MANILA, Philippines – Joining the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) will be a dream come true for Blackwater Sports team owner Dioceldo Sy, but he also sees the move as a boost to his company’s bottom line.
“The PBA, no doubt, is the biggest and best marketing tool in the country,” Sy told PBA.ph. “It can make your brand a household name.”
“Look at Alaska, Rain or Shine, San Miguel. Lahat sila, may recall sa market nila,” he noted.
Sy, the owner of Ever Bilena Inc., has made no secret of his desire to join the PBA. A letter of intent from Blackwater Sports was submitted to the Commissioner’s Office last week, and the Board of Governors will take up their application – as well as that of KIA Motors – in a meeting on Thursday.
“I am hoping, and I believe that the PBA can help our company grow bigger,” Sy said. “In three to four years’ time, alam ko, mararamdaman ko na ang mas magandang benta.”
Rain or Shine co-owner Raymund Yu agrees, telling the league website in a separate interview that owning a PBA franchise does bring “tremendous product recall to your brand.”
“Saka sa case namin, basketball fans kami. Ang sarap mag-cheer sa team mo at the same time. (The PBA) is an exciting form of advertising,” Yu said.
Because of this, Sy does not mind the hefty P100-million price tag that comes with joining the professional league.
“I don’t mind paying for it. In fact, right after we receive a clearance from the PBA on Thursday, willing na akong magbayad ng P30 million as initial fund,” he said.
At the same time, Sy does not expect his squad to immediately contend for a PBA championship, stressing that the PBA is on an entirely different level from the D-League.
“Hindi pa agad-agad ‘yun. Kailangan pa naming makapa ang sistema sa PBA, it’s a few notches up sa level ng D-League,” he said. “Siguro in three or four years, hopefully andoon na kami.”