Mr Neil Fiorentinos, Managing Director of BMW Group Asia;
Friends of the media;
Ladies and gentlemen;
A very good morning.
Thank you all for joining us today, as we unveil yet another key milestone in the second edition of the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore.
2 It has been less than two months since we launched registration for the SCMS - and the response from the people of Singapore has been overwhelming. Some 80% of our 70,000 race slots have been snapped up. The 5km Fun Run, 10km and the Ekiden race categories sold out within the first two weeks of the launch.
3 The SCMS is one of the most inclusive races in the world - and a strong indicator of Singapore's rising participation in sports. When I look at the sporting community in Singapore today, I see more than people participating in sport.
4 I see bona fide sports consumers - people who are passionately engaged in sports - as players, volunteers, and spectators. I see people consuming sports for leisure, for health, for business and to challenge themselves. Singaporeans no longer just play sports. We debate and argue and champion sports. And we brag because increasingly we feel we have something to brag about - in our own sporting achievements and in those of our school teams, our community leagues and our national athletes. No matter how you 'play' it, we are buyers of sports.
5 Our increasing consumption of sport at all levels, and the SCMS in particular, has not gone unnoticed by Corporate Singapore. I am pleased to announce today that one of the world's premier automobile makers, BMW, is joining the SCMS Family as the Official Car Sponsor. BMW is world-renowned for its design engineering, innovation and commitment to service excellence - values shared by both the Singapore Sports Council and the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore.
6 In sponsoring the SCMS, BMW is confirming its confidence in sport as a powerful marketing partner. People who play sport care about originality, quality and efficiency. For companies with the positive brand values of BMW, sport is a winner - by any definition.
7 People live better, healthier lives through sport. Our communities are stronger and more united through sport. And our national spirit thrives on the medals and matches we win, on the events we host and on the accolades we share as a global sporting nation.
8 A few weeks ago, we embarked on a journey called Vision 2030. We are creating a new master plan for sport for the next 20 years. We have called for ideas, recommendations and opinion from, not simply our sporting community but from people from all walks of life. Every day we receive impassioned commentary from Singaporeans who have something meaningful to say about our shared future in sport.
9 Corporate Singapore is also onboard the V2030 journey. Indeed, sponsors and investors will continue to play a tremendous role in the development of sport in our country. Corporate investors provide invaluable support for our sporting events: BMW, for example, is contributing not just to the SCMS but to Singapore overall as a dynamic place to live, work and play. Corporate sponsors help create jobs and career pathways; they develop capabilities in human capital; and they invest in fixed assets and businesses that add ongoing value to our economy.
10 With Vision 2030, we seek to create a better future for Singaporeans through sport. You can see this philosophy in action as we continue to refine the SCMS. New pre-race initiatives such as the running clinics and pacers' programme will help runners achieve their goals on race day.
11 Together with the SCMS team, BMW has developed a wide range of exciting plans, which are aimed to further engage people and grow the joy of running within the community.
12 Thank you, BMW, for partnering with us and investing in this vision. We look forward to growing this relationship further, as we gear up for 4 December. Welcome to the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore family.