Team Singapore – Part of a connected Singapore

A 24-hour coverage of the London 2012 Olympic Games was made possible through the collaboration between SingTel’s MIO TV and Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN) STAR Sports. Never before have Singaporeans enjoyed the full access to the Olympic Games.

Mr Manu Sawhney, the Managing Director of ESPN Star Sports revealed that key events will be in high-definition (HD) and it may even be possible to have some of them shot in 3-dimension (3D) in the future. “Singaporeans are not just watching local sports but the best sports.”

As the largest pay TV platform across the region, they have managed to secure the broadcasting rights to the London 2012 Olympic Games so Singaporeans can tune in to any of the 302 events in 26 sports with 10,000 athletes from 200 countries. The 13 channels provide 3,200 hours of coverage of the sports events, equivalent to 19 full weeks of entertainment.

SingTel pledges to take local athletes global

Instead of the money that she’s going to receive from SingTel’s new “backing” of the Singapore Olympic team, China-born Tao Li (right), a 22-year-old national swimmer, the first Singaporean swimmer to enter an Olympic final,  is most delighted about how connected she’s going to be in London. “Now that SingTel is supporting us, I can call my mum when I’m overseas. I will also update my Facebook and Twitter.”

She was 1 of 2 local athletes at the press conference at Toa Payoh Swimming Complex, where Mr Allen Lew, CEO of SingTel Singapore, proudly revealed the company’s 5-year partnership with the SNOC on Mar 23.

Although Mr Lew declined to disclose even a ballpark figure of the cash sponsorship, he hoped to “take their support for Singapore’s athletes to a whole new level”.

Why support these athletes?

Mr Lew told UrbanWire why SingTel decided to give so much support to these selected athletes, “For iconic events like the Olympics we want to try to find a way to help local athletes become world class just like how SingTel went from a local company to a global company. We believe that a lot of these local athletes need support and funding in order to get to world-class status. So certainly our initiative here is to help local athletes achieve world recognition by allowing them to focus on the training, by allowing them to focus what they do best so that on a world stage like the Olympics, they can do Singapore proud.”

Mr Chris Chan, Secretary General of the SNOC, has absolute faith working with SingTel. “Companies like SingTel are well-positioned to create engaging activities and generate excitement around sports and our sporting achievements which in turn, create an eco-system that is important for the growth and development of our athletes.”

Their heartfelt thanks



Photos courtesy of Nicolette Wong.

21-year-old Jasmine Ser (left), Singapore’s top female (air rifle) shooter, was grateful for the helping hand given by SingTel, “I am glad to have SingTel supporting us, more sponsorship means more training opportunities so we can benefit from the experience.”

She is also not too worried about the thousands of pairs of additional eyes that will be following them around throughout the London 2012 Olympic Games. In fact, she rather enjoys increased exposure to the public. “It is heartwarming to know that there are people behind us. Pressure is good to a certain extent. More people watching will not mean more pressure, just more support.”

SingTel goes all out to maximise support

Mr Lew also drew the attention of the crowd to the eventual placement of an iconic symbol in the centre of town just 100 days before the commencement of the Olympic Games that will be open to the eyes of the public to “enable every member of the public to show their support for the athletes”.

Furthermore, SingTel will be announcing a range of activities that Singaporeans can take part in to join the ranks of supporters behind the backs of the nation’s athletes. More details will be released on a later date.

The communications company’s participation does not stop just yet. They hope to achieve much more with the SNOC in their partnership for the next 5 years, hopefully helping different teams of 5 to 6 athletes every year attain global recognition.