Suzara: Sports can still be profitable despite COVID-19
MANILA, Philippines — Rather than sulk in defeat due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) onslaught, sports can still find profitability even in dire situations.
Ramon “Tats” Suzara, one of the architects behind the country’s hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games last year, said revenue streams could be created in closed-door competitions despite sacrificing the potential profit of ticket sales from fans and spectators.
“In the near future, as we slowly restart everything, one possibility for sports is to review the holding of competitions behind closed doors,” said Suzara, chief operating officer of the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee.
“For sure, we will lose revenue from in-venue spectators, but it could present us with more opportunities for broadcast, for sport presentation and for fan engagement through social media platforms,” added Suzara.
Sports leagues in the Philippines have taken a beating in their finances after they were forced to temporarily close shop due to the ongoing quarantine measures imposed by the government.
“Admittedly, and just like all other sectors and industries, sports is suffering huge revenue losses. The respective sports calendars for 2020 has been a subject to a lot of postponement and cancellations,” said Suzara.
A cloud of uncertainty hovers over the timetable of the Philippine Basketball Association and the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League together with volleyball’s Philippine Super Liga and Premier Volleyball League as to when they can swing back into action.
“This is also a good time to boost initiatives for Esports, to hold gaming events with remote competitors, while ensuring the integrity of the games against issues such as hacking, data privacy and other forms of cyber risk,” said Suzara.
For now, there are sports that can pass the physical and social distancing guidelines such as golf, bowling, archery, cycling, weightlifting, shooting, tennis, running and table tennis, among others as endorsed by the Philippine Sports Commission, the government arm in sports.
“Sports events and competitions will always generally tend to look after the health and well-being of all stakeholders, especially the athletes and spectators,” said Suzara, who helped raise the popularity of volleyball in the country through the PSL.
“They also have to strictly follow state or government orders related to ceasing all public gatherings and to simply stay at home,” added Suzara.
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