Two-day conference to welcome global sports leaders and more than 300 delegates
Awards Gala to celebrate best-of-the-best in Asia’s sports industry

The Top 10 Thai finalists in four award categories have been announced by SPIA Asia Asia’s Sports Industry Awards & Conference 2018 organisers, MMC Sportz, along with the Best Sports Marketing Agency of the Year and three public voting categories (Best Live Experience at a Sporting Event, Best Sportswear Brand of the Year, Best eSports Event of the Year), following rigorous judging by a panel of regional sports industry experts. SPIA Asia will take place on 19 & 20 November at Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld and Gold, Silver and Bronze winners will be presented at the Awards Gala, attended by more than 400 industry leaders from Asia and beyond, on the evening of the 20th.

In the Best Sports Event Venue or Facility in Thailand, Black Mountain Golf Club returns to defend its Gold in 2017 but will be up against some tough competition in Thanyapura Health & Sports Resort, True Arena Hua Hin and Chang International Circuit Buriram – host of the recent Thailand MotoGP – among others. Best Mass Participant Event in Thailand shines the light on Thailand’s top mass participation running and cycling events with Bangkok Bank Cyclefest, Amazing Thailand Marathon Bangkok 2018, Buriram Marathon 2018 and Laguna Phuket Marathon just some of the top events to look out for.

Youth sports is recognised with the Best Youth Sports Development Programme in Thailand award and the likes of the Thailand Junior Golf Federation, FC Bayern Youth Cup, Topflights Basketball Academy and Sansiri Academy are among those shortlisted, while in the Best Sponsorship category, leading Thai brands are staking their claim in the form of Honda for their sponsorship of the Honda LPGA Thailand, PTT Group and its sponsorship of the Thailand MotoGP, Toyota for its sponsorship of the 34th Thailand National Youth Games as well as leading brands such as Coca Cola, Singha, Chang, Probike and F.B.T.

Winners SPIA Asia 2017

“The level of Thai sports businesses and brands continues to grow with many world-class and with an international presence. The shortlisting process has been very rigorous with the final round of judging taking place on 19th November. All winners will then be announced at the Awards Gala on 20th November and beamed lived to millions of viewers on our Twitter live feed,” commented Eric M. Gottschalk, CEO of MMC Sportz, organiser of SPIA Asia – Asia’s Sports Industry Awards & Conference.

The full list of Thai and Asia finalists across 20 categories can be viewed at http://spiaasia.com/finalists/

Taking place 19 & 20 November, prior to the Awards Gala, is the sports conference “The Business of Sports – Asia’s Sports Industry in the Fast Lane IV” which includes an impressive roster of more than 50 international speakers, underscoring the importance of SPIA Asia as the must-attend event for the region’s sports industry.

Football will take centre stage with a first-ever LaLiga partnership as well as attendance by LaLiga global brand ambassador, Robert Pires (ex Arsenal and Aston Villa), and football legends Klaus Augenthaler (FC Bayern) and Karl-Heinz Riedle (Borussia Dortmund). Speakers from the Asian Football Confederation, LaLiga, FC Bayern and the Thai League will explore everything from regional grassroots to the growth of professional leagues in Thailand, the UAE and throughout Asia, as well as a special LaLiga panel with four of its top clubs in attendance.

With technology and innovation at the heart of sports today, eSports is explored in depth at this year’s conference with AirAsia taking the lead in a keynote and Esports Insider leading a panel with key industry experts. Trends of Blockchain, innovation at big sports events, smart stadiums, the role of virtual advertising in sports are also discussed while Twitter, LinkedIn and Visa will share insights on social media’s move into sports broadcast with specific reference to the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia and the 2019 Winter Olympics.

Case studies will include the upcoming 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan and how it can support growth of the sport in Asia, the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines, as well as a look at the success of 101 Years of Giro D’Italia and Thailand’s inaugural MotoGP.

A spotlight will be shone on diversity and inclusion in sports, with a numerical look at women in sports as well as a panel discussion about authenticity and empowerment through sport.

The full conference programme can be seen at http://spiaasia.com/conference and delegate passes are available at http://spiaasia.com/conference/#register. There will be live English to Thai translations throughout.

“The SPIA Asia 2018 conference programme is set to be the best yet, with industry experts and stakeholders from all over the world taking part. Our speakers and panelists are world-class and they will be sharing their insight on the hot topics for Asia’s sports industry today,” added Gottschalk.

“A number of new additions to the event this year, such as the “Careers in Sports” workshop, “Walk of Fame” and our goal to leave a lasting legacy in Thailand through raising funds from the charity auction, adds a new dimension to SPIA Asia 2018.”

In addition to the comprehensive key notes, speakers and panel discussions, for the first time this year there will be a Careers In Sports workshop on the morning of Day 1, where international speakers will give advice and tips to people looking for a career in the sports industry. Other new additions to SPIA Asia 2018 include a delegate football competition, morning power workout, increased networking opportunities and a Walk of Fame which will see some of the top sporting trophies from sports such as boxing, golf, football and more on display.

As part of its ongoing legacy, SPIA Asia will be again be supporting the AFC Dream Asia Foundation, raising funds through a charity auction held during the Awards Gala with items to bid on including signed football shirts from superstars such as Messi and Maradona, memorabilia from Michael Jordan and the Ali-Frazier “Thriller in Manila”, as well as many holiday packages. The major auction item will be a collection of signed football jerseys from Bundesliga, LaLiga and Premier league Clubs as a single lot. All proceeds from the auction will go to a cause in Thailand nominated by the AFC Foundation.

Tickets are available for the Awards Gala at  http://spiaasia.com/conference/#register.