Four Generations of MILO Sports Development Champions: A Potted History
MILO®, a champion of grassroots sports development in Malaysia, has been leading this effort since 1973. Driven by its brand purpose, which is to make Malaysians active and healthy with nutritious energy, MILO® embarked on its mission to inspire Malaysians to go further with sports by setting up a Sports Marketing unit within its business, led at the time by its Brand Manager, Leonard Wee.
From the iconic MILO® van during sports day to nourish and provide school children the energy to stay active, Leonard grew MILO® sports marketing efforts even further which helped to support and launch the career of former hurdler and national sports icon Datuk Marina Chin. She went on to win a career total of seven SEA Games medals.
Datuk Dina Rizal took the helm of MILO® sports marketing in 1980, steering it to even greater heights. He was instrumental in conceptualizing some of MILO®’s most recognizable sports campaigns, most notably the Malaysia Boleh chant in support of the Malaysian contingent at the 1992 SEA Games. Malaysia Boleh went on to galvanise the nation at the Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games in 1998 and continued to fuel the spirit our national athletes to this day. He also played an integral role in launching the MILO® MSSM Games in partnership with the Ministry of Education Malaysia.
Upon retirement in 2004, Dina’s role was taken over by Ng Ping Loong who joined Nestlé (Malaysia) in 1992. Ping Loong carried on the MILO® sports marketing legacy left by his predecessors by establishing and launching MILO® Hidup Bola in 2006. MILO® Hidup Bola grew to become Malaysia’s largest annual futsal carnival, attracting over 12,000 players (under-12 and under-16) every year. It also helped to discover young sporting talents, many of whom went on to compete at international tournaments and later became national footballers.
After serving the company for 35 years, 27 of which were dedicated to championing grassroots sports development with MILO®, Ping Loong retired in January 2020. He is succeeded by Lim Kerwin. While under Ping Loong’s wings, Kerwin worked to establish MILO® Champions Clinic, a grassroots sports program that provides early exposure and skills training to children 7 to 12 years under the guidance of professional coaches. Since its launch in 2015, more than 3,000 children have benefited from MILO® Champions Clinic.
MILO® remains committed to its grassroots sports development efforts and will continue to spur the nation to lead an active lifestyle through its many sports initiatives now united under MILO® Aktif Negaraku.
“At MILO®, sport is in our brand’s DNA. Therefore, the success of our brand is only as significant as the lives we’ve touched and the growth we’ve nurtured through sports from the grassroots all the way up. We are proud to be a brand that has grown with Malaysia. Through thick and thin, MILO® has stood by Malaysia to celebrate its heroes and cheer them on, through our support and sponsorship of over 250 competitive sporting events a year. As a matter of fact, many of our national athletes began their sports careers through one of MILO®’s grassroots sports programs, particularly the MSSM championships.”
Kumaran Nowuram, Executive Director, MILO® & Milks Business Unit, Nestlé (Malaysia) Berhad