Asian Forum

Corporate Social Responsibility the key focus at the inaugural 'Asian Forum on Sports Innovation'

The first edition of the Asian Forum on Sports Innovation: International Seminar on 
Professional and Grassroots Sports and Development
 held in Jakarta, Indonesia, was organised by Geoffrey Gold for the predecessor of Sports Asia. The event was endorsed by the Indonesian Marketing Association (IMA) and supported by FIFA, the Asian Football Confederation and United Nations agencies and its official media included Indonesia's KOMPAS newspaper and ESPN STAR Sports.

Its two integrated streams, 'professional sports dynamics' and 'sports and development', covered sports issues of critical importance to private sector sponsors and Corporate Social Responsibility funders of athletes, clubs and sports competitions; government policy makers at national and regional levels; and all stakeholders in sports administration, athlete management and revenue raising.

Coinciding with the Final of the Asian Football Confederation’s prestigious 2007 Asian Cup, the conference at The Sultan Hotel attracted to Indonesia a remarkable agenda of some of the most outstanding international speakers on sports, development, marketing and sponsorship and corporate social responsibility. These included:

Johann Olav Kos
s, multiple gold medal Olympian and CEO of Right To Play, the international NGO leading the use of sports and play for the development of children youth., who spoke on the power of sport to make a posive impact on children. Today, Right To Play has projects in over 20 countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. It uses specially designed sport and play programs to teach life skills, peace building and health education to children affected by war, poverty and disease. Mr Koss is pictured in Jakarta at the Asian Forum prior to the AFC Asian Cup final with (from left) AFC President Mohamed Bin Hammam and FIFA President Joseph S Blatter.

David Winiger, Special Assistant to Dr Adolf Ogi, the Special Advisor on Sport and Development and Peace to the United Nations Secretary-General who spoke on Sport as a tool for Development and Peace. The mandate of the Special Adviser is oriented not only towards the world of sport, sports industries and governments, but also towards UN organisations in charge of development and peace-making -keeping and enforcement, to see which activities and programs can benefit from a partnership with sports organisations.

Clare Kenny Tipton, fresh from managing Asia’s biggest and most complex sports tournament, the
Asian Football Confederation’s Asian Cup 2007 which involved 16 teams playing 33 matches in eight stadiums in four countries, outlines the scope for development, the opportunities, challenges, realities and possible rewards for sports in Asia. The growth of Asian Football is her mission. As the AFC's Deputy General Secretary, Director of Marketing and Director of Media and Communications, she backed the continental body's  claim that the 'future of football is Asia' in her presentation on the AFC’s Vision Asia for youth, grassroots and pro-football.

Dez Corkhill, Television Producer, News Editor and Director of Content for is also ESPN Star Sport’s sometimes controversial The Top Corner presenter and commentator on Asian domestic football. In his presentation, Asian sports professionalism and grassroots from the media perspective (pdf), he pointed out that while "the best of the action is right on your doorstep" there must be communication.

The seminar was also fortunate to have a broad presentation in a historical context on Indonesia sports sponsorship and Corporate Social Responsibility opportunities by Fritz E Simandjuntak, Vice President of the Indonesian Marketing Association and Head of External Relations of the Rajawali Group, who spoke on revitalising Indonesian sport through Sponsorship and Corporate Social responsibility (pdf).

And two excellent Indonesian case studies on the progressive social role of sports were presented to an international audience for the first time:

Said Fauzan Baabud, UNDP Livelihoods Program Officer in Indonesia’s tsunami-disaster struck province of Aceh whose Case Study, Team spirit: partnerships restore community sports in Aceh (pdf), focused on sports and youth empowerment as a crucial element in post-disaster rehabilitation work and Anton Inbenai, Dept of Sport and Youth, Jayapura City, and Henk Rumbewas, international representative for KONI Indonesian National Sports Committee (Papua) who discussed the Persipura Football Club’s role in HIV/AIDS and safe-sex awareness campaigns in their Case Study, Football and the Persipura HIV/AIDS Ambassadors in Papua (pdf)

The seminar was chaired by Mr Gold, who also presented on 'five secrets' behind the marketing success of the English Premier League in Asia.