After watching David Beckham flounder when trying to bring calm at the recent Inter Miami football match in Hong Kong to a crescendo of boos because of the non appearance of Lionel Messi, who was featured heavily in all advertising by Tatler Asia, the totally inexperienced promoter of the event, some of us wondered if the co-owner of the football team might just be missing the business acumen of longtime manager, friend and business partner Simon Fuller?
After all, it was the forward thinking entrepreneur and head of 19 Management- a personal friend and who gave my daughter Taryn her first job- who played a major role in creating the Spice Girls, owned the Idol franchise, and built up Brand Beckham and introduced the football star- and the beautiful game- to America.
Though after 23 years, no longer managing the Beckhams and, no doubt, having done extremely well for himself in those years when he did, Simon Fuller’s name was noticeably absent from the fairly recent Netflix documentary on the former superstar footballer.
If the Hong Kong government is serious about bringing international names to the city, it should get on its knees and beg Simon Fuller to help the city find its mojo and everything else missing instead of depending on those with no clue what they’re doing as they simply don’t have IT.
Meanwhile, others struck down by the Duhs, are finally starting to understand the importance and convenience of Singapore as the entertainment centre of Asia- and Asia’s new world city, something tough for a Hong Kong Belonger to admit.
While Hong Kong radio and its two television stations banded together in the Eighties to promote Canto Pop because of the enormous money to be made from it, especially in the way over the top concerts that were often one long television variety show, the media in Singapore continued to support popular Western culture and became the regional headquarters for various global media outlets.
Think about it.
Today, Singapore is reaping the benefits of all this whereas Hong Kong is looking somewhat befuddled, tacky, a jealous while caught up in the trap of everything old- ancient Canto Pop stars clutching onto their pasts and their fan bases that are now 30-40 years older.
Meanwhile, unlike Hong Kong, Singapore still has a strong expat community, a local community with a far greater knowledge and interest in Western music and international cultural events plus the best airport in the world that holds no fear to overseas visitors.
This is something certain governments should understand: No one in their right mind will visit a city where they arrive to walk on eggshells because of some fear of the unknown and spend their time listening to self made prophets and headless chickens of gloom and doom.
Who needs it?
This is why someone like Taylor Swift, who is an industry of her own and with her entering American politics being a given, would choose Singapore as the only city for a concert in Asia.
She and her management know that instead of touring other cities in Asia, this one concert will attract Swifties from around the region and her popularity and love and respect for the region will never be questioned.
It’s smart and strategic thinking.
It’s not that different to how the world descends on the city for a short break and take in the entertainment driven Singapore Formula 1.
Singapore is hardly perfect, but it’s a city that’s on the move and which hasn’t stalled, or unlike Hong Kong has seemingly run out of ideas and is being powered by those who have lost their compass.