05 January 2011

Dentsu to support Singapore athletes

Catching the sports momentum@today

SINGAPORE - From the Fifa World Cup to the Olympics, Asian Games and the IAAF World Championships, the Sports Division of Dentsu Incorporated has its tentacles spread deep and wide in the sports world.

Started as an advertising agency in 1901, the Japanese company has grown to include 100 offices in 26 countries, and its sports arm was responsible for creating the Toyota Cup, which was renamed the Fifa Club World Cup in 2004.

Now with its sights on Asia, and in particular the South-east Asian market, Dentsu, whose Singapore office opened a month ago, are looking to involve themselves in the expanding regional sports business, estimated to be worth some US$20 billion ($25.7 billion).

The subsidiary, Dentsu Sports Asia (DSA), also hopes to help Singaporean athletes develop their post-competitive careers by providing internship and employment, giving them the chance to leverage on the sports expertise of Dentsu Inc.

"We've already got two current national athletes who are interning with us and we're looking to give them an opportunity to see and experience how the commercial side of sport works," said Suresh Letchmanan, the DSA's head of legal and business management.

While he declined to reveal details of DSA's plans for young local athletes that will be launched in the next few weeks, he added: "Being athletes, they've got strong leverage if they would like to continue working in sports and learning from the international expertise that exists in Dentsu. It gives these athletes a chance to see how they can continue their careers after their competitive days are over."

With a capital of $1.5 million, the sports marketing company is aiming to be a one-stop shop for sports, providing services ranging from the marketing of broadcast rights to television production, sponsorship sales, event management and even player management.

Dentsu already have on their books French football legend Zinedine Zidane, Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and former Japanese internationals Hidetoshi Nakata and Shunsuke Nakamura, with their DSA office already looking to sign Indonesian players following the recently AFF Suzuki Cup.

MediaCorp understands that DSA are looking to work with regional football associations, with plans already in the pipeline for a partnership with the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) to develop the business end of their Strategic Plan announced last April.

"We would like to provide the very best in sports marketing and management to the rest of Asia and help develop the sports business within the region," said DSA's chief operating officer, Kunihito Morimura.

Added Suresh: "There is a lot of potential for growth in this region and with the Sports Hub to be up and running by 2015, Singapore is a great location for sports and we aim to offer a one-stop solution for the sports business community in Asia, while not forgetting local sports."

No comments: