Wednesday, October 02, 2013

A major head start

RM1 MILLION INJECTION: Associations urged to capitalise on huge marketing and branding opportunities 



WHILE Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin sees huge potential in the advertising value of Malaysian sports, the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) hopes that national sports associations (NSAs) themselves will capitalise on it.

A RM1 million cash injection yesterday for 17 NSAs, part of the collaboration between Astro and OCM, will see these sports benefiting from coverage and promotions through 24-hour sports channel Astro Arena.

Khairy, describing this as the start of a brighter future for local sports, reiterated his call for corporate entities to open their eyes towards local sports.

"Many of our companies are spending money on foreign sports these day. While that's not wrong, we want them to see that there is also value in sponsoring local sports," said Khairy.

"We're in the process of gathering the numbers and statistics that will provide them a clearer picture and hopefully convince them.

"For instance, some of our local football matches have higher viewership numbers than that of English Premier League matches."

Khairy officiated the sponsorship-handing over ceremony in which the OCM was represented by president Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja'afar, while Astro was represented by chief operating officer Henry Tan.

The 17 NSAs, which will receive a cut of the RM1 million sponsorship, will also benefit through promotions of their sports via coverage on Astro Arena.

"This was a project I first mooted in 1997, so it is like a dream come true to have our own dedicated sports channel providing coverage of things we usually did not see on TV," said Tunku Imran.
"Take a look at boxing for example. We're not talking about Mayweather vs Alvarez or anything like that. It is local boxing and we get to see it live on Astro Arena these days. The same goes for other sports.

"We are spreading the funds among the NSAs, but we do hope that they don't become overly reliant on this. We do expect the NSAs to take this as a chance to promote their sports and market it well to raise fund through other sources.

"We want the NSAs to be more independent. So they should look at this as opportunities to market their sport as there is advertising value brought about by television coverage."

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