Rajah and Tann Winning into SEA Games 2015 and APG 2015
This article was first published before the 8th ASEAN Para Games, in “Entrepreneurs’ Digest”, a magazine by the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (ASME).
Team Singapore athletes had an extraordinary run at the 28th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) 2015, winning 84 Gold, 73 Silver and 102 Bronze medals, the highest number of medals for Singapore ever since the games started in 1959. A SEA Games sponsor, Rajah & Tann Asia celebrated an equally successful establishment with the opening of their 9th office in the Southeast Asian region.
We hear from Mr Lau Kok Keng, Head of Intellectual Property, Sports and Gaming at Rajah & Tann, on what made him decide to sponsor the multi-sport event. “SEA Games 2015 was a major event hosted by Singapore for the first time in 22 years and it was also taking place in the 50th year of Singapore’s independence. Our SEA Games sponsorship was our small way of contributing to a milestone event in our nation’s history. Added to these factors, Rajah & Tann Singapore is a home-grown firm with the most extensive network of law firms in Southeast Asia, and when we decided to rebrand our network as Rajah & Tann Asia towards the later part of 2014, the SEA Games provided us with the perfect platform to activate our regional branding. The similarities and synergistic fit between Rajah & Tann Asia and the 2015 SEA Games hosted in Singapore were uncanny yet obvious,” said Mr Lau.
Sponsorship Reaps Greater Rewards
In fact, Rajah & Tann has been including sports sponsorship in their marketing mix even before the SEA Games, having sponsored (in one form or other) sporting events such as the SGX Bull Run, the M1 Corporate Netball Challenge and the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore.
Sponsorship as a marketing tool has been gaining more and more attention and interest in the modern marketing landscape. It complements all forms of marketing platforms and channels, and often drives the marketing campaign as we see in examples of how brands align their marketing and branding positions with the sponsorship of sports teams, sports events etc.
Indeed, with Rajah & Tann’s sponsorship, we can see that sponsorship provides a stronger and more continuing platform for companies to engage customers compared to an advertising campaign. Mainstream media, Straits Times and Today, online and offline talked about Rajah & Tann’s SEA Games sponsorship, on top of television coverage on Channel NewsAsia.
At the 28th SEA Games 2015, Rajah & Tann conducted legal clinics and evaluation workshops that serves as an excellent opportunity for them to showcase their legal services. Additionally, their sponsorship also enabled them to host and engage their clients to the Opening and Closing Ceremonies at a hospitality suite in the National Stadium.
Besides engaging external stakeholders, Rajah & Tann also benefited their internal stakeholders as their staff were given the opportunity to catch the various sporting events during the Games as part of the sponsor’s benefits - “There was a clamour for tickets to watch the more popular sports, so we ran internal contests where tickets were distributed to some of our lucky staff members and lawyers,” said Mr Lau. “We also gathered about 50 people for a shoot of our Countdown video which was posted on the official SEA Games website 9 days before the Opening of the Games, and everyone was looking forward to seeing themselves on the internet!” said Mr Lau.
The benefits that Rajah & Tann reaped out of their SEA Games sponsorship were aplenty. As what Mr Lau aptly summed up his sponsorship experience, “The 28th SEA Games gave us a good, practical insight into the hosting of a major multi-sports event, and enabled our younger lawyers to acquire invaluable experience in various aspects of a sports law practice, including being involved in on-site operations and briefings, and experiencing up close, how the law is applied in the sporting arena.”
Progressing into the 8th ASEAN Para Games 2015
In December 2015, Singapore also hosted the 8th ASEAN Para Games, the biggest ASEAN Para Games with the most number of sports in the Games history with an aim to promote, develop, rehabilitate and integrate persons with disabilities into mainstream society through sport.
With the numerous advantages that came with their SEA Games sponsorship, it was natural for Rajah & Tann to continue to sponsor the upcoming APG.
Mr Lau also noted a like-mindedness in the entire meaning behind the movement of the Games, saying, “If the SEA Games celebrated the extraordinary, then the ASEAN Para Games is about the extraordinary, being a platform for the rehabilitation and integration of persons with disabilities into mainstream society through sport.”
Continuing to Care
Already, Rajah & Tann regularly contributes to various community causes such as their commitments to the Community Foundation of Singapore. Rajah & Tann hopes that their association with ASEAN Para Games will allow them to continue with their corporate social responsibility efforts to benefit the disability sports fraternity.
“Through our Rajah & Tann Foundation, we hope to support pilot projects in line with our objectives in offering assistance to disadvantaged groups and individuals in our community, with the aim of eventually reaching out to the rest of Asia through our respective regional offices,” said Mr Lau.