Words and photos by Kap Maceda Aguila
AS THE WHOLE country braces for the official start of the 30th edition of the Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) and the 10th ASEAN Para Games, Morris Garages (or MG) inked an agreement with the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) and Mediapro Asia to become the official mobility partner of the biennial regional sports spectacle.
This obviously is a major achievement for the car brand with a rich British heritage dating back to 1924, which had just last year reopened shop in the country under the aegis of established The Covenant Car Company, Inc. (TCCCI) which also handles Chevrolet.
Under the agreement, MG Philippines will field 80 of its vehicles in the lineup to “ferry athletes and teams to and from games.” Though there’s no official breakdown of model types, all vehicles to be used will bear the 30th SEAG logo.
The Games, slated to run officially from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 (as some initial matches will ensue beforehand for seeding purposes), will involve 11 countries participating in 56 sporting events. An estimated 11,000 athletes and team officials along with 2,050 tech officials, 12,000 volunteers, and 1,500 members of the media will converge in the various venues.
“Our goal is to provide meaningful assistance to all the Filipino and international participants by equipping them with a safe, comfortable, and stylish ride for the duration of the games,” said MG Philippines President and CEO Atty. Albert Arcilla in a speech.
He continued that MG “is a car brand as much as it is a lifestyle brand,” that endeavors to communicate its values “through several channels of interest, like music, travel, youth, culture, and art.”
“One channel we have tapped into, and one that many Filipinos have a close affinity with, is sports. Sports is an inherent part of the MG brand, and that is why being part of the 30th SEAG that features so many milestones and firsts is a distinct honor for us at MG Philippines… MG identifies and celebrates the pursuit of excellence.”
Meanwhile, PHISGOC Senior Managing Director Jojit Alcazar thanked MG for “the opportunity to partner with a brand with such a rich motoring heritage (and for) providing everyone in the SEA Games with the ability and the means to move around all our many game venues all over the country.”
For his part, Lars Heidenreich, managing director of Mediapro Asia, said, “We are thrilled to have another partner on board through us. With MG, we hope this sponsorship turns the Philippines into a stronghold for the brand.”
In an exclusive interview with Velocity, MG Philippines Executive Vice-President and Director for Marketing and Communication Services Lyn Buena revealed that work for the agreement and sponsorship started in the second quarter of the year, and it is one that truly makes sense for MG.
“Sports and music (through MG Live) are two touchpoints that speak to Filipinos,” she said. “Through the 30th SEAG, there will be a lot of stories to be told, and we’d like to think that MG Philippines and TCCCI share the same values as athletes — commitment, discipline, and passion. The Games are a great avenue for us to convey this message. This is our element, and it doesn’t feel contrived.”
MG Philippines, also a Platinum Sponsor of the Games, additionally saw to the training of the assigned drivers and their orientation on the vehicles. Ms. Buena added that the 80 brand-new cars to be used will go on sale at “special prices” after their SEAG duty.