The rich business of sport

The rich business of sport
From left: Singapore Sports Council Lim Teck Yin, World Sport Group chief executive officer Andrew Georgiou, WTA chairman and CEO Stacey Allaster and Singapore Tourism Board CEO Lionel Yeo holding the Billie Jean King Trophy, awarded to the winner of the WTA Championships winner.

Money talks - but sports in many parts of Asia have not had much success even getting into the conversation to grab a share of the multi-billion dollar sponsorship pie.

But Sports Matters - a conference at the St Regis Singapore on Sept 18 and 19 - is aiming to make a difference.

Around 80 speakers will attend the inaugural forum, including representatives from major brands like Samsung, as well as sports chieftains like Women's Tennis Association (WTA) chairman and chief executive officer, Stacey Allaster.

The Asian Sponsorship Association (ASA) - an ambitious initiative to grow sponsorship in the region - will be launched on the second day of the conference, co-produced by Branded Ltd.

Said Jasper Donat, CEO of Branded: "The sponsorship sector in Asia has been relatively stagnant for the past 20 years. I don't think the industry (in Asia) has done enough to support itself, it's very hard for clients to determine their return of investment.

"If I spend one dollar, what is it going to generate in return? If the sports and music companies can't illustrate that end game, I might take that one dollar somewhere else where I know I can get that return."

Some 12 companies, including the World Sport Group (WSG) and MasterCard, will participate in discussions during the launch of the ASA to chart its future direction.

At the media briefing of the upcoming conference at the Hard Rock Cafe yesterday, WSG CEO Andrew Georgiou said: "I think the most important thing that the (ASA) can do is facilitate a dialogue between the brands, the sponsors, and what they want to achieve and the sports and how they can help to deliver it.

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