China's football crisis

Leading Sports, Events & Venues professional joins the TSA team

Kuala Lumpur, 2 November 2016 – TSA (Total Sports Asia), Asia’s global leader in sports content and branding solutions, announced the appointment of Ed Sanderson as its new Vice President, Business Development based in TSA’s Kuala Lumpur office.

Ed is a Sports, Venues and Events specialist with 15 years’ experience in the field across a variety of high profile public facilities and events in Australia and internationally.

Ed’s international experience encompasses working on the London Olympics and 3 years in Macau on the opening of the Venetian Macau Resort Hotel including a state of the art 15,000 seat Arena. His background in Australia includes significant commercial experience including being the Venue Manager during the USD$600m refurbishment of the 50,000 seat Adelaide Oval (Australia’s most modern stadium) and most recently leading Sport and Recreation activity across Australia’s premier urban park, Centennial Park servicing in excess of 400 sporting clubs and organisations across 120 different facilities.

Upon commencing with TSA Ed said: “I am joining TSA at an exciting time and am thrilled with the opportunity Marcus Luer and the TSA team have presented me. I look forward to working closely with existing and prospective clients ensuring we continue to provide industry best practice across the region. The Kuala Lumpur Sports City project is a significant priority for the TSA team and l’m looking forward to working with our stakeholders and ensuring the precinct delivers world class Venues, Sports & Entertainment”.

For all your Events, Sports & Venue needs Ed can be reached at

About TSA

TSA (formerly known as Total Sports Asia) is Asia’s global leader in sports content and branding solutions. TSA is an independent sports marketing agency and content distributor with a dedicated team of 50 sports marketing experts and offices in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Beijing and Mumbai. Media rights distribution, TV production, sponsorship/licensing, events management, consulting, stadium consulting and branded real estates are its core business activities. TSA works with the leading corporate brands in Asia and has developed unique branding solutions for many including ground breaking concepts like the “Branded Real Estate” space. For more info please log on to

China's football crisis

China's football crisis shows money can't buy success

Beijing (AFP) – China’s latest football defeat has left the country’s World Cup hopes in tatters, led the national team’s coach to fall on his sword and even prompted state media to ask if the programme should start again from scratch.

China coach Gao Hongbo announced his resignation at a press conference in Tashkent following a 2-0 defeat to Uzbekistan on Tuesday night, the latest in a string of humiliations, including a World Cup qualifying defeat at home to war-ravaged Syria a week ago.

China’s crisis — they have lost three of their World Cup qualifying matches and are bottom of Asian qualifying Group A — comes as huge sums of money are thrown at the game in the hope that cold hard cash can end years of underachievement.

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s call for the country to host and win a World Cup by 2050 has triggered a flood of investments by eager-to-please executives.

Enormous sums — more than 400 million euros ($440 million) this year — have been splashed on bringing in foreign players to the Chinese Super League.

And companies from the world’s second largest economy have either bought outright or taken out huge investments in clubs in Italy, England and Spain.

– ‘Start again from zero’ –

The massive injection of capital has done nothing to raise the standard of the national team, making both fans and even state media second-guess the country’s game plan.

“Should Chinese football start again from zero?” asked a provocatively titled op-ed on the website of the People’s Daily.

The amount of money being spent on the sport covers up fundamental weaknesses, the article said Wednesday, creating an illusion of progress when in fact it was just “marking time or going backwards”.

On Thursday, the state-owned China Daily cautioned that Chinese companies should “invest carefully in European soccer”.

Mark Dreyer, a Beijing-based sports analyst, agrees.

“Investments in importing foreign stars to the CSL and in acquiring football clubs have made headlines, but have almost nothing to do with improving the fortunes of the national team,” he said.

China’s national team are ranked a lowly 78th in the world by FIFA — just below the Caribbean island nation of St Kitts and Nevis, population 50,726 — and have qualified for the World Cup only once in 2002 when they lost every match and failed to score a goal.

“Simply put, the Chinese players are not good enough to qualify for the World Cup and no manager in the world… could realistically be expected to change that,” Dreyer said.

The government’s increased focus on getting into the team to the FIFA showpiece has only “increased the pressure on players and officials”, he added.

– Next generation –

Chinese fans and officials need to resign themselves to at least another decade of disappointment, according to commentators who follow the country’s football programmes.

The Asian giant has made improving youth football programmes a national priority, with an official plan promising 20,000 academies and 30 million elementary and middle school pupils playing the sport within four years.

The goal is to make China one of the world’s top sides by 2050, the document said, to bring to life “the sports-superpower dream”.

From the far western region of Xinjiang to the capital, schools are making the beautiful game an integral part of their physical education curriculum.

