Halfway to S'pore 7s crowd target

From left: SRU marketing commission chairman Jonathan Leow; Rugby Singapore executive chairman and MD David Lim; Headhunter Sport CEO Yusuf Flynn.
From left: SRU marketing commission chairman Jonathan Leow; Rugby Singapore executive chairman and MD David Lim; Headhunter Sport CEO Yusuf Flynn.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

With just over a month before Singapore welcomes the world's best rugby sevens players, the numbers are already looking good for Singapore Rugby Union (SRU) president Terence Khoo.

He said yesterday that 15,000 two-day passes have been sold for the HSBC Singapore Sevens, which would mean 30,000 attendees assuming ticket holders turn up for both days of the April 28-29 tournament at the National Stadium.

This is the third of fourth editions under the current contract and organiser Rugby Singapore hopes to draw 60,000 spectators. In 2016, the tally was 52,000 and last year was 34,000.

"We're tracking well, with better figures than in the last two editions at this point," said Khoo as Headhunter Sport was unveiled as SRU's official apparel partner. "A lot of our marketing programmes are starting to bear fruit. We're halfway to our target, and we remain upbeat about the attendance.

The Brunei-based brand will kit out all Singapore's national teams and local referees as well as supply official apparel merchandise and fan wear at the Singapore Sevens.

"Generally in Singapore, a bigger proportion of take-up (of event tickets) happens in the final 30 days," said David Lim, Rugby Singapore executive chairman and managing director.

"We're putting together an event that will be family-centric.

"The entire 100 Plus promenade (encircling the National Stadium) will be our fun zone, with Transformers and My Little Pony activity centres; we have world culture zones as well as a wide variety of food and beverage options."

Khoo believes that the focus on creating value for fans and their families will be key to attracting the crowds, and help support Singapore's bid to retain the event after next year.

He said: "World Rugby wants to know that we can fill the stadium, put on a great exhibition of rugby, with teams also coming away with a good experience.

"It's important for us to demonstrate what Singapore Inc can deliver and I'm confident we can."

The Singapore Sevens is the eighth stop of the 10-leg World Rugby Sevens Series. It will feature 16 elite teams, including defending champions Canada, Olympic gold medallists Fiji, Series champions South Africa and powerhouses New Zealand.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 28, 2018, with the headline 'Halfway to S'pore 7s crowd target'. Print Edition | Subscribe