Asia News: Singapore Sports Hub Draws Crowds; Korean Banks, Branding & K-pop

Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour Singapore
SINGAPORE SWIFT: Taylor Swift performs March 2 during “The Eras Tour,” one of several major tours to visit the National Stadium of Singapore in the first half of 2024. (Photo by Ashok Kumar/TAS24/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management)


Sports Hub Concerts Draw 840K In First Half

Large-scale concerts by prominent international artists drew 840,000 people to the Singapore Sports Hub during the first half of 2024.

In total, the Sports Hub was patronized by more than 1 million people during the same period, which greatly exceeds the 700,000 who visited the facility in the latter half of 2023, according to The Straits Times.

The international artists included Coldplay and Mayday in January, Ed Sheeran in February and Taylor Swift in March.

All the concerts were held at the National Stadium, which holds 55,000.

The Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Edwin Tong, said that Coldplay brought in 200,000 fans for the band’s six concerts and Swift drew another 300,000 for her six shows.

Swift’s appearances in Singapore were her only ones in Asia outside of Tokyo, a coup that Tong took credit for.

In terms of tourism, the international concerts are believed to have generated between S$350 million and S$450 million ($260-$333 million), according to the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

In particular, Swift’s concerts are believed to have boosted Singapore’s international tourist numbers considerably, since its March numbers were the highest of any month during the period, around 1.48 million.

Retail sales also rose by 2.7% in March, according to the Department of Statistics. Tong told the Straits Times, “The broader base impact [of these concerts] is greater, and the economic share goes deeper across more sectors in society and a bigger spread of the economy.”

The most significant aspect of these numbers is that the economic impact was seen over a wider range of businesses, whereas previous international tourist draws, such as the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, mainly affected high-end hotels and restaurants/retailers.

Tong added, “Here, you had a trickle-down effect to even mom-and-pop shops, like the beads and merchandise shops that were sold out during the Taylor Swift concerts.”
Swifties cleaned shelves of items to make friendship bracelets to wear and trade at her concerts.

It’s estimated that about half the people who attended Swift’s Singapore run were from overseas, while those who attended concerts by Coldplay, Sheeran and Bruno Mars made up about 20% of their respective audiences.

Hotel accommodations in March were up 9.5% over February and 37 % over March 2023.
One hotel executive told the newspaper that most of his guests who attended the Swift shows arrived one day before the concert they were to attend and explored the city.


Banks, Branding & K-pop

More Korean banks are sponsoring K-pop concerts this year to improve their brand image. According to the Korea Times, the Industrial Bank of Korea is following up its successful IBK Festival that was held last year in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, with a second edition in June that will feature 10 acts, including popular rapper Jay Park.

Woori Bank will hold a concert in September as part of its “corporate social responsibility” strategy, but has yet to announce the headliner or the venue.

Hana Bank will present popular singer Lim Young-woong in concert this fall. Lim is already an advertising spokesperson for the bank.

Last year, K-pop agency SM Entertainment cooperated with KB Kookmin Bank to present a large-scale K-pop concert in Jakarta to celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Korea and Indonesia. The concert, which featured the girl group aespa, was sold out.