Manila, Philippines – Despite the ongoing pandemic, sports is still making a mainstream comeback, and now more than ever, being amplified across social media platforms such as Twitter. In the Philippines, sports still dominates the online discussions among Filipinos with basketball echoing its popularity on Twitter.

According to the latest statistics released by the platform, discussions about basketball in the Philippines generated over 6.2 million tweets, a jump of 6.90% versus 2020. In particular, most of the basketball-related Tweets were due to the excitement brought by the NBA All-Star and NBA Playoffs in 2021. The hashtag #nbaallstar was also often used, while Lebron James (@kingjames) and Stephen Curry (@stephencurry30) were some of the top players Filipinos Tweeted about in 2021.

Meanwhile, online discussion about the Tokyo 2020 Olympics also prevailed among Filipinos’ sport discussion, with weightlifting athlete Hidilyn Diaz being the first ever Filipino athlete to win gold in the Olympics, and Filipino skater Margielyn Didal who captured people’s hearts with her cheerful nature on and off the skating rink.

There has been a notable uptick in discussion as well in the realm of esports, when Blacklist International, the esports team under Tier One, emerged as champions in the M3 World Grand Finals last December 2021. Other esports discussions include #GenshinImpact being the most-tweeted about hashtag in gaming, while interactive games such as Valorant and Mobile Legends were on the rise as well in 2021.

For Maurizio Barbieri, head of sports and gaming partnerships for SEA and Greater China at Twitter, Twitter and sports will always have a special and tight relationship, adding that as events faced postponements and cancellations last year, sport fans on Twitter kept the passion and fervour alive by cheering, encouraging, and celebrating the wins together wherever they were.

“As competitions resumed this year, the built-up anticipation resulted in a global frenzy that transcended borders, with Twitter connecting the like-minded community to give them front row seats to all the action and a valuable avenue to participate in the excitement,” Barbieri said.

Singapore – As we finally come to the conclusion of 2021, Google has released its newest review of the most-searched terms: from good to bad, that encapsulates what Singaporeans had in mind in terms of the latest trends and happenings for this year.

The Tokyo Olympic 2020 games were the top-search international news among Singaporeans, which also ranked 6th among the trending Google term searches. Meanwhile, the recently-released 2021 Marvel superhero film ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ ranked as top most-searched movies among Singaporeans, as well as 10th in the most-searched terms on Google.

Meanwhile, prevention of COVID-19 is still on top of mind among Singaporeans, ranking 7th in term searches. This is in fact reflected in the reality of Singaporeans rallying together to encourage the community, especially the more vulnerable, to get vaccinated. This includes programs like mobile vaccination clinics in the heartlands to ensure the elderly are protected against the virus.

The pandemic was not the only moment of adversity Singaporeans had shown unity to. These include local tragic events such as the Tanjong Pagar accident (#1 in Singaporean news) and the River Valley high school incident (#2 in Singaporean news). Singaporeans also showed concern towards international events such as the coup d’ etat in Myanmar (#4 in trending international news) and the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan (#3 in trending international news).

In terms of sports, Singaporeans’ love for sports have resonated through the top trending searches. It reflects the ability of sporting events as a platform to boost morales, where people cheered for the same teams and tuned in to major sports events such as UEFA Euro 2021 (#1 Trending Searches, #1 Trending Sports Events) and the English Premier League (#3 Trending Searches, #4 Trending Sports Events).

In addition, Singaporeans showed their support for Olympic swimmer Joseph Schooling’s (#1 Trending Singapore Personalities, #1 Trending Olympic Searches) by following his journey through the Olympics, together with other local athletes like table tennis players, Yu Mengyu (#2 Trending Singapore Personalities, #2 Trending Athletes) and Feng Tianwei (#6 Trending Singapore Personalities, #7 Trending Athletes).

In terms of travel, Singaporeans sought respite on cruises to nowhere with cruise lines like Royal Caribbean (#1 Trending activities and places in Singapore) and Dream Cruise (#3 Trending activities and places in Singapore). Back on land, Museum of Ice Cream (#4 Trending activities and places in Singapore) found its home in Singapore, and instantly became a popular photo spot for locals. Popular mainstays like the Singapore Flyer (#8 Trending activities and places in Singapore) and River Safari (#10 Trending activities and places in Singapore) also saw an uptick in local visitors, as well as checking in for staycations at the newly-opened Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore (#6 Trending activities and places in Singapore).

