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Olympian Jeffrey Ong to head Dentsu Sports Asia in Malaysia

Dentsu Aegis Network Malaysia has appointed Jeffrey Ong as the Vice President of Dentsu Sports Asia (DSA) to head the agency’s sports marketing business in Malaysia. Mr Ong succeeds Stuart Ramalingam, who was recently named Secretary General of Football Association of Malaysia (FAM).

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to be able to join one of the global leaders in sports marketing and head up their Malaysian business. The sports industry in Malaysia is going through an exciting time, and I see plenty of opportunities for DSA to help develop the industry, especially in assisting with the commercialisation and monetisation of sports in the country. This can be achieved by leveraging DSA’s expertise and experience in the marketing and sponsorship of various sports assets around the world,” Mr Ong shared.

“On top of that, I will also focus on engaging with key stakeholders in the local sports industry and exploring collaborative opportunities to grow the business in the next 6 to 12 months. I’m also excited about the prospect of collaborating with Dentsu Sports teams in other countries and regions on a range of international projects and events that are in the pipeline,” he continued.

Mr Ong was most recently working with the PGA TOUR as Regional Commercial Director, managing sponsorship and hospitality sales for the CIMB Classic, the PGA TOUR’s only FedExCup event in Southeast Asia, as well as exploring business and revenue opportunities for the PGA TOUR in Asia. Prior to that, he was with Total Sports Asia overseeing commercial partnerships for various sports projects including the KL Sports City and 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games. Beyond business development roles, Ong’s diverse experience include 7 years of hosting, producing and directing TV programmes, in addition to being a broadcast journalist and news anchor for Media Prima’s TV3.

More notably, Mr Ong is a celebrated sportsman and multiple gold medallist, who has represented Malaysia in swimming at all levels, including the Olympics (twice), World Championships, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, SEA Games, and World University Games. His sporting achievements earned him the esteemed ‘National Sportsman of the Year’ title in 1988, awarded by the National Sports Council of Malaysia.

Commenting on the appointment, Kunihito Morimura, President and CEO, Dentsu Sports Asia said, “DSA in Malaysia has demonstrated its prowess in sports marketing and has achieved remarkable successes, including, among others, having exceeded expectations in carrying out the agency’s mandate as the sponsorship agency for the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games. It is important that we remain committed in bridging brands to sports marketing, through sponsorships of sporting events as well as commercial partnerships with athletes. To this end, we’re pleased to have Jeffrey, armed with qualities of a high-achieving sportsman and business acumen, to continue expanding DSA’s portfolio and further strengthen our foothold in Malaysia.”

DSA provides the full spectrum of services related to the sports business, including sponsorship procurement, management and activation, talent management, media rights distribution, TV production, client servicing, and event operations.

In Malaysia, the agency introduced an Athlete Management programme three years ago, where Malaysian and regional athletes are represented by an in-house team. This provides the bridge between athletes and brands of various industries to communicate the right message that will bring about added commercial value to both the brand and sustain long-term value of the athletes themselves. DSA in Malaysia now exclusively manages six national athletes, namely Farah Ann (gymnastics), Welson Sim (swimming), Irfan Shamsudin (discus), Hakimi Ismail (triple jump), Sara Yap (taekwondo) and Ridzuan Puzi (para athlete).

Weighing in on the agency’s growth alongside Dentsu Aegis in the country, Nicky Lim, CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network Malaysia said, “Sports marketing remains a key business proposition for Dentsu Aegis Network Malaysia as DSA continues to make headway here. The collaboration between DSA and Dentsu Aegis’ media, digital and creative agencies in the last two years has given many businesses the opportunity to experience the effectiveness of building brands through sports marketing.”

“That said, Jeffrey’s experience as a former elite athlete has certainly given him a unique perspective on the sports industry. His background in the media industry and the corporate world complete the package. We look forward to have him uphold the stellar leadership of DSA,” Mr Lim added.

Based in Kuala Lumpur, Mr Ong will be reporting in to Mr Morimura and Mr Lim, effective 1 September 2018.