Lawrence Wong: 2015 SEA Games will be catalyst for change in local sports

Lawrence Wong: 2015 SEA Games will be catalyst for change in local sports

1. What has been some of the feedback for Vision 2030 and have there been any alterations to the blueprint?

Minister Wong: I think the feedback has been very positive.

The vision is to "Live Better Through Sports", something many people will buy in to.

We need to work through the implementation and we've had much feedback about the implementation.

We are fine-tuning our plans to take into account all the feedback.

2. There is a perception that big companies, even local giants, generally don't back sports in Singapore. What can be done about this?

I've heard that feedback too; firstly we should look in the context of their overall corporate giving - it can be for the arts, culture or for social causes - and our companies don't do that badly. But I do acknowledge that sports will not rank very high in the priority of things (today).

The challenge for us is to get companies to see sports sponsorship not as part of their expense... but as a value proposition, as part of activating their corporate brand and corporate value.

The way to do that is to have our sports community see the need to engage more with the community.

The more our athletes are embraced by the community and are held up by them as sporting heroes, I am sure the corporates will see it in their interest to support them.

The other strategy or opportunity we have is actually the Sports Hub and the South-east Asia (SEA) Games (which Singapore will host in 2015).

The Sports Hub is a new facility with opportunities for corporate activation, through naming rights, sponsorships or advertising.

For the SEA Games, one of the things we're trying to do in terms of sponsorship is to look at linking companies with certain sports, not just in supporting the SEA Games but having a long-term arrangement.

The more we can do that - using the SEA Games as a catalyst and get more companies to think about supporting not just the SEA Games but a long-term partnership with sports - then I think we can get more corporate involvement.

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