The Monsoon Cup is a fantastic example of how the sport of sailing can be innovated to provide both entertainment and commercial value to stakeholders. The purpose built infrastructure and grandstand-like viewing arrangements, combined with state of the art media and communications technology, makes the Malaysian match racing event different to most sailing regattas around the world.
The success of the Monsoon Cup was one of the catalysts for the same management team to take ownership of the World Match Racing Tour. Already, the new organisers have brought some of the best practise from the Monsoon Cup to other events, including live streaming television coverage with ‘on-boat’ footage and live commentary.
The confidence that the new owners have in the value of the World Match Racing Tour may be partly based on a series of studies that analyse the economic return of the finale of the World Match Racing Tour.
Three extensive, independent audits were carried out by Brand Advantage, Boulder Creek International and MSC Technology Centre to evaluate the benefits has brought to Malaysia. The reports show that the event achieved 97.5% of it’s Key Performance Indicators (KPI), or return on objectives (ROO).
The most obvious benefit has been to put the town of Terengganu on the map. Overshadowed by more glamorous and well known tourism destinations in the region, The Monsoon Cup has use sport to drive revenue in the local economy. The audits estimate visitor expenditure attributable to the Monsoon Cup at RM 7,083,992 (USD $2.1 Million).
As always, the media value figures need to be considered with some caution. Organisers are still talking about a television reach of ‘1.63 billion potential households,’ which is almost meaningless.
In a statement issued yesterday, event organisers claim that the event media and brand value to Malaysia was valued at RM 538,833,381 (USD $165 million).
This figure incorporates a print media value of RM 24,367,767 (USD $7.5 Million) and an international broadcast media value of a RM 270,658, 458 (USD $83 Million). Value of online media is not mentioned.
While big numbers might sound good in the ‘cut-and-paste’ sailing press, they highlight inconsistencies in reporting that make it hard to compare like with like in the sport, or against other sporting and sponsorship opportunities. If the numbers are correct, then sponsors should be falling over themselves to benefit from such stunning results.
Rather than focus on the outmoded models for measuring media value, the success of events like the Monsoon Cup should be judged on the long term legacy benefits to the regional and national economy. The value of building the sport in a new market, attracting new competitors and positioning Malaysia as venue for top class sporting events is even harder to measure, but is ultimately worth more.
Dato’ Ahmad Shabery Cheek, Youth and Sports Minister to Malaysia, is delighted with the results as his ministry has been involved in the success of the WMRT event, working hand-in-hand with the local event organiser.
“I would like to thank the Monsoon Cup organization Team for a job well done. Hopefully the KPI achievements will be even better for this year”.
The former Prime Minster of Malaysia, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who was a key figure in promoting the Monsoon Cup, commented on the importance of this event in bringing Malaysia to the World:
“The success of the Monsoon Cup has benefited Malaysia as more people now know the beauty of this region and the hospitality we offer”.