25 December 2017

Everest climbing feature in NYT

Though we are at the tail end of 2017, I came across possibly my favorite article of the year just this week. It was a terrific feature by the New York Times, with some incredible multimedia, on the attempt to recover the bodies of Indian climbers that had perished on Mt. Everest a little more than a year ago.

Pokhara, Nepal, Museum
International Mountain Museum
I actually went on a bit of a Himalayan/Everest/mountaineering splurge after reading the article, including watching several great videos on YouTube on the subjects and listening to the Into Thin Air audio-book, the gripping personal account of the 1996 Everest disaster written by Jon Krakauer. Obviously, Nepal's connection to these topics make it that the more intriguing and salient.

Just a few weeks ago, as a relative novice on all things "mountain", I had visited the International Mountain Museum in Pokhara - a fairly impressive exhibition that sits on a 5 hector compound. With my new insights the next visit there should be even more enriching.

17 December 2017

Aviation Museum Nepal

I know from experience that just donating footballs to kids can be such a challenge in Nepal. There are so many things one needs to deal with including customs clearance, political interests and social pressures. Imagine purchasing and transporting an airplane and then building an aviation museum. Lots of respect to Mr. Bed Upreti for doing just that, not only once, but twice!

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!

27 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?