S'pore 2015 a hit on online platforms

It was touted as the first digital SEA Games, and the reach on the various digital platforms exceeded expectations.

Sport Singapore's official YouTube channel for the recently concluded Games garnered 44 million views for its videos of the opening and closing ceremonies and the various highlights of the event.

The figure beats the 15 million views reached by the 2012 London Olympics YouTube channel, and the five million garnered by the 2014 Incheon Asian Games channel.

The official Facebook page of the Games earned 575,000 likes, more than twice that for the Incheon Asian Games (249,000) or the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow (256,000) last year.

"We used a comprehensive content-based strategy involving our main website, social media and YouTube to reach out to the public," said Harbans J Singh, deputy director of digital, Singapore SEA Games Organising Committee (Singsoc).

"We used the official website as an anchor to pull in views from other platforms, so the content on the website was created to trigger and capture interest.

"We focused on stories for the website - features on various athletes and sports - and on live schedules and results.

"We also noticed that the Games volunteers garnered a lot of interest. It felt like the volunteering movement had really taken off in Singapore, so we started to target related keywords by creating more content about volunteers, and content by them as well."

The official SEA Games website recorded 3.64 million unique visitors over the course of the Games and the Social Wall feature on the website recorded 4 million page views.

Members of the public also got to contribute their own content on the Social Wall using the hashtag #seagames2015 on various social media platforms.

Bite-sized content such as photos and videos were also created by specially trained volunteers for the Wall.

The two apps developed for the Games - one that delivered results, schedules and medal tallies in real time and another that streamed "live" matches and the opening and closing ceremonies - were also popular.

They reached 320,000 downloads over the course of the Games.


Foreign interest in the event was also reflected on the digital platforms, with active interaction between fans from participating countries on Facebook and YouTube.

"We were thinking regionally all along," Singh said. "With an online strategy, we couldn't just target Singaporeans - that would actually be hindering ourselves."

Now that the Games has ended, the question is what to do with the online support and followers gained from the various digital platforms.

Said Singh: "We're still discussing our options, but we want to use it to galvanise the South-east Asian region into supporting key sporting events in Singapore.

"A lot of the content from the SEA Games will also be archived at the (Sport Singapore's) ActiveSG website."

The videos of the SEA Games opening and closing ceremonies and various highlights on Sport Singapore's YouTube channel garnered 44 million views, compared to 15 million for the 2012 London Olympics channel.

This article was first published on June 20, 2015.
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