A sponsorship deal the MFL can bank on

All for the game: (from left) CIMB group chief strategy and design officer Gurdip Singh Sidhu, CIMB group chief executive officer, Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz, MFL president Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin and MFL acting CEO Datuk Abdul Ghani Hassan.

KUALA LUMPUR: A timely sponsorship deal is certainly the perfect boost ahead of the 2020 season for the Malaysian Football League (MFL).

Malaysian banking giant CIMB signed a two-year sponsorship deal yesterday with the MFL and the top flight football league will be renamed the CIMB Super League.

Last season, the MFL faced a financial nightmare after Telekom Malaysia (TM) pulled the plug on their RM480mil eight-year deal after just one year.

Last week, the MFL re-signed a new three-year deal with TM but no amount was mentioned.

MFL president Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin also did not disclose the sponsorship amount on yesterday’s deal with CIMB but insisted that the partnership will allow significant growth for Malaysian football.

“We will not disclose the amount but we believe that this partnership will help the MFL immensely regardless of the amount.

“We are also very encouraged to see more corporate sectors joining the MFL, ” said Hamidin after yesterday’s signing ceremony.

CIMB is no stranger to the local sporting scene. It has supported world-class Malaysian athletes such as cycling’s Pocket Rocketman Azizulhasni Awang and even former world No. 1 squash player Datuk Nicol David.

Similarly, in football, CIMB has also actively developed aspiring footballers at grassroots level through their corporate social responsibility arm for more than a decade.

However, this is the first time they are sponsoring a national league.

CIMB group chief executive officer Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz said the main focus of the sponsorship is to help in the development of the sport.

“We are pleased to work with the MFL. With a 20-million fan base, football is not only the most popular national sport, but also strategic in terms of the opportunities to engage with Malaysians who love football. There is also nothing quite like football to unite Malaysians from all races and social backgrounds.

“Equally exciting is the chance to reward CIMB customers, who are in for a treat based on various deals and fan-engagement initiatives related to the Super League.”

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