Financial services company UnionPay International has signed up as the latest sponsor of the 2015 Southeast Asian Games, with Singapore’s event organisers stating the successful commercial programme will allow the Games to come in under budget.
UPI becomes the official payment systems sponsor of the 28th SEA Games, contributing more than S$1m (€673,000/$750,000) to the multi-sport event, which runs from June 5-16.
UPI will aid the movement of payments related to the Games and is also planning to provide free hot air balloon rides for visitors as part of the SEA Games Carnival, which will be held from May 31 until the Games closes.
SEA Games organisers have been preparing for the event in knowledge of the criticism received over Singapore’s staging of the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in 2010. The event cost close to S$400m, more than three times the initial budget figures.
The addition of UPI means sponsorship revenue for the SEA Games has now surpassed S$70m, with the initial target having been set at S$50m.
Toh Boon Yi, part of the local organising committee, told reporters: “We’re thankfully now in a slightly more comfortable position because of the sponsorship we've raised. As in all projects, it's important to have good financial discipline and framework, and we've applied all these to the running of the SEA Games.”