For any sport or athlete to succeed a strong fan base is hugely important and this fact was highlighted during the Sports Industry Awards [SPIA] Asia 2016 in Bangkok recently where the top accolades were reserved for those who reached out to fans in a big way.
Be it Liverpool FC [three awards], iProspect Philippines [two] or Asian Football Confederation, all were unanimous in emphasising the key role played by fans in their triumph.
“I actually didn’t realise how big a football club Liverpool was until I touched down in Thailand for our pre-season tour in 2015 and saw thousands of Thai fans,” admits Mark Rollings, Senior Partnerships Manager of the club.The Reds and main sponsor Standard Chartered Bank claimed two accolades, including Gold in the Best Sponsorship of a Sport, Team or Event of the Year category, and Silver for the Best Sports Marketing Campaign of the Year. The club, alongside partner MG China, also walked away with Silver in the Best Sports Brand, Retail Activation or Product Launch of the Year segment. “The fans from this part of the world are unbelievable. We are going to come back this summer for one of our tours. I know for a fact that the club loves coming over to Asia. Hopefully it will result in some more awards next year,” Rollings added.
At a black tie gala awards ceremony was attended by more than 300 sports professionals from around the region in a packed Centara Grand ballroom.
Liverpool and their partnering sponsors Standard Chartered Bank topped the Best Sponsorship of a Sport, Team or Event of the Year category and claimed silver in the Best Sports Brand Retail, Activation or Product Launch of the Year and Best Sports Marketing Campaign of the Year.
“It is an amazing night,” exclaimed Mark Rollings, senior partnership manager, Liverpool FC. “We are as good as the brands we partner with. It’s just great that we are recognised by the sports industry in Asia.”
Following a rigorous judging process and a record 208 entries, winners were awarded in 18 categories recognising excellence of rights holders, marketing agencies, sports brands, events, organisations, and venue operators across 17 Asian countries.
Organised by MMC Sportz and Sport360, in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism and Sports Thailand and the Sports Authority of Thailand, SPIA Asia 2016 followed a two-day conference that brought together more than 200 sports industry professionals.
Speaking at the Awards ceremony, Didier Brun, Deputy CEO of Sport360 said, “The Asian Sports Industry Awards has grown this year: a clear sign of the industry’s health. It’s encouraging to see such a large number of entries, but what is even more encouraging is the quality of those entries.”
After the initial round of judging, 72 Thai entries were short-listed across the 18 categories and claimed five Gold, five Silver and five Bronze awards. Other big winners on the night were Hong Kong and Singapore, each winning three Gold awards.