The full list are as follows:

Trending International News:

  1. 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games
  2. Gamestop
  3. Taliban takeover in Afghanistan
  4. Myanmar coup
  5. Suez Canal
  6. Evergrande
  7. Cristiano Ronaldo
  8. Aryan Khan
  9. Alec Baldwin
  10. Georgia Senate Race

Trending Singapore News:

  1. Tanjong Pagar accident
  2. River Valley high school
  3. SPH ‘Umbrage’
  4. GST Voucher
  5. Sylvia Chan
  6. Phoon Chiu Yoke
  7. Raeesah Khan
  8. National Day Parade 2021
  9. Budget 2021 Singapore
  10. KAWS

Trending Movies:

  1. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
  2. Eternals
  3. Black Widow
  4. Mortal Kombat
  5. No Time to Die
  6. Raya and the Last Dragon
  7. Suicide Squad
  8. Red Notice
  9. Godzilla vs Kong
  10. Army of the Dead

Trending Singaporean Personalities:

  1. Joseph Schooling
  2. Yu Mengyu
  3. Sylvia Chan
  4. Shane Pow
  5. more_vert
  6. Raeesah Khan
  7. Feng Tianwei
  8. Loh Kean Yew
  9. Quah Zheng Wen
  10. Kane Lim

Trending Searches:

  1. UEFA Euro 2021
  2. NBA League
  3. IPL 2021
  4. English Premier League
  5. Squid Game
  6. 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games
  7. COVID-19 Prevention
  8. Bitcoin Price
  9. iPhone 13
  10. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Trending TV Shows:

  1. Squid Game
  2. Hometown Cha Cha Cha
  3. Vincenzo
  4. True Beauty
  5. Mr Queen
  6. WandaVision
  7. Bridgerton
  8. My Name
  9. Loki
  10. Alice in Borderland

Angeline Leow, head of communications at Google Singapore, said, “2021 has been a year of healing, as Singaporeans find creative ways to recover and regain our momentum. Google searches are indicative of the macro trends in Singapore and give us a glimpse of the local and global happenings the nation cares deeply about.”

She added, “With more content and internet users online, there’s more need to organize information than ever before so we’ll continue to invest in AI to give people new ways to search and explore information through voice, images and videos while helping people better evaluate the credibility of information they find online.”

Tokyo, Japan – After numerous suspensions, the Tokyo Olympic 2020 games finally pushed through this year, but despite successfully making its run, the lockdowns and social restrictions that had been in place since the pandemic affected how the organization and its brands and media partners spent their ad budget and the platforms they chose to invest in. According to data by IPG’s media investment and intelligence arm MAGNA, the muted vibrancy of the Olympics had a direct effect on the growth of several ad markets. 

The report showed that the net impact of the Olympics on television advertising revenues was relatively minimal overall, as some brands opted not to run creatives tied to the Olympics before and during the event, due to the mixed feelings of the public towards the Games. Still, revenues for the major television networks were up by double-digits in the second quarter of 2021 compared to the second quarter of 2020 but were flat or down compared to 2019. 

In addition, the Olympics also had a relatively mild impact on OOH advertising, as the games were held during a state of emergency during which people were discouraged from going outside or using public transportation. Additionally, people were barred from entering the areas near the Olympic stadiums. 

OOH revenues, both static and digital, were ultimately up just +3% for the full year, reaching US$3.8b (¥400b). Transit mobility was slow to recover in 2021 and was still down -19% in November 2021 compared to the January 2020 baseline, contributing to reduced exposure to advertising. 

Television fared slightly better, with revenues rising +7% to reach US$14.7b (¥1.6t), around 95% of the pre-COVID total. Radio, cinema, and print continued to lag through 2021. Radio revenues eroded by another -2%, cinema by -4%, and print by -3%. 2022 is expected to bring a recovery for these linear ad formats, in addition to continued growth for television (+4%) and OOH (+5%). Over the long term, however, the report anticipates that linear advertising formats will continue to lose share to digital, with total linear revenues eroding by -3% to -5% per year and falling to US$20.8b (¥2.2t) by 2026, a 34% market share.

Generally, digital ad sales in Japan will continue to drive market growth, with total digital net advertising revenues anticipated to rise +15% to reach US$30.5b (¥3.3t), with a 56% market share. Linear net ad revenues will also see some growth, +4%, though will remain well below 2019 levels: US$24.4b (¥2.6t) compared to $26.9b (¥2.9t) in 2019. 

Japan remains the third largest ad market in the world and the second largest in APAC, behind China, with US$50b (¥5.3t) net ad revenues in 2021 and US$55b (¥5.6t) expected by the end of 2022. Meanwhile, the APAC region’s advertising economy grew by +16.5% in 2021, following the recession of 2020 (-0.8%). In 2022, the Asia-Pacific ad market will expand by +11.2%, close to the global average of +12% and in line with the pre COVID long-term regional growth.

