The Malaysian-based Tune Group has signed a deal
to become the new Principal Partner for Professional Games Match
Officials (PGMO) for three seasons beginning from 2010/11.
PGMO is the body responsible for providing and
managing all professional match officials in English football and
works with all three major English governing bodies - the Premier
League, The FA and the Football League - to provide match
officials for their competitions: the Barclays Premier League, The
FA Cup sponsored by E.ON, the npower Championship and Football
League, the Carling Cup, The FA Community Shield sponsored by
McDonalds, and the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
Tune Air, a member of the Tune Group, is the
single major shareholder of PGMO’s previous Principal Partner,
AirAsia. Tune Group is also responsible for a
number of other major brands including: AirAsia X, Tune
Hotels and Tune Talk, as well as sports ventures in Formula 1 team
Lotus Racing and the ASEAN Basketball League.
Tune Group was
founded by AirAsia co-founder Dato’ Sri Dr Tony Fernandes.
The partnership gives Tune Group access to 2,000
professional football matches, with an estimated cumulative global
TV audience in excess of three billion. The partnership delivers a
range of designation and promotional rights, including shirt
sleeve and training wear branding on all professional match
referees, assistant referees and fourth officials, branding and
accreditation on all publicity material, the PGMO and all
governing body websites, as well as PGMO and refereeing inventory
that offers extensive PR opportunities.
“We are very pleased to be working
with Tune Group and are of course very familiar with them already
thanks to our previous successful partnership with AirAsia. Their
investment resulted in significant investment in the training and
development of officials at all levels of the game,” said Mike
Riley, general manager of PGMO. “Over the last year that has diversely manifested itself in a
7% increase in referee recruitment at grassroots level through to
Howard Webb becoming the first referee to officiate the UEFA
Champions League and World Cup Final in the same season. I’m very
positive that our new relationship with Tune Group will further
help the development of refereeing in this country and throughout
Tune Hotels Group CEO, Mark Lankester said, “We have seen how AirAsia and
AirAsia X benefited from this sponsorship before by establishing
its brand in such a mature, competitive market as the UK, and with
Tune Hotels opening its first London property later this month,
this sponsorship by Tune Group could not be more timely.
Communicating to EPL’s three billion viewers globally presents the
Tune Group of Companies a powerful global branding tool for us in
enhancing our brand awareness, not only facilitating our regional
expansions but most importantly connecting with our customers.”
“Tune Hotels is specifically planning on 15 hotels in
Greater London amongst its significant expansion plans in the Asia
Pacific and India, while Tune Talk likewise has aggressive
expansion plans in Southeast Asia to democratise mobile
telecommunications and needless to say, all other Tune Group
companies have significant plans outside of their traditional home
markets and engaging in challenging the norms. This association by
Tune Group with EPL and PGMO will translate firmly into a direct
boost to our brand and positioning,” added Lankester.
Formed in 2001 to improve refereeing standards, the PGMO group
officiate across all the Premier League, Football League and FA
Competitions. Former PGMO referee Mike Riley was recently
appointed its General Manager and his team of managers and coaches
are responsible for the training, development and mentoring of 77
referees and 225 assistant referees.
The most high
profile officials are the 16 full-time professional PGMO Select
Group Referees. The Select Group Referees are
continually monitored at games and attend fortnightly training
days where their performance, technique and fitness is monitored.
They are supported by a team of full-time sports
scientists who deliver a tailored fitness and nutrition programme,
sprint coaches who improve running techniques, sports
psychologists, podiatrists and vision scientists who measure
reaction times and peripheral vision and work with each official
to improve their viewing angles and help them anticipate moving
into the right area for the best view of the match action.
PGMO also plays an active role in developing refereeing
standards across the world of football. Currently PGMO has a
knowledge transfer programme that benefits entire confederations,
such as the Asian Football Confederation who have a future
referees project supported by PGMO, as well as individual football
associations in Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, who work
in partnership with PGMO to improve the performance of their own
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