China has the right ingredients for success, said Marcus Luer, founder and CEO of marketing agency Total Sports Asia: “Deep human resources, money‎, political will and hungry athletes.”

The question is how they were managed: “They need to be put into the right structure and results will show.”

But even under a best case scenario, such initiatives will take time to show results, he added.

“It’s a process which will take time, patience and money. It normally takes at least 10 years of methodical planning before you see a major turnaround in sports.”


TSA To Oversee Commercialisation Of Bukit Jalil National Sports Complex

- TSA to develop new commercial opportunities for National Stadium

- New hospitality suites, branding opportunities to be available for corporate clients

Total Sports Asia (TSA) has been appointed by Malaysia Stadium Corporation (PSM) to strategize and oversee the commercialization of Kuala Lumpur Sports City (KL Sports City), which will include the redeveloped Bukit Jalil National Sports Complex.

TSA’s role is to develop new commercial opportunities including Name Rights to the KL Sports City and the individual Venues including the National Stadium and Putra Stadium‎. In addition, new hospitality suites and other licensing and branding opportunities will be available for corporate clients.

Azman Fahmi Osman, CEO of PSM, stated: “PSM believes the partnership with TSA will help achieve PSM’s vision in regenerating Bukit Jalil National Sports Complex by increasing its commercial value and finding the right corporate partners to generate new revenue streams and becoming a model for other stadia in the country. We are delighted to welcome the TSA team on board and are confident that KL Sports City will provide performers and spectators with gold standard facilities and experiences and set new standards for the industry and country.”

TSA Group CEO, Marcus Luer said, "We are very excited to work with PSM and MRCB on this prestigious project. The KL Sports City is the brain child of YB Khairy Jamaluddin, the Minister of Youth and Sports Malaysia, and it will usher in a new era of sports and entertainment in Malaysia. Our benchmarks are the best Sports-entertainment complexes in the world and Kuala Lumpur will finally have one to call its own. We will bring in best practices from around the world, from the O2 in London to the Staples Center in LA and will customize unique partnership opportunities for companies here in Malaysia. It’s a whole new way of thinking in terms of branding and customer engagement and potential partners will see the huge value of this project very quickly.”

The ongoing redevelopment of the National Stadium – which is being carried out by Rukun Juang Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad (MRCB) – is the first phase of development of KL Sports City, a vibrant sports hub that will be accessible not only to athletes but also the local community, recreational users and the general public.

Phase 1 includes targeted works on Putra Stadium and the National Hockey Stadium that will improve integration to the current and existing public transportation links, and increase access across the site. Once completed, the redeveloped stadium will host the Southeast Asia Games in 2017.

Phase 2 of KL Sports City, which will commence in early 2018, will create a fully-integrated sports hub, consisting of new, world-class infrastructure including elite sports training facilities, a Sports Rehabilitation Science Centre, a Youth Park, public sports facilities, a Sports Museum, Youth Hostel, Convention Centre, and a sports-focused retail mall.

KL Sports City


KL Sports City


KL Sports City


About Total Sports Asia

TSA is a fully integrated Sports Marketing business offering media rights distribution, TV production, events management, sponsorship and consultancy services to its clients working with Asian and international rights holders, corporations, government bodies, advertising agencies, sports federations and media platform owners. TSA’s strength lie in creating innovative ways to bring sports properties closer to the fans and consumers while generating maximum exposure and demand for its clients’ brands.     

About Perbadanan Stadium Malaysia (PSM)

Perbadanan Stadium Malaysia (PSM) is a federal statutory body under the Ministry of Youth and Sports Malaysia, established on December 26, 1963 through the Merdeka Stadium Corporation Act No.11 of 1963 to manage and maintain the Stadium Merdeka and Stadium Negara.

With the trust given by the government, PSM has been given greater responsibility to manage and maintain the National Sports Complex in Bukit Jalil and National Sports Complex in Bukit Kiara from July 1998. In 2010, PSM Act 1963 (Act 433) has been redrafted with the intention for PSM to generate revenue and finance its operations and providing professional services in development, operation and management of stadiums, sports complexes and facilities. The new Perbadanan Stadium Malaysia Act 2010 (Act 717) has been implimented since 1st March 2011.

Currently, PSM has been entrusted to manage six major complexes: Bukit Jalil National Sports Complex, Bukit Kiara National Sports Complex, Shah Alam National Sports Complex (Panasonic), Jalan Duta National Sports Complex, National Sports Complex Kuching, Sarawak (Sarawak Aquatic Centre of Excellence), National Sports Complex in Kampung Pandan (Paralympic Excellent Sports Centre) and Mokhtar Dahari Soccer Academy in Kuantan, Pahang.