by Khushil Vaswani
December 14th, 2015

After more than two decades, the 28th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games finally made its way back to Singapore this year, and more significantly, during the country’s Golden Jubilee. As a key milestone in Singapore’s 50th Anniversary celebrations, it was highly anticipated from both the region and the nation, making it the sporting event of the year. More than 7,000 athletes and officials contributed their talents and efforts, further attesting to the scale of the event.

Singapore SEA Games Organising Committee Action Images via Reuters

To then organise a celebration befitting of the occasion, the Singapore SEA Games Organising Committee (SINGSOC) teamed up with Weber Shandwick Singapore. The challenge was simply to create an ownership of the Games to evoke national pride, and bring the community and its fans from Southeast Asia closer through sports.

Singapore SEA Games Organising Committee Action Images via Reuters

To win the hearts of the community, Weber Shandwick focused on a strategy that revolved around storytelling –  from the perspective of Singapore as hosts, and as a competing nation, covering stories from athletes, community engagement and sports profiling.

A full suite of digital experiences were launched to reach fans beyond venue constraints and geographic boundaries, making it a truly online Games for all.

Beyond this, we also hinged the publicity plan on several milestone events such as:

  • Paint the Town Red – Community spaces in the heartland were decked out in red, including buses and lamp posts wearing the colour
  • Torch Up! – An amalgamation of art, community and lifestyle initiatives, welcoming students and art communities to create unique art pieces that resonated with the Games
  • Make-a-Nila – Thousands of Singapore residents got together to hand sew and recreate Nila, the SEA Games mascot which were later given to medalists

Singapore SEA Games Organising Committee Action Images via Reuters

The SEA Games was seen as a shining star in this year’s calendar, and the campaign garnered media coverage of close to $80 million (generating an ROI multiplier of x500).  News of the Games were featured across all local, online and regional media, from 12 months prior to during and post-Games.  The campaign also drove attendance with over 1.3 million people attending the Games and its supporting activities. The SEA-Games Youtube Channel on the other hand garnered over 61 million views – more than the number recorded during the London Olympics.

All images credited to Action Images via Reuters.

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