The Football Association of Malaysia has entered into a partnership with probiotic dairy products manufacturer Yakult.
The three-year deal is effective from January 2018 and names Yakult Malaysia as the official probiotic drink of the FAM.
The deal will be worth RM3.9m (€812,000/$958,000) and includes product sponsorship of the Yakult Ace and Yakult Ace Light drinks worth RM200,000 per year.
Hiroshi Hamada, managing director of Yakult Malaysia, said: “Starting from January 2018, for every bottle of Yakult purchased, we will contribute one sen to FAM. We hope everyone will join us to contribute and support our national football teams as they strive to make their mark in the global arena, perhaps even to qualify for the World Cup finals one day in the future.
“This collaboration may come as a surprise to some because the benefits of probiotics for athletes’ health is not widely known. Yakult has been shown, through scientific research, to help reduce the risk of athletes catching a cold while in intense training.
“It works by increasing the body's immunity which is reduced due to the physical stress of tough training. By reducing the risk of infection to any sickness, our footballers will, hopefully, be able to maintain their health and fitness at optimal level and perform their best in all matches.”