The University of the Philippines’ men’s basketball team amazed everyone with its superb run in this year’s edition of the University Athletics Association of the Philippines (UAAP) sports events, but none of that would have been possible without the support of key corporate sponsors.
Chief among this group of faithful sponsors, of course, is Robina Gokongwei-Pe and her branch of the Gokongwei empire, Robinsons Supermarket, Handyman and Robinsons Farms.
Robina – who is a UP alumna as well as a former staffer of the schools newspaper, The Philippine Collegian – is the basketball team’s longest running benefactor, having been donating steadily to the cause for eight years now.
In fact, Robina has to put up with taunts from her siblings and hurdle the famous frugality of her family when she started bankrolling the team in 2010, when its UAAP record was 0-14. That’s right: Not a single win in the basketball tournament (the record improved marginally over the years from 2-12, 1-13, back to 0-14 and so on).
Robina is not about to stop now, especially since the UP men’s basketball team is near the pinnacle of collegiate sports success.
Another major funder who is expected to return next year is the Wongchuking family through its “Mighty Sports” program.
The Wongchukings – the younger brother, Caesar, is an alumnus – was the official outfitter of the team this year and will likely be involved in other aspects of supporting the team next year, not least of all financially.
Caesar told Biz Buzz that, in particular, he has been a big supporter of coach Bo Perasol ever since his college years.
Other major supporters like real estate man JJ Atencio, 3M Corp. and lighting firm Nxled are also expected to make a comeback next year to finance what could be another trip to the finals for the team.
With millions of pesos supporting the UP team and the other teams’ backers also expected to ante up their support, expect an exciting UAAP season 82 next year – Daxim L. Lucas
Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer – Biz Buzz section