MATRADE-QPR novel sports-trade promotion


Queens Park Rangers stadium naming rights Image: Loftus Road Stadium, Randy110912, CC BY-SA 4.0

The Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) is now a naming rights partner for the English Football League (EFL) Championship team Queens Park Rangers (QPR) Football Club’s iconic Loftus Road Stadium in London, UK.

‘THEEDGE MALAYSIA’ stated that MATRADE said the three-year naming rights agreement is a highly valuable platform for raising its profile and visibility significantly in the United Kingdom.

Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)-based the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) is a Malaysian external trade Government agency. Its key role is to assist the Malaysian exporters to develop and expand their export markets. The agency was established under the MATRADE Act 1992 in March 1993 as a statutory agency and external trade promotion arm under the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry, Malaysia.

The Queens Park Rangers Football Club, commonly abbreviated to QPR, is a professional football club based in Shepherd’s Bush, West London, England (UK). The team competes in the EFL Championship, the second tier of the English football league system.

The 18,439-capacity Loftus Road (currently known as MATRADE Loftus Road Stadium for sponsorship reasons) is a football stadium in White City, London, England (UK), which is home to the Queens Park Rangers. In 1981, it became the first stadium in British professional football to have an artificial pitch of Omniturf installed. This remained in use until 1988, after which a natural grass pitch was reintroduced.

The Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) sent out a statement recently which read, “Combined with the United Kingdom’s proposed accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CTPPP), Matrade will be utilizing this valuable QPR stadium platform to further raise Malaysia’s profile as an open trading nation and expand trade, particularly when football matches or other sporting events are being broadcast from the 18,169-pax Loftus Road Stadium.”

According to MATRADE, the three-year collaboration marks an innovative first for both MATRADE and QPR, uniting sports and trade promotion in a fresh, exciting way.

The statement further read, “The full cost of the naming rights partnership, valued at £1.2 million (RM6.96 million), or £400,000 per year will be absorbed by QPR’s Malaysian Co-Owner, who is also a Board Member of MATRADE, as part of his corporate social responsibility (CSR) for Malaysia.”

‘THEEDGE MALAYSIA’ further stated that the stadium was officially renamed as the Matrade Loftus Road Stadium by the Matrade Chairman Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican, accompanied by the Co-Owner of QPR, Datuk Ruben Gnanalingam Abdullah, who is also the Board of Director of Matrade, in a ceremony held on the occasion.

Also present at the ceremony were the High Commissioner of Malaysia to the United Kingdom Datuk Zakri Jaafar, MATRADE Senior Board of Director Datuk Hazimah Zaharuddin and the MATRADE Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Datuk Mohammed Mustafa Abdul Aziz.

The Investment, Trade and Industry Minister of Malaysia, Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz, said the United Kingdom is the world’s sixth-largest economy – “Trade between Malaysia and the United Kingdom currently stands at RM17.58 billion (£3.24 billion), and this is set to grow with the UK’s imminent accession to the CPTPP. To that end, the MATRADE Loftus Road Stadium stands as a valuable branding platform and marketing tool in raising Malaysia’s profile in the UK and enhancing opportunities for Malaysian exports to this market.”

Reezal Merican said MATRADE will capitalize on this valuable platform to enhance its global recognition as a trusted agency to connect trade between Malaysia and the UK by leveraging QPR’s longstanding history in the English football league.

The QPR head honcho Lee Hoos said the decision to render the naming rights of the stadium was made with the commercial interest of the club in mind – “We are delighted with this agreement as the club is always looking at ways to increase our portfolio of partners. We look forward to working with MATRADE.”

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), also known as TPP11 or TPP-11, is a trade agreement between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.

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