Telling business stories through sport

February 13, 2024 | 23:07
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Many businesses are choosing to invest in sports activities as the fastest way to share and spread their goals to those who share the same values.

The Vietnam Trail Marathon, a charity race organised by the Topas Vietnam Trail Series, was held in Moc Chau at the end of January.

Telling business stories through sport

Founded in 2019, this marathon has become established as one of the biggest races on the Southeast Asian trail circuit. The opportunity to run on remote trails through blossom-filled orchards and between timeless minority villages set in beautiful landscapes have become the most attractive factors that helped it attract the participation of more than 4,000 athletes from about 40 countries.

A portion of the race's revenue was donated to Topas's Vietnam Trail Series charity fund with a total value of nearly $445,000. This money will be used to support poor households and children in difficult circumstances in Moc Chau, and support two general hospitals here to improve medical examination and treatment capacity.

Telling business stories through sport

Companies are much more keen these days to put their name to sporting events such as these, as seriousness and steadfastness with precise goals are also necessary factors to create a successful business strategy.

In the insurance sector, companies like Sun Life have chosen basketball to convey a message of fostering healthy habits and promoting an active lifestyle to enhance physical fitness from a young age. Sun Life Vietnam has donated nearly 450 basketball hoops and over 2,200 basketballs to 255 schools across the country.

"We aspire to inspire a healthy and dynamic lifestyle for Vietnamese youth, cultivating both physical and mental wellbeing. Simultaneously, we seek to instil confidence, determination, and teamwork spirit in children from an early age," said Matthew Mohr, CFO at Sun Life Vietnam. "Our involvement in basketball activities is not merely an act for the community; it is a strong commitment to a better future."

On average each year, Vietnam organises about 40,000 sports tournaments from professional to amateur at all levels, including about 50 marathons and half-marathons, according to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Dang Ha Viet, chairman of the Vietnam Sports Administration, said that the Vietnamese sports economic market is worth about $300 million and is a business with a lot of room for development. "Football tournaments, long-distance swimming, and triathlons, for example, often attract many participants, creating great economic value," he said.

Viet commented that this new type of economy also stimulates the development of accompanying supporting industries such as tourism, agriculture, industry, transportation, healthcare, and education, and is also an opportunity for organisations to sponsor business promotion and share more responsibility with the community.

Saigon Beer-Alcohol-Beverage Corporation (SABECO) is one of the businesses that actively supports and invests in the development of Vietnamese sports. Through its brand Bia Saigon, the brewer has announced the handover of a support of over $200,000 to the Vietnam Department of Physical Education and Sports. The grant has been used to provide direct monthly support to talented athletes from the national team, athletes participating in international competitions, and additional equipment for the two sports of archery and badminton.

The Fostering Sports project is run in cooperation with the Ho Chi Minh City Central Youth Union. By the end of this year, the project has committed to support the upgrade of 30 community sports schools in 30 localities nationally to encourage young people to exercise more.

SABECO also accompanied the Vietnamese sports delegation at SEA Games 32, awarding more than $120,000 to athletes who won gold medals.

“Our sustainability is the sustainability of the surrounding community. We not only sell beer but also care about the health of local people. That is why we are committed to investing in community development in the most sustainable way," said Dinh Nguyen Thi Huong, head of corporate communications at the company.

Michele Wee, ceo, Standard Chartered Bank Vietnam

Telling business stories through sport

In both marathons and the business world, there is a strategic approach to success. From starting a race or a project to completion, the attributes required are consistent effort, determined focus, and adaptive resilience as well as performance driving success. The similarities between sport and business is that sport develops skills, exposes character, and requires certain personality traits; business is no different, therefore the two spheres share much in common. Success in both sport and business is the result of great performance.

We continuously strive to ensure equality and invest in the wellbeing of our workforce that enable to balance promotes a healthier and more sustainable approach to success.

Our Standard Chartered Bank Marathon has been held for over 10 years in other markets. This is the 10th country that is hosting the event. We have vast experience and will look to incorporate the best ideas into the Heritage Race to enable a unique and wonderful running experience. We want everyone to come and experience health, culture, sustainability, and most importantly, social civility at our race.

Leveraging the expertise from our Standard Chartered Marathon franchise, we aim to bring the best of traditions and modern race technology to elevate the experience for all. The Standard Chartered Hanoi Marathon Heritage Race will be for everyone – bringing people from all walks of life together to stay active and lead a healthy lifestyle, while binding our community through the shared values of resilience and determination.

There are a few things that differentiate the race from the others in Vietnam. First, through its name, we focus on cultural features of the race, from the route running through the city’s most famous heritages to side events. Secondly, our race goes through 80 streets in Hanoi’s old town and runners have the chance to experience Hanoi and its beauties. Thirdly, our race is an international race as it attracts a large number of international runners.

With all these attributes, the marathon spirit has accelerated in the last three years in Vietnam. We are proud to be able to cater to the growing demands of the community and deliver a different experience.

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By Thai An

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