IN RESPONSE to the surging demand for sports events in major cities, a group of young entrepreneurs have come together to establish a company named LA Sports and Entertainment Co to encourage the new blood in Myanmar’s sports scenario, according to Aung Ye Maung Maung, the firm’s managing director.
He said in an exclusive interview with The Nation that the firm would mainly focus on sports management and organising sports events this year. It plans to organise the Myanmar Amateur Football Festival (MAFF2019) in conjunction with a public forum on the development of Myanmar’s amateur football in Yangon from March 30 to 31.
“We are targeting young people between 15 and 35 years of age to take part in different kinds of sports events, and thereby to be healthy and alert at all times,” he said.
“We will start with some football events in Yangon, and then will expand to other cities. Ultimately, we hope to develop our youth’s sporting spirit with well-disciplined, fair and square competitions.”
The firm aims to set the trend in amateur sports, which have yet to receive enough support from the government and authorised sports organisations. As a first step, the firm will start with football events to arouse the youth’s interest.
“Obviously, football is the most favourite sport in Myanmar like in many other countries around the world. It is the reason why we decided to start with a football festival this year,” he said.
The upcoming event will be Myanmar’s first-ever football festival organised by the private sector. There, different stakeholders in the amateur football sector will discuss ways to improve the industry as a whole, he said.
“Our aim is to gather 200 amateur football clubs and over 30,000 amateur athletes in a single event. It is just the beginning of our long journey. We will continue to organise more sports events later this year,” he said.
“Since the Myanmar national team has not won any major cup since the past few decades, we need to groom new blood to regain our past glory in the next few years. Some amateur players have enthusiasm and skills to win a spot in the national team, if properly trained. It is our ultimate goal.”
Having registered under the Myanmar Investment Law, the firm started its commercial operations in October last year. It now has 15 employees, and enjoys 20 to 30 per cent growth on a monthly basis.
“As an idea-based business, it does not cost a fortune to set up this service company. We are expecting satisfactory return on investment in one and a half years,” he said.
In a bid to make its events a success, the firm has partnered with some sports organisations and companies, and will also expand to other sports as the business grows.
“Our next move is to hold the Women’s Bike, Myanmar’s first-ever bicycle contest for women only, in the first half of this year. We are also looking at opportunities to organise a car race later this year,” he said.
The firm will also develop a mobile application, which provides real time information about football pitches in Myanmar so amateur clubs can effectively arrange matches or do training. Once completed, the digital initiative could help LA Sports with the expansion of its portfolio nationwide.
“We aim to cooperate with a software firm to develop the app. In the meanwhile, we are also eyeing some entertainment events including private parties, birthday and pool parties as well as some EDM [electronic dance music] shows in cooperation with some clubs and local DJs,” he said.