In Sport Sponsorship

The Philippines has been emerging as a popular tourist destination over the past few years, catching up with Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam to become one of the most sought-after destinations in Southeast Asia.

With increased visitors to the country, there comes an opportunity for marketers – both for national brands to take advantage of new potential customers, and for international brands to take advantage of The Philippines’ moment on the world stage.

New developments in sport, too, are opening up The Philippines for what could be extremely exciting brand partnerships.

An F1 for The Philippines?

One of the most prominent examples of a sport that’s emerging in The Philippines is motorsport, with rumours of an F1 Grand Prix setting up home there circling for the past few months.

January saw the suggestion that a Philippine Grand Prix site was being developed 100 km from the capital. The Pradera Verde site is proposed for Pampanga, a province north west of – and therefore easily accessible to – Manila. A trademark for “Philippine Grand Prix” was taken out at the beginning of January, and included merchandising opportunities including clothes as well as printing and broadcasting rights.

At the moment the Philippines Grand Prix is still only a proposal. But even if we don’t see its emergence for a good number of years, the prospect of F1 launching in The Philippines is an exciting one – F1 is a huge global business, with 1.3 billion viewers across its first 15 races of 2018, which can only be a positive for sports in the country.

The potential emergence of a new “premier racing destination in Southeast Asia” is great news for The Philippines and the region in general – and we’re sure it’ll provide an amazing spectacle for fans as well as brands, when it does get off the ground.

Where will sports sponsorship in The Philippines come from, and who will fund it?

Although there can be arguments made for state sponsorship of sports teams or athletes, it is almost exclusively private sector companies that have got behind sports teams in The Philippines, as has been seen in the case of the national football and basketball teams. Whatever the history of sports sponsorship in The Philippines has been, it’s brands that are taking advantage of opportunities these days – whether it’s sports equipment provided by Molten, advertising by Booster Energy Shot (both for the Philippine Azkals), or tech solutions by Smart (for the Gilas Pilipinas basketball team).

Sports sponsorship in The Philippines: what does the future hold?

With motorsport growing in popularity in Southeast Asia in general (a new F1 track will also open in Vietnam in 2021) the future look bright for sports sponsorship in The Philippines and elsewhere in the region.

This also provides an opportunity for MotoGP. Filipinos are known to be particularly passionate about the two-wheeled race, and riders including Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales have attested to this, with Rossi commenting on the passion of MotoGP fans in Manila during a 2018 visit.

The existence of an existing fan-base suggests that Manila could be a great new addition to the MotoGP calendar, as well as providing a strong argument for sports sponsorship in The Philippines.

So, will we see a move into MotoGP as well as F1? Only time will tell – but here’s hoping.

Want to find out more about sports sponsorship in The Philippines or about sponsorship opportunities in general? Contact RTR Sports Marketing today at info@rtrsports.com

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