Sports Hub must win for Singapore: New CEO Oon Jin Teik

Suhaile Md
Reporter
(L to R) Sports Hub Chairman Bryn Jones,Sports Hub CEO Oon Jin Teik, and Sport Singapore CEO Lim Teck Yin at the National Stadium. (Photo: Sports Hub)

The new CEO of the Sports Hub, Oon Jin Teik, outlined his plans for the iconic venue to host world-class sporting and entertainment events at a media conference to announce his appointment on Tuesday (23 January).

The former Singapore Olympic swimmer said at the National Stadium that the goal is to have everyone in Singapore “a chance to enjoy something” at the Sports Hub.

“I have two KPIs (key performance indicators) for myself, and I expect the same of my team. One, to make sure that this project wins for Singapore. Secondly, make sure that I bring the returns to the shareholders,” said Oon, who was previously acting CEO and chief operating officer of Sports Hub.

A key focus of the Sports Hub will be to attract new sporting events, said Oon. Besides hosting marquee events like the World Tennis Association finals and HSBC Rugby 7s, Oon and his team are working with mixed martial arts (MMA) organisations to hold their events at the Sports Hub while Singapore Badminton Open has just signed a five-year deal with the venue.

Football fans can also look forward to “live” screenings of the 2018 World Cup as well as the second edition of the International Championship Cup (ICC) featuring top European football clubs. So far, three teams are confirmed for the ICC, Oon said, without specifying their names. A football festival will also be held at the Sports Hub for the first time this year.

Sports Hub is working “very closely” with the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) to help grow the sport. “We want to help give them (FAS) the impetus to say this is our home, home of The Lions. After all, this is our national sport,” said Oon.

In addition, Sports Hub will also be working with FAS, the Singapore Rugby Union and other sporting associations to organise events targeted at children, said Oon, who has been at the Sports Hub since 2014.

Attracting big-name artistes will also be another key focus, said Oon, adding that international pop stars Bruno Mars and Katy Perry, and Taiwanese rock band Mayday are slated to hold their concerts at the Sports Hub this year.

In the past year, Sports Hub hosted two sold-out concerts by world-renowned rock band Coldplay, a friendly football match between Singapore and former World Cup champions Argentina, and the inaugural ICC, which featured top European clubs Chelsea, Bayern Munich, and Inter Milan.

Oon’s appointment came after several senior executives left Sports Hub in 2017. His predecessor, Manu Sawhney, quit last May following complaints by staff about his management style and an internal investigation that cleared him of wrongdoing. Two top members of Sports Hub’s equity partner Global Spectrum also resigned.

Bryn Jones, Chairman of Sports Hub, who was also at the conference, expressed confidence in Oon’s ability to lead the organisation.

“The Board is particularly impressed by Jin Teik’s performance when he was Acting CEO, where he proved to be a strong, decisive and capable leader…We look forward to witness the Singapore Sports Hub thrive under his leadership,” Jones said.