JDT Partners with IKEA Tebrau and Toppen Shopping Centre in Building Community Engagement with Football

The three year collaboration will take the football club’s experience to its second home and bring IKEA and Toppen products to the team’s home

From Left, JDT’s Commercial Unit’s Chief, Kevin Ramalingam, Alistair Edwards, JDT Chief Executive Officer, Arnoud Bakker, Commercial Director, Ikano Centres and Tony Vatuiu, Store Manager, IKEA Tebrau during the partnership signing ceremony

IKEA Tebrau and Toppen Shopping Centre, have announced a partnership with Johor Darul Ta’zim FC (JDT), also known as the Southern Tigers football association.

Within the vibrant football scene in Johor, this exciting partnership seeks to increase enthusiasm for the game and strengthen community ties.

Toppen will be home to a dedicated fan clubhouse on the center’s rooftop, The Topp, as part of the partnership. The clubhouse, which is set to open in early 2024, will include a merchandising store as well as a curated space for JDT fans to gather outside of the stadium. 

Toppen is in the process of securing live screenings of all JDT matches, making it the only destination in Johor, outside of the JDT stadium, where fans can consistently enjoy live games alongside fellow fans. Details of the collaboration were revealed at a press conference held on 5th October 2023, at the JDT Headquarters.

Meanwhile, IKEA Tebrau is finalising a one-of-a-kind concept that is taking shape within the JDT stadium, allowing fans to savour their favourite IKEA foods while immersing themselves in home furnishing inspiration. The partnership also includes IKEA for Business design solutions for key areas at the JDT stadium, as well as special promotions for JDT fans at IKEA Tebrau.

The shared vision of encouraging communities to lead active lifestyles is at the heart of this collaboration. This commitment is exemplified at Toppen by the rooftop facilities at The Topp, which include a multipurpose court, skate park, and free climbing wall, as well as the many activities organised there, ranging from weekly Zumba classes to community runs. This is backed up by a diverse tenant mix that makes sports and wellness more accessible to the community.

Arnoud Bakker, Commercial Director, Ikano Centres and Tony Vatuiu, Store Manager, IKEA Tebrau with specially made JDT jersey to commemorate the partnership during the signing ceremony

Arnoud Bakker, Commercial Director, Ikano Centres, said, “Ikano Centres’ meeting places are more than just places to shop. We are committed to elevating experiences for our communities, and this partnership is a natural extension of our mission to create destinations that engage and inspire our visitors. It is a known fact that sports have a unique power to unite people and foster connections, which is why our destination is committed to building communities. We are excited to partner with JDT in strengthening our ties with football fans in South Malaysia and creating a second home for JDT supporters in Johor Bahru.”

Tony Vatuiu, Store Manager, IKEA Tebrau, said “Our aim is to create a better everyday life for the many Johoreans with well-designed, functional and high-quality home furnishing at affordable prices. We are delighted to be able to make IKEA Tebrau even more accessible through this collaboration. I truly feel that the partnership between IKEA Tebrau, Toppen, and JDT would be a ‘dream team’ of well-loved brands coming together.”

The synergy between these brands goes beyond their shared love of football and encompasses a spirit of collaboration and camaraderie that reflects the very essence of the game itself.

“JDT is absolutely thrilled to partner with IKEA Tebrau and Toppen in our shared mission to unite communities through the power of sports. This partnership isn’t just about the matches. It’s about creating a sense of belonging and excitement for our fans,” said Alistair Edwards, JDT Chief Executive Officer. 

IKEA Tebrau and JDT exclusively partnered with Toppen earlier this year for the Fan Token Launch, which included meet and greet sessions, exclusive JDT merchandise, live match screenings, and engaging football-themed activities for shoppers.

JDT’s Commercial Unit’s Chief, Kevin Ramalingam, said in the press conference that the collaboration will run for three years and match tickets could be purchased physically at the clubhouse, among other things, to engage with fans. 

While the partnership’s full details are still being worked out, other aspects of the collaboration include key events featuring the JDT brand and players at both IKEA Tebrau and Toppen, regular fan rewards, brand presence at the JDT stadium, regular CSR commitments between all three brands, and an ongoing forum for knowledge sharing on topics like facility and operational management, safety and security, and project management.