As countries like Vietnam and the Philippines move into the motorsport market, responding to the industry’s drive to expand further into Asia, it makes sense that the cultural and travel hotspot of Indonesia would want a slice of the pie too. Motorsport is about to make further inroads in Indonesia (more on that below), but some sports are already commanding large audiences and big sponsors – football, for example, is key. Here’s what does sports sponsorship in Indonesia look like today and in the near future.
Football: a growing industry
According to LaLiga -the premier tier of Spanish football, Indonesia is – along with China and India – one of three Asian countries in which the popularity of football is growing exponentially. In fact, football is becoming so popular in these countries that LaLiga itself is making a concerted effort to raise its own brand awareness in the region – something that has led to a significant increase in the number of Indonesian, Chinese and Indian viewers who are actively watching the Spanish championship games. And it’s Indonesia where these gains are the most prominent.
Sponsors are taking note – transport app Go-Jek, for example, has a long-term relationship as title sponsor of the country’s top football league. It might not be long before the Indonesian brands that have spent so long looking towards the west (see national airline Garuda Indonesia at Liverpool, for example) start realizing that their domestic tournaments can be lucrative too.
Football isn’t the only place that brands should focus their sports sponsorship plans in Indonesia, though – as mentioned, motorsport is also about to have its moment.
Motorsport takes center stage in Indonesia
Of course, there is already a history of motor racing in Indonesia – the nation is already home to the Sentul International Circuit, south of Jakarta, and the unsuccessful Lippo Village International Formula Circuit (which never really got off the ground).
But now, a new sports complex has been constructed on the holiday island of Lombok, with a $500 million deal to create a MotoGP track and a series of hotels in the town of Mataram. The circuit, located in West Nusa Tenggara in the Mandalika Special Economic Zone, is expected to be completed this year and has secured its place on the MotoGP circuit with a three-year contract from the 2021 season. The whole project is managed and backed by French firm Vinci Construction Grand Projects, one of the world’s leading companies in civil engineering.
The inclusion puts Indonesia firmly on the MotoGP map, alongside Asia’s three other international MotoGP circuits – Sepang (Malaysia), Chang (Thailand) and Twin Ring Motegi (Japan).
How will the new MotoGP track benefit sports sponsorship in Indonesia?
In terms of sponsorship, the Lombok circuit provides a great opportunity for the Indonesian economy, for MotoGP fans and for brands and sponsors. It’s hoped that the circuit will pull in international sports fans (almost a given with the confirmation of its inclusion in the MotoGP calendar) to complement the country’s already booming inbound travel industry.
On the other hand Indonesia, with a population well above the 261 million marks, is a very interesting market for pan European brands wishing to enter the Asian market in grand fashion. There is little doubt that major motorsport events such as MotoGP, Formula 1 and Formula E (discover a Formula E Agency) serve as a powerful fly-wheel for companies and brands to be put on the radar once these huge sporting series hit the local ground.
What does the future hold for MotoGP, and for sports sponsorship in Indonesia in general? Watch this space…
Want to find out more about sports sponsorship in Indonesia, in Asia in general, or talk about sports sponsorship more broadly? Give RTR Sports Marketing a call – we’ll be waiting to chat.