Singapore develops a passion for sport

Thursday, 23 April 2009

The 2010 Youth Olympic Games will give Singapore companies an opportunity to be associated with the most powerful brand on the planet, a business forum heard today.

Ms Catherine McNabb from the Singapore Tourism Board said despite the current economic downturn, interest in the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) remained strong because local companies saw the value in being associated with the world's premier sporting event.

Ms McNabb was addressing a business forum at the Goodwood Park Hotel, hosted by the University of Adelaide-Singapore and featuring some of the region's best known marketing experts.

"Sport is going to become one of Singapore's real growth areas in the next 10 years, generating $2 billion by 2015," she said.

"While Singapore is in its infancy in hosting sporting events, the success of the Formula 1 Grand Prix has demonstrated that Singaporeans really connect with sport. The Formula 1 has paved the way for other sporting events on a grand scale," she said.

Marketing expert Professor Pascale Quester, Head of the Faculty of Professions at the University of Adelaide, said companies worldwide could not afford to stop sponsoring events in tough times because it undermined their brand.

"Those brands that continue to sponsor will bounce back faster because they will retain a profile in the marketplace," she said.

Professor Quester cited Tour de France principal sponsor Credit Lyonnais as an example of a company that remained loyal to the event in good and bad times.

"They have been sponsoring the race now for 50 years and despite recent bad publicity linking drugs to the sport, they have stuck by organisers because the positive recognition far outweighs the negative," she said.

The Chief of Sports Marketing at the Singapore Sports Council, Mr Kelven Tan, said local companies had started to recognise that sports sponsorship was one of the most effective marketing tools to reach Singapore audiences.

"Sport offers companies an opportunity to market lifestyle," he said. "It is a very powerful vehicle to sell products and services whose values are aligned with a wide range of sports."

The business forum was organised by the University of Adelaide's Singapore education provider, Ngee Ann-Adelaide Education Centre.


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Ms Lim Mei Mei
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Ngee Ann-Adelaide Education Centre
Business: +65 6738 2910

Mr David Ellis
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External Relations
The University of Adelaide
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