Singapore – Singapore’s telecommunications Singtel has released a new ad that illustrates both heritage and personal triumph as it pays tribute to the realization of the Tokyo Olympics, which had to be postponed for a year in 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The film features the country’s national players for the Olympics; swimmer Joseph Schooling, shuttler Loh Kean Yew, fencer Kiria Tikanah, and sprinter Shanti Pereira, and how each dealt with the frustration and disappointment of having to come to terms with the Olympics’ cancelation after expectations had been up and training and preparations have been well placed. 

Adding to this, the ad also portrayed how beyond the Olympics, athletes, whether bound for the global competition or not and even those that have sports as a passion or as a source of living, had to struggle with the lockdown, being forced to give up physical activity to obey social distancing.

“I can’t believe it’s been postponed. I’ve trained so hard,” “I can’t go to the court. I can’t do my training,” the players would mutter with scenes where gloom and loneliness loom in a silenced living room or a shut oval. 

The ad portrays, most of all, the value of hope and resilience, still ending on a positive note, where players’ patience and ongoing training for their sports now finally rewarded as the Tokyo Olympics officially resumes. 

The featured players would be sending across inspirational messages such as how a winner never gives up, how failure only becomes such when one stops trying, and how true triumph is dealing straight on with adversity.

“Our athletes’ journey to the Olympics has been nothing short of inspiring. Making it to the games in any given year would be a coup but making it under the current circumstances takes a lot of grit and determination,” commented Aileen Tan, Singtel’s group chief people and sustainability officer. 

The new ad ‘Leading Through Uncertainty’ is part of Singtel’s ongoing branded content campaign, built around stories that reflect the Singtel Group’s values of community, family, diversity, and inclusivity. Last year’s festive film campaign also paid tribute to the Singapore spirit of tenacity and perseverance against the backdrop of the health crisis.

Alongside its tribute to the Olympics, the film is also in celebration of the country’s National Day, remembered every 9 August.

Tan said, “As we mark our second National Day under the cloud of COVID, the film is a way of celebrating the Singapore spirit of resilience that has brought us this far. Like our athletes, we’ve all been fighting the good fight, keeping our spirits up, and moving forward in spite of COVID. Yes, the journey has been fraught with uncertainty, false starts, and U-turns, but we hope the film will inspire us all to press on and keep trying.”

The film, which was conceptualized by the Singtel Brand team, has now been launched across the telecom’s YouTube and Facebook. It will also be airing on Singtel TV from 21 July 2021.

Singtel has been a long-time supporter of Team Singapore, having donated S$2.5m to the Singapore National Olympic Council to help fund the training of athletes since 2012. 

For this year’s global sports event, Singtel customers will be able to catch a broadcast by tuning in to all 14 Mediacorp channels for free on Singtel TV CH 21-34 and Singtel TV GO. It will also be available on Singtel CAST to all consumers, including non-Singtel customers.

The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will be held from 23 July to 8 August 2021, where 23 players are slated to represent Singapore.

Tokyo, Japan – With the previously postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics now gearing up for its upcoming opening ceremony on 23 July, visual media company Getty Images has announced the deployment of their award-winning photographers, editors and operations staff that will capture imagery from every event at the Olympic Games.

Composed of over 100 people, Getty Images’ media endeavor follows after it has been appointed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to be the ‘Official Photographic Agency’ for the upcoming games.

For the first time, Getty Images will edit photos from the Olympic Games remotely with over 50 editors live-editing from various locations around the world. Getty Images will connect key photo positions from inside all 42 Olympic venues directly to the Getty Images office in the Main Press Center and to editors around the world in real-time. This enables a photograph to be taken at an event and then uploaded to their main website in as little as 30 seconds, empowering Getty Images’ global customer base to tell more immediate and impactful visual stories.

According to Cassie Trotter, director of photography for APAC at Getty Images, their media participation in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics matters truly, as this year’s games now rely more on visuals, which has never played a more important role in connecting the world’s media, partners, licensees, and fans and family at home with all the action on the ground in Tokyo, as there will be no live spectators for the event. 

Furthermore, she added that planning for this event began in 2013 and Getty Images has been innovating throughout the pandemic to create iconic images viewers can look back on in years to come.

“Our elite roster of award-winning specialist sports photographers, including four contributors from Australia and New Zealand, are ready to show the Games and its athletes at their best. They are equipped with cutting edge technology, including robotic and remote cameras, to capture every angle of athletic endeavor and deliver images to our customers at record speeds,” Trotter said.

Getty Images has covered 13 Olympic Games and 13 Olympic Winter Games since 1968 as Allsport and subsequently Getty Images.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – As the canceled Tokyo Olympics finally materializes on 23 July, brands and sponsors are now unleashing their special campaign to engage more sports fans. 

