AIA took its support of ISF Cambodia (ISF) to an international audience this week, replacing its logo on the front of English Premier league club Tottenham Hotspur’s shirts with that of the Cambodian NGO.
ISF is an award-winning NGO in Cambodia that supports disadvantaged children through education, healthcare and sport.
The English giants beat Sheffield United 4-0 on Sunday night, and the shirts signed by the players – including hat-trick hero Gareth Bale, fellow goalscorer Son Heung-min, star England striker Harry Kane and France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris – are set to be auctioned.
Seventy-five per cent of the funds raised from the auction of the special shirts will go to ISF and 25 per cent towards the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation – the club’s charitable arm dedicated to creating opportunities for its local community.
To have the chance of owning a signed limited-edition Spurs match shirt – with the proceeds going to an excellent cause.
“ISF has been doing a tremendous job in helping underprivileged Cambodian children through their educational, football and community development programmes, and we are delighted to bring greater attention to them through our Spurs partnership.
“While giving ISF recognition, we’re not forgetting the primary reason we’re supporting them – Cambodia’s underprivileged children – with the limited-edition autographed match shirts featuring ISF logo and the words “From Cambodia by AIA” in Khmer to be auctioned,” said Pauline Teoh, the outgoing CEO of AIA Cambodia.
The shirt move comes as part of the multinational insurance giant’s community responsibilities, she added, something “AIA and AIA Cambodia take very seriously in keeping with our commitment to helping millions of people across Asia live ‘Healthier, Longer, Better Lives’”.
“As such, we look to uplift and benefit society however we can, whether it’s helping flood victims, donating to charitable causes or highlighting the work and efforts of NGOs such as ISF Cambodia,” she said.
With the Premier League the most-watched sports league in the world, broadcast in 212 territories to 643 million homes and with potential TV audiences of billions, ISF was given a truly international platform.
“Having ISF Cambodia’s logo featured on the front of Tottenham Hotspur’s shirts during last weekend’s English Premier League match was a huge honour for our organisation. Not only did we have the opportunity to share our mission with a global audience, but we were able to bring more recognition to Cambodia.
“The EPL has a massive audience, and this partnership offered ISF Cambodia an unimaginable opportunity to raise awareness for our organisation and start conversations about our mission on a larger scale. It’s just days after the match, and we’re already seeing support from new audiences and communities.
“We can’t thank Tottenham Hotspur and AIA enough for this opportunity to bring global awareness to our mission of enabling underprivileged children and their communities to lift themselves out of poverty through increased access to education, healthcare and sport,” said ISF Cambodia country manager Vicheka Chourp.
The Premier League is hugely popular in Cambodia, with Spurs having a sizeable following, and one of the north London club’s star players sent a message of thanks to their many supporters in the Kingdom.
“Hello to all of our fans in Cambodia. Thank you for your amazing support. I hope to see you soon,” Spurs forward Son said before the match.
And the support goes two ways, with Tottenham and AIA Cambodia having worked with ISF since 2017.
Spurs paid tribute to the important work of ISF in the official matchday programme, in a two-page feature on the organisation’s efforts to alleviate poverty and inequality in Cambodia.
“We have seen the positive impact of the Indochina Starfish Foundation in Phnom Penh first-hand and are pleased to be supporting such a worthwhile cause to help raise its profile and valuable funds, alongside our partners at AIA.
“The ISF is one of a number of good causes we have supported alongside AIA as we continue to work together to promote health and wellness across the Asia-Pacific region, where we have a significant fanbase,” said Donna-Maria Cullen, Tottenham Hotspur’s executive director.
The club’s coaches led a virtual mentoring session for the project’s volunteers in the week before Sunday’s match, with some of the participants having the honour of being virtual mascots for the game.
“Spurs’ Global Football Development coaches have spent time in Phnom Penh working with participants in their football programme. The ISF’s coaches have received training from Spurs’ elite coaches so that they can help even more children in the years to come. This was done physically in 2020 and digitally this year due to Covid-19 restrictions.
“Moving forward, AIA and Tottenham Hotspur will continue their efforts to support the ISF’s football programmes, as well as to explore how we can further benefit the NGO’s educational and community projects.
“There’s more we can do – for example, by launching focused initiatives that target the mental and physical health and wellbeing of underprivileged young people.
“Working with ISF’s football programme is a great start, and AIA Cambodia will continue to look into ways of offering opportunities to engage in sport to enrich the lives of young people and communities,” AIA’s Teoh said.