SINGAPORE – As Covid-19 concerns ease worldwide and air travel picks up, Singapore Airlines announced on Saturday (May 14) it will continue as title sponsor of the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix for three more years.
SIA executive vice-president Lee Lik Hsin said: “The race will be warmly welcomed by Singapore residents and visitors alike, and will enhance our reputation as a global city.
“SIA’s extension of its title sponsorship signals our continued support for both tourism and sports, complements the expansion of our global network, and will bolster Singapore’s recovery as a key international air hub.”
Brandon Snow, Formula 1 managing director of commercial, added: “This year’s race will see further use of renewable energy and sustainable materials, and the commitments from Singapore Airlines towards sustainable aviation fuels reflect the continued alignment between all partners and F1 in reducing environmental impact.”
In January, the Singapore Tourism Board and race organisers Singapore GP announced the Republic will continue to host the night race until 2028. This is the fourth and longest contract renewal.
SIA first signed as the title sponsor in 2014 for four years, and subsequently extended it in 2018 and 2020 for two years respectively.
SIA’s initial partnership was believed to be worth between $10 million and $15 million annually, and reportedly $10 million a year for the next two years. The value of the later terms is not known.
The national carrier racked up $4.27 billion in net loss during the 12 months up to March 31, 2021 as air travel halted almost completely. In February, the group unveiled a profit of $85 million for the third quarter ending Dec 31, 2021, their first quarterly profit since Covid-19 struck.
But with restrictions gradually being lifted globally, Deloitte South-east Asia sports business group leader James Walton felt SIA’s renewal makes sense in a limited pool of Singapore brands that could do with international exposure.
He said: “It’s in SIA and the government’s interest to get Singapore back on the map as an international travel hub, as a tourism destination or as a fly-through location on to Australia or the rest of Asia. This is key to the Singapore economy and SIA’s recovery.”
About 1.14 million passengers passed through Changi Airport in March, the first time the one million mark was crossed since borders were shut two years ago due to Covid-19.
Walton added: “As people are travelling again and thinking about who they travel with, SIA is a candidate… It is a very sophisticated organisation in terms of how it looks at marketing ROI and how it makes sure it gets the benefits of any sponsorship.
“It obviously believes there is a significant opportunity, and with Formula 1 being sold out all over the world so far this year, it seems there is a resurgence in the sport which SIA can benefit from.”