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The business of sports

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Passion is the underlying ingredient when hiring the right staff to work in the sports industry, says Kunihito Morimura, president and CEO of Dentsu Sports Asia.

“Eating, breathing and sleeping” sports is definitely not a prerequisite when working in the sports industry, but it sure does play a part.

At Dentsu Sports Asia (DSA), we help various brands leverage the power of sport to enhance their business objectives. On occasion, we encounter clients who are unfamiliar with this process and are looking to be steered in the right direction.

More often than not, brands are always looking for the emotional connection between their product and the sport. We find it extremely important to train and develop staff to marry their passion for sports with a business mindset. This will, in turn, lead to the ability to carefully craft out the thought process behind a brand’s decision to engage in a sporting campaign.

Whether it’s sponsoring a sporting event or having a celebrity athlete endorse a particular brand, clients feel at ease when key messages are delivered by passionate members of a team who know the ins and outs of the sports business.

Sustaining the passion

It was a no-brainer for us to implement the flexi-hours programme for the World Cup campaign, especially after subscribing to the channels. Having come up with an intricate office-wide competition, which involved every staff member picking four teams to back for the tournament, we fuelled fierce, but healthy rivalries that kept all of us tallying points religiously.

Passionate writers and graphic artists conjured up witty match reports on employees’ exploits after each match day, as everyone vied for the top prize of a fancy dinner at the end of the campaign.

But it shouldn’t take a global sporting spectacle that happens once every four years to stoke the flames of passion within your staff. We make it a point to organise sporting activities regularly to forge a stronger unit within the company and to break the routine of being greeted by your desk and computer every day.

Backing your team

Japan is not the first name that comes to mind when you think of a football team destined for World Cup glory. But being Japanese myself, there’s no greater feeling than backing your own country in football’s biggest competition.

We held various viewing parties in the office and it wasn’t just me who was directly involved in this year’s edition … my Dutch, American, Spanish and South American colleagues were all soaking it in as well.

It’s always a joy to have a diverse range of nationalities add to the local talent pool in the company. It’s also important to provide your employees with the platform to grow into his or her role, to give the person the right ingredients to hone their skills.

Ultimately it’s passionate and driven staff who have played a vital role, and continue to play a role in DSA’s growth over the past four years as we continue to bring forth our expertise in the business of sports to the region and beyond.

Image: Shutterstock

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