Sports lovers are in for a treat this year. With Vancouver’s Winter Olympics out of the way, there are still plenty of sporting challenges to enjoy as a spectator and to use to network with business associates. We list six major events here, five of which are Asian based.
HONG KONG SEVENS
Why you should be there: The Sevens are as much a carnival as they are a championship. Fans come not only to cheer on their favourite teams but to dress up and party.
Where: Hong Kong Stadium, Hongkong
When: March 26 to 28
Who participates: 24 teams from across the globe
Corporate sponsors: Cathay Pacific, Credit Suisse, Telstra, Guinesss
FIFA WORLD CUP
Why you should be there: After the years of sports boycotts during the apartheid era, new South Africa is gearing up for a sporting feast. The first World Cup on African soil, this will be a memorable event.
Where: Nine host cities in South Africa
When: June 11 to July 11
Who participates: Squads from 32 countries, from the USA to North Korea, from Chile to New Zealand.
Corporate sponsors: Budweiser, Emirates, KIA, Castrol, Sony, Visa
YOUTH OLYMPIC GAMES
Why you should be there: The Youth Olympics gives you the chance to see the stars of the future. These teenage atheletes will be striving for fame.
When: August 14 to 26
Who participates: About 3,600 young athletes from around the world, the age range is 14 to 18
Corporate sponsors: McDonald’s, Samsung, Acer, GE and Panasonic among others.
Why you should be there: India’s sporting passion has long been associated with cricket alone. Now that will change. Bringing together sporting nations from around the globe, some of the biggest names in track and field will be in evidence.
When: October 3 to 14
Who participates: About 8,000 athletes from the Commonwealth Games countries. There are 53 Commonwealth countries, but there are 71 Commonwealth Games Associations that can enter a team.
Corporate sponsors: Air India, Hero Honda, Adidas, National Thermal Power Corporation
SHANGHAI ATP MASTER
Why you should be there: This is Asia’s premier tennis championship. Names such as Federer, Nadal and Davydenko have lifted the top prize recently. Will Andy Murray join the list?
Where: Shanghai Qi Zhong Tennis Centre
When: October 11 to 19
Who participates: The world’s top 56 players battle for the title.
Corporate sponsors: Rolex, Heineken, Citi, Hilton Shanghai, Cadillac
Why you should be there: After its Olympic triumphs in Beijing, China will be looking for a second hosting triumph in Guangzhou. Set halfway between the Beijing and London Olympics, many sporting nations will be fielding their strongest teams.
Where: Guangzhou, China
When: November 12 to 27
Who participates: Around 12,000 athletes from 42 countries from Afghanistan to Yemen will participate in 42 events at 79 different venues.
Corporate sponsors: China Telecom, China Mobile, ICBC, Samsung, Taiwan Beer