Interview with Claude Ringuet Managing Director of Repucom - Asia
TSL speaks to Claude Ringuet, Managing Director of Repucom (Asia), a sports and entertainment market research and intelligence company on his views of the sporting landscape and how Corporate Singapore has evolved over the last few years
TSL: Tell us a little bit about yourself – we understand you were previously involved in sports…. do you still exercise?
I was involved in rugby in Australia for some time. I am still connected to the rugby community in Singapore as the President of one of the largest rugby clubs, Bucks RFC. Given my past injuries, I try to stay healthy and manage the aches and pains!
TSL: Are you a fan of Team Singapore?
I’m an ardent fan of Team Singapore. Having lived in Singapore for nearly 15 years and being a Permanent Resident, I have great love and affection for Singapore. Singapore is my home and I am very proud to state that. I follow many sports and in particular do have a bias for what the Singapore rugby teams are doing.
TSL: How different is the sporting culture in Australia, compared to Singapore?
Australia has a very strong and enduring sporting cultural identity. This is not as strong in Singapore. However, this is changing. It has been clear to see the growing focus on sport in Singapore during my time here - with the development of the Sports Hub as well as the focus on community-based activities. Improvement in the attitude towards sport in a number of schools has also been apparent. Australia has long held a very balanced view between academic performance and extracurricular activities for youth which has led to a strong sporting mind-set.
TSL: What is your current job role?
I am the Managing Director for South East Asia and Greater China for Repucom. We support sport and entertainment stakeholders and help them to maximise their commercial success through provision of world-class business advisory services, market research and intelligence.
TSL: How has corporate Singapore reacted to the growth of the power of sports in Singapore?
Corporate Singapore has started to appreciate the value of sport in assisting them to drive awareness of their products and services. Sport is uniquely positioned to support corporate objectives due to the high level of fan engagement. Many of the largest corporates in Singapore are now investing in sport directly via sponsorships and athlete internship programmes; as well as in staff wellbeing with health and fitness support via gym memberships, boot camps and other sporting activities. Health and wellbeing are very topical issues in corporate Singapore today.
TSL: Arguably, with the SEA Games and the ASEAN Para Games, this has been the busiest sporting year for Singapore in recent memory – did you manage to attend any events, and what did you feel was the impact of the games on Corporate Singapore? The wider community?
Yes, I attended a number of events for both the SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games. It was a great opportunity to watch elite athletes strive for glory whilst also participating in the outstanding sense of community that was generated. The pride that Singaporeans displayed during these events was superb and brilliant to be a part of. Those companies that supported these events received very positive feedback for their involvement.
TSL: Are there any organisations or sectors in particular that you feel are “blazing” the way utilising sports as a “vehicle”?
I see a lot of focus from the large local corporates like DBS and NTUC. Many multinationals are also focusing heavily on sports like Standard Chartered Bank, Asics, Samsung, Visa etc. There is a lot of investment from the financial services and FMCG space.
TSL: What steps/things does corporate Singapore need to do to or understand, to take the sporting environment to the next level?
At the moment more work needs to be done to ensure that the right sports platforms are supported to best fit the corporate objectives of the organisation. This requires more priority to be placed on evaluating potential sports investments and then accurately measuring returns. A lot of progress has been made by corporate Singapore in supporting sport and with a little more focus on the right due diligence, sport will move up several notches in Singapore.