Gombak United have announced Erke Sports as their new attire and apparel sponsors on Friday morning, in a landmark deal that sees the first major Chinese sportswear brand to feature in the S.League.
The agreement, officially signed at a press conference held at Jalan Besar Stadium, will bind the two parties together for the next three years.
Under the deal, which is valued at about $600,000, Erke Sports will be supplying Gombak’s S.League side with matchday jerseys and shorts, as well as all training kit, equipment and other sports apparel.
The club’s Prime League and age-group teams will also don apparel provided by Erke Sports for the duration of the deal.
Erke Sports is part of the Hongxing Erke Group, major manufacturer and distributor of the Erke brand of sportswear and casualwear, one of the leading brands in China.
Founded in 2000, the brand has become a burgeoning success in the country’s domestic market, with more than 4,500 brand stores all across the country.
Erke Sports have since broken onto the international scene as well, scoring many major coups over a variety of sports, such as the ATP Shanghai Masters and Doha open in tennis and the Tour of Hainan in the international cycling circuit.
They are also sponsors of top NBA sides Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers, as well as tennis stars Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium and Raemon Sluiter of the Netherlands.
In the football realm, Erke Sports’ claim to fame can be found in the form of the DPR Korea men’s national team, who have qualified for the FIFA World Cup 2010 finals to be held in South Africa.
Having made these achievements, their attention is now turned closer to home, as they look to break into the Far East market.
“We hope that this collaboration could effectively increase our brand’s exposure and credibility in Singapore and neighbouring countries,” said Mr. Jeffrey Li, Managing Director of Erke Sports’ International Market Centre.
“As part of our international marketing strategy, we choose to focus on different sports in different markets. In the case of Singapore, we know that soccer is the No.1 sport here, and that is why we have concentrated our tie-up efforts here on soccer.
“We know that Gombak United have enjoyed success in Singapore, and they benefit from good exposure. We hope this will help increase our brand exposure here.
“We are very young compared to big names like Nike and adidas, but we are developing very fast. We are already selling our products in 30 countries worldwide, and we will definitely try and make every effort we can to build our brand here in Singapore.”
Gombak chairman John Yap was also very positive about the club’s new partnership with Erke, whose products are available at all Sportslink retail outlets in Singapore.
“Erke is a household name in China’s local market, besides having substantial presence as well in the international markets,” he said.
“Gombak United Football Club strongly believes this collaboration with Erke will enable the brand to make further inroads into the Far East markets, starting from Singapore. And there is no bigger platform than the S.League to achieve this goal.
“The Club will endeavour to work closely with Erke to help establish a benchmark for the brand in Singapore. Our players, technical staff and officials will wear the Erke brand with much pride, honour and distinction as we set out to achieve our goals.”
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