Malaysia Cup champions Pahang signed a three-year sponsorship deal today worth in the region of close to RM1 million per year with one of the world’s leading Sports Brands PUMA
Pahang ended a 21-year drought to emerge 2013 Malaysia Cup champions following a 1-0 win over defending champions Kelantan in the final, watched by an estimated 85,000 fans at the Shah Alam Stadium.
Describing the sponsorship deal for three seasons with PUMA as a really ‘significant boost’, Pahang Football Association president, Tengku Abdul Rahman Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah, said it will only spur the players and management to greater heights for the new season.
“I am delighted with PUMA coming on board as sponsors with long lasting cooperation. Such bond can only take us to new horizon in the 2014 season,” said Tengku Abdul Rahman after witnessing a signing ceremony of the sponsorship deal.
Pahang FA chairman of branding, marketing & promotion, Mohd Fahrizal Hasan, signed on behalf of the state football association while PUMA was represented by Melvin Siew, PUMA Malaysia country manager. Also in attendance were Miguel Andrade, PUMA general manager for Southeast Asia, and Dato’ Johari Hussin, the Pahang State Government executive councillor & chairman of Youth & Sports.
“We last won the Malaysia Cup in 1992 and I have waited too long for this moment. We will do everything possible to cash in on this success to make things happen for Pahang more regularly with PUMA on board,” added Tengku Abdul Rahman, who has held the presidency post for the last 10 years.
Pahang won the Super League in 2004 and FA Cup two years later. The Malaysia Cup now completes the three titles in Malaysian football during Tengku Abdul Rahman’s reign as president of the state football body.
The 2014 Malaysian Soccer League season kicks off with the curtain-raiser Charity Shield match between Malaysia Cup champions Pahang and Super League champions Lions XII on January 17 at the Darulmakmur Stadium in Kuantan.
Andrade said the sponsorship deal with Pahang FA is ‘more than just a business relationship’, adding that it will ensure early preparations for the coming season.
“We are very happy to be associated with Pahang as our partners. We will provide kit and apparels to Pahang Super League team for three years and PUMA is confident Pahang, being the Malaysia Cup champions, are the best ambassadors of our brand,” said Andrade, adding that this ‘marriage’ between PUMA and Pahang fits in perfectly.
Pahang will be coached by Ronald Smith, a former technical analyst for the Australian national team. Smith is no stranger to Malaysian football having coached Sabah (1995-97) and Johor FC (1998-99). He was also the technical director of the Football Association of Malaysia from 1999-2002.
Keeping faith in their current local line-up, Pahang signed only one player - President Cup goalkeeper Muhammad Saufi Mohd - for the 2014 Super League season but the 21-year-old will have to battle Khairul Azhan Mohd Khalid and Nasril Nourdin for a spot in the first eleven.
Former Kelantan striker Dickson Nwakaeme has also signed with the Malaysia Cup champions. The 27-year-old will be paired with Argentine striker Matias Conti while joining the duo will be former Fulham and Queens Park Rangers defender Zeshan Rehman, who is expected to play alongside Damion Stewart.