? just love the idea of how this tech brand based on intuitive consumption and instantaneous delivery would live on a F1 livery.

Graham Hitchmough, regional COO, Bonsey Design

graham hitchmough

The most likely (but slightly dull) answer is that Singapore Airlines will make good on the two years of its current agreement that were lost through the pandemic, and that another GLC will rotate into sponsorship from 2024. A more exciting option would be a brand such as Razer building on its involvement with F1 esports to become title sponsor for the real thing.

Anand Vathiyar, MD, Cheil Singapore

anand cheil

The Singapore F1 title sponsorship is really national service on the part of Singapore companies. Singapore Airlines and SingTel have "ORD-ed" so we need new recruits. My guess is it could be someone totally green, such as Grab - deliveries in record time. Or DBS – in pursuit of more flight money. Or Keppel – a lap of victory while you count your bribe money. Of course, I’m hoping against hope that it would be a brand that’s truly Singaporean, such as Hotel 81.

Jose Raymond, founder, SW Strategies

jose raymond

The title sponsors which have been associated with the Singapore Grand Prix since 2008 have been iconic Singapore brands - Singtel and Singapore Airlines. I am expecting one of the home grown banks to throw their names in the mix next. The DBS Singapore Grand Prix has a nice ring to it - a home grown Singapore brand which has become recognised around the world.

F1's impact in Singapore

The race also supports local businesses in the engineering, construction, and hospitality sectors. The race sub-contracts 90% of the organisation to Singapore-based companies, providing employment opportunities and enabling businesses to reap economic benefits and built capabilities, while gaining exposure and new business opportunities. Annually, about 30,000 staff, contractors and stakeholders are accredited to work at the Marina Bay Street Circuit, with training provided to students for operational roles within the event grounds, hospitality personnel, as well as volunteer race marshals.

Meanwhile, Formula One partnered with sports company, PUMA as one of its exclusive merchandise retail partner in 2019. With this partnership, PUMA gained the rights to design, produce and sell Formula One-branded products trackside. PUMA and its fully-owned subsidiary, Branded, also retailed official merchandise and accessories from Formula One’s portfolio of consumer products licensees, such as Codemasters and BAPE. Bjørn Gulden, CEO of PUMA said that the partnership allowed the brand to “connect with the fans directly” by offering them the “best motorsport merchandise experience possible”

Stefano Domenicali, president and CEO, Formula One, said: “The plans that are in place to reduce the carbon footprint of the event are impressive and align with our plans to be net-zero carbon as a sport by 2030 and I look forward to continuing our successful relationship with Singapore GP and the Singapore Tourism Board as Formula One returns to this incredible city.”

S Iswaran, minister for transport and minister-in-charge of trade relations, said that the Singapore F1 race continues to be a strong focal point for tourists, global events and business meetings, and the decision to continue hosting the F1 race for another seven years came following a thorough evaluation on the long term benefits that a term extension could bring to Singapore. 

"The renewal will help sustain Singapore’s reputation as a global city with a vibrant lifestyle, attracting international visitors as travel rebounds, and generating business revenue and jobs for Singaporeans. We will ensure that this year’s and future races, as large scale international sporting events, are COVID-safe, informed by the prevailing pandemic situation and public health assessment. We are grateful for the continued support of fans and the local community as we work closely with Formula 1 Management, Singapore GP, and our partners to make the Singapore race even more exciting and memorable, and sustain its position as an iconic event on the F1 calendar," he added.

Photo courtesy: Formula One

Related articles:
Singapore GP plans to carry on with campaigns despite cancelled F1
Analysis: Can the fast and furious Singapore GP possibly go virtual?
Singapore Airlines extends title sponsorship of F1 Singapore GP until 2021
Singapore GP sees second-highest attendance in 11 year history
PUMA picked to be exclusive retail partner for Formula One

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