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Delivering exciting and interactive sports experiences through Blended

Speech by Mr Alvin Tan, Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth & Trade and Industry, at the Official Launch of Blended

Distinguished guests,
Grant recipients of Blended,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. Good afternoon! Thank you for having me here today at the official launch of Blended!

    Introduction

  2. Let me start with a word that encapsulates what we are launching today - “phygital”. It was coined in 2013 to describe the blending of the physical and digital worlds. Seven years later, this word has become even more relevant with COVID-19.
  3. When COVID-19 hit, we were forced to change the way we live, work and play. Physical, large-scale mass participation and spectator events were put to a halt, and our events sports industry players had to rethink their business models.
  4. Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft Corporation said that “we’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months” amidst this unprecedented crisis.

    The Government is committed to supporting our sports industry

  5. Blended is a grant that helps the sports events companies and organisers to transition to events that blend the physical and digital participation. It is an initiative under the Sports Resilience Package (SRP) rolled out by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, as announced by Minister Edwin Tong a couple of weeks ago. SRP aims to support the sports sector to tide over the effects of the pandemic.
  6. Our Government has set aside an additional five million to support the expanded Blended initiative under the recently announced SRP to also include Private Academies and Clubs, in addition to event organisers and event management companies. Through this expanded Blended initiative, SportSG aims to support 100 projects in the next six months, reaching out to 450,000 participants.

    We recognise and commend the resilience of our sports sector

  7. Allow me to share more about two projects that are supported through the Blended grant. They illustrate the potential of Blended and the resilience of the sports sector, where companies adapt and transform amidst this pandemic to facilitate “phygital” participation.
  8. MetaSport1 launched Race As One Singapore 2020. It adopts a blended model where runners can run at their preferred timeslots on the designated route while using the Run as One app. The race app also has an audio and video guide for participants throughout the race.
  9. Similarly, District Technologies2 uses technology to their advantage by gamifying the District Race through thematic routes to motivate participants. Runners can also use augmented reality (AR) face filters and collect virtual medals when completing a checkpoint.
  10. Businesses like MetaSport and District Technologies exemplify the spirit of innovation in our sports scene.

    Digital transformation holds the key to the future of our sports industry

  11. Technology has unlocked new opportunities for the sports industry to redefine the future of sports.
  12. In the Global Sport Innovation Centre Report, digital transformation was ranked as the first key driver of growth for the sports industry. This is even more acute now with the pandemic.
  13. Hence, every grant recipient here today, and also future grant recipients hold an important stake in building our shared vision of an innovative sports industry.
  14. Please connect with SportSG to explore how you can use technology to create engaging and innovative sporting experiences for participants.

    Conclusion

  15. In closing, I would like to thank SportSG for bringing together organisations and individuals who are committed to digital transformation and adapting to the new normal.
  16. As we strive towards “phygital” business models and blending new virtual modes to our existing operations, we will emerge stronger from this pandemic.
  17. As we launch Blended, I’m hopeful that the sports events industry will build their capabilities and embrace a blended way of working in this new normal.
  18. Thank you.

 

1 MetaSport is a sport management company in Asia with its head office based in Singapore. $50,000 grant was awarded to MetaSport and a target of 7,000 participants was set.

2 District Technologies is a Singapore based technology firm, engaged in the creation of innovative health and fitness virtual event platforms. $50,000 grant was awarded to District Technologies and a target of 7,000 participants was set.

 

Last updated on 27 October 2020