How Much Do Sports Matter to You
By Nina Syahira
October 30, 2014
Lim Teck Yin, CEO of Sport Singapore, making the welcoming address
The Sports Matters conference this year was held at our nation’s iconic Marina Bay Sands. The 2-day event was a great meeting of the minds from all sectors of the sports industry including marketing, advertising as well as social and digital media. Leading the talking panels were invited speakers who are experts in their own right. They shared useful insights about how different organisations can help showcase sports in the most ideal way possible while maintaining its integrity.
Darren Bailey, the Director of Football Governance and Regulation from The Football Association spoke about the need to help one another more by educating and keeping everyone involved updated with each other’s progress. After all, it is a common goal that we’re working towards.
What is even more important to note is how we should reach out to other national organisations as well as maintaining these good business relationships. In order to safeguard interests like protecting the integrity of sports from match fixings and betting, we need to have international partnerships too.
A meeting of the minds on the future of Asian Football
With the FIFA World Cup’s recent conclusion this past July, football was a hot topic that first day. On-field success correlates with the popularity of the football club which goes beyond where it comes from. In other words, the more matches get televised and broadcasted, the further the support for the different teams can go even if fans are not living in the same country as the athletes. From here, those who wish to market or sponsor these clubs need to identify this emotional connection and use it for commercial success.
Xavier Asensi, Managing Director Asia Pacific for FC Barcelona, pointed out how it’s essential to guide the youth through training schools to the professional level so that they can find success in their chosen careers. These days, the new blood of the industry do not need to leave their individual clubs to play for foreign clubs. Armed with this knowledge, companies can now begin to explore opportunities within local clubs.
The CEO of Starhub, Tan Tong Hai, supported the above with his take on how easily entertainment media can help with this new marketing and sponsorship venture. With the power of social media, practically anyone can become a broadcaster in their own right. Thanks to the growing love of content sharing, sports is no longer meant to be watched only. People want to be more engaged and be less of a spectator. Mr Tan sees not a problem with this current trend in society but rather a golden opportunity for broadcasters and other organisations to tap into.
There was more talk on the positive role of social media, highlighting the success it can bring for the entire industry. Various brands can simply get closer to their fans themselves due to the seemingly boundless potential of social media. Of course, there would be a need to control user-generated content so organisations have to step up to guide and not stop the flow.
So with that in mind, it’s crucial that our growing crop of talents get the necessary training to prepare for their future in the industry. We may not possess all the physical resources like flashy equipment and the like but what we do have is the power to educate. By allowing more opportunities to learn, interest will soon lead to motivation and action. Thankfully, Singapore recognises this and has provided with various facilities and platforms to cater to it.
The lovely Susie Wolff can certainly vouch for that. So it was indeed exciting to see her in attendance on the second day of the event during an exclusive interview segment. She spoke about how she began from competing in karting when she was a child to becoming one of the world’s biggest female stars on the race tracks and now the Development Driver for Williams Martini Racing. With her was their Deputy Team Principal & Commercial Director, Claire Williams.
All in all, the conference was a great success in laying out the concerns in the sports industry today as well as presenting suggested solutions for all. With useful advice from the industry’s experts, we’re sure that everyone can benefit and learn together in order to move forward to be more successful. We hope that the local training schools here like the F-17 Academy would continue to nurture the sports talents of our nation’s young generation.