• Andrew Collins

Mailman Journal: Sports Matters 2015, Singapore

Updated: Jun 4, 2019

Mailman is known as the #1 agency for sports digital marketing in China, so who better to introduce the China section at Sports Matters 2015 in Singapore? We were invited as an official Media Partner for the event, the best sports marketing event in Asia, with David Hornby  headlining the China section and myself supporting with the luggage.

The Tuesday before the event, we set off from Shanghai for the 5 hour flight to Changi airport. With David Hornby presenting on the Thursday morning, this was the perfect time to practice the speech and prepare our game-plan for the event; however, before taking off, we both fell asleep for the full journey. Nevertheless, we arrived fully refreshed and spent the evening discussing the event over dinner in the centre.

We arrived Wednesday morning at the Marina Bay Sands Exhibition Centre ready to get our networking on on day one, a day that was focused around broadcasting and sponsorship in Asia. The first panel delved into the topic around ‘The power of passion: Building online fan bases for the broadcast business’, with the different speakers discussing the definition of a super fan and what content resonates best. As Mailman was built upon passion, this proved to be a very interesting panel, with the key takeaway being  that content needs to be authentic.

Following the coffee break where multiple business cards were exchanged and multiple coffees drunk, we headed back to the presentations. The next interview was about ‘Continuous Innovation in Sports Content Across Platforms’, led by the Vice President from Samsung South East Asia, Nicolas Wodtke. Innovation, Mailman’s second favorite noun, was the key to this discussion, with Nicolas stating that the future lies with ‘partnering a sporting event and virtual reality together for fans in Asia’. The rest of the day passed with very interesting discussions around sponsorship, especially HSBC’s model for the Hong Kong Sevens tournament that is now in its 40th year.

Despite our concerns, we arrived with time to prepare and dry ourselves off from the run to the conference. David presented the China Landscape to a full audience, finishing off the presentation by saying that ‘Chinese fans  were the most in-demand in the world and are the real winners in China’.

Up next was a fascinating panel with China’s media heavyweights LeTV, Sina and Tencent, as well as the head’s from NBA China, WTA and Catalyst media, the team behind the ICC tournament discussing how China is changing the digital landscape. Jasper Donat, CEO of Branded, finished the panel by asking which of the three media won’t be here next year, to which each made sure we all knew how they were each #1 in China for some sort of category.

Following lunch, a new panel returned to discuss who is challenging the dominance of the Barclays Premier League in Asia. The Bundesliga certainly make a strong case in China, whilst Peter Draper from Valencia believed that La Liga is the sexiest league in the world, but are just hiding in a dark cave in Asia. The afternoon then saw presentations about football and F1, before Jasper Donat closed off the event discussing the future of sport in Asia. The main conclusion: ‘Watch out for China’.

Till next year, Singapore. Stay Classy.

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