Philippine Delegates Speak at the 106th National Intercollegiate Athletic Games Forums in Taiwan

May 19, 2017 - Taiwan played host to sporting forums this past May 6-7, 2017 in Taipei as part of the 106th National Intercollegiate Athletic Games that was held at National Taiwan University. Several industry and academic thought leaders presented a wide range of topics over two days of International Forums.  

Edgar C. Tejerero, President of SM Lifestyle Entertainment Inc., presented new trends in Sport Industry Management. In particular, Tejerero discussed the Facility Management and Operations of the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City, Philippines, one of the region’s premier sporting complexes. Tejerero presented not only the way that MOA Arena redefined the Philippine sporting landscape when it opened in June of 2012, he also went into an in-depth exploration of why the facilities were designed in such a way.  

A multi-faceted facility, MOA Arena is able to hold world-class sporting events as well as large corporate conferences. On top of that, the MOA Arena also caters to music lovers as an advanced concert site in the country. The design of the facility allows it to generate income from these three (3) primary revenue streams: Sport Events, Corporate Events, and Music Festivities. Tejerero also explained the intricate and integrated system of production, project management, event promotion, food service, ticketing, and security that goes into each and every event that the MOA Arena hosts.

Tejerero’s speech ended with a discussion about a challenge that MOA Arena currently faces: with the three main revenue streams available for his facility, it seems that per-capita expenditure at hosted sporting events is quite low (A five-year average of just above 500 pesos per person.) compared with per-capita expenditure for Music Festivals and Concerts. (Approximately PHP 3,900 per person over the same 5-year period.) The MOA Arena has always been intended for sporting events and as such, its occupancy figures are at 67% per year on such events. With Music Festivals and Concerts only accounting for 29% occupancy figures, this disparity in per-capita expenditure has led to a challenge in balancing corporate profitability and growth with the needs of the Filipino sporting audience.

Several other notable speakers also shared their expertise on various topics and challenges present in the sporting field. Dr. Paul Jonson from the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia, spoke about the importance of Sport Governance Structures in the development of National Sport Programs. Dr. Jonson also challenged the traditional view that countries should focus their spending only on “elite” athletes, presenting data that grassroots development and a participative focus actually benefit a country’s sport culture greater in the long run. Speakers such as Dr. Harry Kwon from Chung-Ang University in South Korea spoke about developmental strategies in collegiate athletics in his country. Dr. Kwon presented the myriad problems associated with a sporting system designed to reward coaches and parents for the athletic performance of their athletes without the same regard for the athlete’s well-being and long-term development. Dr. Kwon presented a holistic approach in the development of student-athletes, particularly giving emphasis on preparing for career education and re-socialization after their athletic careers commence.

The Philippines held its own in the forums that were held alongside the 106th National Intercollegiate Athletic Games. It sent three other speakers aside from Tejerero to speak about various challenges and best practices in the Philippine Sport Scene, as well as a delegation of leaders from the Philippine NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) to participate in the forums. Geraldine Go-Bernardo of Sport Management Council of the Philippines (SportPhil) presented about the value of Sport Outreaches, citing the success of projects her team had headed in being able to equip and encourage communities like Tacloban, Leyte, that had been hard hit by natural disasters in recent times. Prof. Hercules P. Callanta of Lyceum of the Philippines (an NCAA school) spoke about the environment of intercollegiate athletics in the Philippines. He presented a discussion about the challenges and opportunities of having many different collegiate leagues (UAAP, NCAA, SCUAA, etc.) crowning different champions every year and what these leagues end up doing for sport participation nationwide. Mark Daniel Chan, a sport entrepreneur, also presented about the marketing opportunities available for collegiate athletics in the Philippines. He presented the interesting situation that the country finds itself in – wherein collegiate sports are actually more marketable right now than professional leagues.  

The two forums over that weekend helped bring about healthy discussions regarding the potential and power of collegiate athletes, and the various infrastructure needs athletes have in the countries they hail from. Having interacted with colleagues and thought leaders from countries such as Australia, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia, and Taiwan, the Philippine delegation was inspired to both adopt best practices from these countries and to also begin the process of facilitating change in the many different areas that are needed for Sport Development and Empowerment in the country today.