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Tuesday September 3, 2013 MYT 6:19:00 PM
Tuesday September 3, 2013 MYT 6:51:24 PM
by kng zheng guan
PETALING JAYA: With less than a week to go before the crucial International Olympic Committee (IOC) decision, squash’s bid has received massive worldwide support on social media.
The IOC will convene in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Sept 7 to first decide which city - Madrid, Tokyo or Istanbul - will to host the 2020 Games before deciding on Sept 8 which one of three sports - baseball/softball, wrestling or squash - gets the nod.
Squash was a long-time frontrunner for the 2020 Games before wrestling was added to the mix earlier this year, after being initially dropped as an Olympic core sport. Squash has now stolen ahead of its rivals ... via social media.
The official Facebook page for squash - Squash 2020 (www.facebook.com/BackTheBid2020) - has registered more than 124,000 followers as the campaign looks to build further momentum, with a 21% increase over the last seven days.
Wrestling’s official page has only registered 117,000 followers while baseball/softball is lagging with just 87,000.
Furthermore. the Back The Bid short film on YouTube, featuring men and women’s world No. 1’s Ramy Ashour and Nicol David has received almost 153,000 views while the @Vote4Squash Twitter account is approaching 10,000 followers.
Another video that was released earlier this month, made by the Penang state government, featuring Nicol, national No. 2 Low Wee Wern, Ong Beng Hee and several other players also went viral, achieving more than 200,000 views.
This is a massive boost as the World Squash Federation (WSF) in a statement revealed that squash has received support across the globe, including Brazil, Egypt, Malaysia, Colombia, Spain, South Africa, Japan, Switzerland, India, Saudi Arabia and Ukraine.
“Digital and social media are great platforms to engage and bring people together and it is fantastic to see the growing number of people from around the world supporting Squash 2020 online,” said WSF president N. Ramachandran.
“Once again, this highlights squash’s commitment to innovation and the sport’s growing appeal to young people as a fast, exciting and dynamic sport.
“We can offer something new and fresh to the Olympic experience and as we look to build further momentum to the 125th IOC session, I hope more people will support our bid and help persuade the IOC to vote for squash on Sept 8.”
Squash 2020 social media team leader Elaine Tan pointed out that the main strategy to drawing support on social media was to get people excited and talking about squash and the Olympic decision.
“We wanted to get people talking about our campaign because on Facebook, the higher the reach of each post, the more people will see it on their news feed,” said Elaine.
“So far we have about 15,000 Malaysians who have liked and supported the campaign on Facebook, which puts us as the second top nation supporting this cause after Egypt, while third is India, then followed by Britan and the United States.
“We hope that we’ll gain more support in the coming days, especially from fellow Malaysians.”
Tags / Keywords:
squash, Olympics, Olympic Games, Back the Bid, Olympics 2020, Squash 2020, Nicol David
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