Past and present SSC leaders with UO Ducks. (L-R) Mr Richard Seow, Chairman, Singapore Sports Council; Mr Paul Swangard, Managing Director, Warsaw Sports Marketing Centre, University of Oregon; Dr Lau Teng Chuan, former SSC Executive Director (1975 – 1992) and University of Oregon alumnus and CEO, Singapore Sports Council, Mr Lim Teck Yin, at the official signing of the SSC-UO MOU. (Photo courtesy of SSC)
Singapore Indoor Stadium, Thursday, December 15, 2011 — The Singapore Sports Council (SSC) signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Oregon (UO) to give Singaporeans more training opportunities in and exposure to the American sports industry.
UO was where the legendary Bill Bowerman coached track and field. Bowerman was the co-founder of Nike with Phil Knight, a UO alumnus.
The MOU, which was inked between SSC’s chief executive officer, Mr Lim Teck Yin and Mr Paul Swangard, managing director of UO’s Warsaw Sports Marketing Centre, will focus on three main areas of collaboration:
1. Provide Singapore sports leaders with learning opportunities in the “TrackTown USA” sporting culture at the University of Oregon;
2. Connect Singapore students to sports-related education and industry experience in Oregon;
3. Give UO graduate students the opportunity to work with SSC and local industry partners.
This MOU allows both parties to connect Singaporean students with educational and internship opportunities on the UO campus or with industry partners at an undergraduate, graduate or PHD level. The first batch of students from Singapore could head to UO as early as June next year.
Mr Richard Seow, chairman of the SSC, articulated the benefits the MOU will bring to Singapore.
“Building and strengthening the skills in the sports sector will enable a more sustainable and vibrant sports eco-system. We expect that this collaboration with UO will yield results that pave the way for better careers and higher standards of professionalism in Singapore sports,” he said.
“With the construction of the Sports Hub well underway, we need to focus our efforts on developing the capabilities of our leaders in sports business and administration. As our events calendar accelerates with the opening of the Sports Hub, this group of professionals will align business realities and demands with the comprehensive recommendations from the Vision 2030 project,” added Mr Seow.
UO will facilitate engagements between SSC and leading entities within UO, as well as its American partners that deal with sports properties, marketing, products, apparel and the media.
Mr Lim Teck Yin, SSC CEO, said, “The training and development of world-class personnel is going to be important to the evolution of Singapore’s sports scene. UO has a mature sports industry and culture, as evidenced through the extraordinary reach of both the TrackTown USA brand and the Oregon Ducks brand. This partnership will no doubt infuse more energy, efficiency and innovation in the development of our sports industry.”
“As Singapore’s sports industry continues to grow, we need to create a pipeline of trained experts who are able to add value and continue to expand our businesses,” said Mr Lim. “With the Warsaw Sports Marketing Centre at UO running the [USA's] premier sports business programme, and with a highly regarded sports science faculty, UO is a perfect training ground at which to nurture the sports leaders and visionaries of tomorrow.”
Said Mr Paul Swangard: “Sport is in the University of Oregon’s DNA. Our sincere hope is to help accelerate the development of the sport market in Singapore by providing the SSC and its partners with the knowledge capital and human capital it needs to fuel that growth.”
UO will also send a group of three to four students from their graduate programme to Singapore in June 2012 for a 10-week internship. The UO students will collaborate with the SSC in areas such as athlete marketing and spectatorship.