13 August 2017

Lack of consistency the one constant in Asian sports

The start of the European football season is always a good reminder of one of the major difference between sports in Europe (and North America for that matter) and  Asia - CONSISTENCY.

Ask the average sports fan that follows a European or North American league and most could easily tell you when the competition will start, the number of participating teams, how many teams make the Champions League or Playoffs and the number of clubs that will be relegated.

Pose the same questions about the majority of Asian leagues and tournaments and even hardcore supporters will struggle to answer. From the high end Asian Football Confederation and Japanese J-League tournaments to aspiring leagues of Southeast and South Asia lack of consistency is the one constant in Asian sports.

Business markets love stability and hate uncertainty. It is not much different when it comes to sports. Certainly, the unpredictability of what happens on the field of play is what makes sports exciting, but off of it sports stakeholders want a stable and consistent product. It is this stability that has fans, sponsors, broadcasters and investors flocking to the European and North American sports markets.

So to Asian sports leaders either contemplating a meditation retreat or hiring overpriced consultants to provide a silver bullet solution that will fix your ailing competitions, I give you my simple and free advice: consistency is the key!

26 July 2017

Winners versus losers

From a development officer at AFC to a sports business professional and a few side hustles along the way, I have been privileged to meet with sports organizations in virtually all corners of Asia.

Whether it is the biggest and wealthiest or the smallest and most destitute, all sports entities seem to cherish any opportunity to carp about their challenges.

I've heard it all before - from the rich complaining about affluence to the poor griping about allocation of handouts and from the big whining about travel distances to the small moaning about the lack of geographic spread.

Everyone has their issues. What separates the successful sports organizations from the ones that flounder is how they choose to get on with it. A field hockey coach said it best in an article I once read - "Ultimately, losers find excuses, while winners find solutions." So is your sports organization seeking excuses or solutions?