Two official partners to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 – Procter & Gamble (P&G) and Lazada – has launched a new regional campaign called ‘#GoForGold’, which seeks to encourage people to keep their spirits up, to go for gold, and reach for their dreams, even when the going gets tough.

‘#GoForGold’ is inspired by the many Olympic and Paralympic athletes who are not only achieving athletic greatness but are also stepping up to take action for good, making a positive difference in their communities. The campaign will feature a short film that unites P&G’s long-standing citizenship efforts of Community Impact, Equality & Inclusion, and Environmental Sustainability. 

Titled, ‘Your Goodness is Your Greatness’, the short film, which will appear in full digital form, celebrates athletes who show their best on and off the field of play. Narrated from the perspective of proud parents, the film features real-life Olympic and Paralympic athletes who are leading with love and showing the world that the true measure of greatness is goodness.

“In a time when the world needs to come together and hope once again, these athletes set the gold standard in terms of perseverance, courage, and selflessness, which we hope will be an inspiration for many others to pursue their dreams and #GoForGold,” shared Alexandra Vogler, P&G’s e-commerce senior director for Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa.

Meanwhile, Lazada Group’s Head of Strategic Accounts and Retail James Chang commented that Lazada is proud to partner with P&G to extend the celebration of “goodness, hope, and resilience” in a sporting spirit to consumers in SEA. 

“This partnership embodies the spirit of positiveness, keeping dreams alive, and fostering connections,” said Chang.

Beyond the film, the campaign will also come to life on Lazada, through a shopping extravaganza on LazMall, which features a wide range of exclusive offers on P&G products such as Pampers, Olay, and Pantene, as well as Oral-B. It will be running across six SEA markets including Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia, as well as Vietnam on 23 July 2021, and in Singapore on 28 July 2021.

China – The Olympics has become more than just an event for sports fans – simply by being part of the current generation alone instills the excitement and eagerness to witness this massive and seasonal coming-together, that brings all nations and people of all races to celebrate the human strength and talent. 

AliExpress, Alibaba Group’s e-commerce, is taking an extra step to celebrate the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. After the event has been halted for a year, people around the globe will finally see it to fruition, with just a few days left before its opening on 23 July 2021. 

In the new campaign by AliExpress, everyone will be able to experience the camaraderie and oneness only such global event could bring, at least digitally. Called ‘ONE FLAG’, the campaign is a global one that forefronts a digital flag that absolutely anyone, from any part of the world, can be a “part of.” 

The digital ‘ONE FLAG’ is simply made of strings woven together that bear the trademark non-black colors of the Olympics – Red, Yellow, Green, and Blue. It’s a flag with no fuss until you learn what the strings are “made of.”

The global retail online marketplace has curated an exclusive website made especially for the campaign for people to join. In it, you would only need to upload a photo of yourself, where without any further ado, you’ll see yourself transform into a ‘thread,’ and now interlaced to form the digital flag. 

A screencap from the campaign’s official website

Any photo can be uploaded but AliExpress encourages that it be one showing that you are supporting or cheering for the Olympics. To make things official, and make the experience personalized for the participant, he or she will be informed of the specific count of his or her thread in the entirety of the flag, such as for example, being the 9000th thread. On the website, a certificate can be also downloaded as proof that you are one strand to the flag, something that you can share and boast about on social media. 

“At AliExpress, we’re committed to connecting people through innovative digital experiences, and we are honored to partner with the [International Olympic Committee] to create an engaging and interactive experience that brings people together,” said Christina Lu, the head of marketing at AliExpress

She adds, “In many ways, the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will be a completely new experience for athletes and fans due to the pandemic. With fans unable to cheer from the sidelines during these unprecedented times, our ONE FLAG initiative fosters togetherness among millions of people who will be watching the Olympic Games at home this year to show support to the Olympic Games and athletes.”

Yuto Horigome, a Japanese skateboarder who is currently ranked 2nd on the World Skateboarding Rankings, will be among the first athletes to participate in the ONE FLAG initiative to call for worldwide support for Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and athletes.

In January 2017, Alibaba Group and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced their long-term partnership that would see them collaborating until 2028. As part of the Olympic Partner (TOP) worldwide sponsorship program, Alibaba has been tapped as its official ‘Cloud Services’ and ‘E-Commerce Platform Services’ Partner. 

Prior to the current campaign, AliExpress has also launched an Olympic-themed campaign for the pre-pandemic Winter Youth Olympics which was held in Lausanne, Switzerland, the home of the IOC, in January 2020. Through the Lausanne 2020 campaign, AliExpress promoted winter sports and encouraged fan engagement, mainly connecting consumers from around the world with thousands of featured winter sports products.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be held from 23 July to 8 August 2021.