- Posted by Smart Digital
- On November 29, 2017
- 0 Comments
Next month will witness the 5th annual Hua Hin World Cup in Thailand, an event that in just 5 short years has become a prestigious fixture for amateur players based across South East Asia. From humble beginnings at a small local pitch with 6 Thai-based expat teams contesting for the big prize, the annual competition has become so popular that in 2016, it had to be moved to the state of the art True Arena in Hua Hin.
True Arena will be the setting for this year’s competition too: with two 7-a-side FIFA regulation-sized pitches that have been previously used as an overseas tour training pitch for full national and leading club sides from around the world. It is a fitting venue for what has quickly established itself as one of South East Asia’s premier amateur football competitions, open to both locals and expats. The well-tended paspalum grass turf, which is laid over a state-of-the-art drainage system, provides a first-class playing surface that ensures no teams will have any venue-related excuses should they turn in a poor performance!
History of the Red Mountain Hua Hin World Cup
The competition was the brainchild of the Hua Hin Vikings, a Scandinavian-inspired local football team with expat and Thai players that has associated teams elsewhere in Thailand – the Bangkok Vikings and Pattaya Vikings – as well as in China, Singapore and Hong Kong.
The inaugural Hua Hin Word Cup took place in 2013, at the small local pitch noted above and was won by Sweden. Just 6 teams competed for the cup in the first year, which was a six-a-side event. In 2014, a Scandinavian team once again triumphed although this time it was the Finnish 6-a-side team that claimed the Hua Hin World Cup.
As the competition became more popular, thanks mainly to the social media campaign launched to publicise it, team sizes were expanded, to 7-a-side in 2016. The number of teams competing for the cup has also grown over the years, to accommodate the interest expressed by expats across South East Asia, from just 6 in 2013, to 10 in 2016. The latest renewal of the Hua Hin World Cup has attracted 10 confirmed teams at the date of writing, with the possibility of more to come.
A Family-Focused Fun Event with a Charitable Element
The Hua Hin World Cup is a not-for-profit event that celebrates the international brotherhood of football enthusiasts with a family-friendly competition giving amateur footballers the opportunity to test their mettle against local and expatriate peers on an annual basis.
The entrance fee for each team that wishes to enter the Hua Hin World Cup 2017 is ฿20,000, which covers all costs incurred by the organisers, including the hire of the stadium, provision of food and refreshments over the two days of the tournament and the end-of-tournament party, held in a top local night spot. Fees also cover the cost of kits, lunch on both days, water, laundry service, trophies, fruit girls and match officials.
Pitch side medical Assistance is provided by Jungle Aid, a privately run charitable organization that supports communities in remote parts of Thailand. The fines that are levied against players shown yellow or red cards throughout the competition are collected together and donated to Jungle Aid in thanks for their continuing support of the tournament and in the hope that the money collected can help them to further their aims to make a positive impact on remote communities in all areas of Thailand.
Generous Sponsors Who Made the Red Mountain Hua Hin World Cup 2017 Possible
The rise in popularity of the Hua Hin World Cup, which has led to the change of venue, greater number of entrants and increased team sizes, has of course meant a greater financial burden for the organizers but fortunately local sponsors have been more than willing to increase their support to meet these costs. This year, the joint main sponsors of the event are Red Mountain Hua Hin and Ace Bar & Bistro. Ace Bar & Bistro is a popular local food and drink destination while Red Mountain is a property company currently engaged in the building of a number of prestigious local developments containing luxury tropical villas designed for people who appreciate environmentally sympathetic developments, along with modern conveniences and comfortable lifestyles.
We are also pleased to announce that Smart Digital will, for the first year, be one of the secondary sponsors involved in supporting the Hua Hin World Cup in 2017. Launched in the UK in 2006, we quickly grew into a world-class SEO agency with offices across the globe. Today, we are widely recognised as one of the leading SEO specialists, not just in Europe, but in South East Asia and Australia too. We hope that we are able, in some small way, to help the Hua Hin World Cup to become even bigger in the future and we look forward to continuing to be a part of what we think is a very exciting competition.
In addition to the main and secondary competition sponsors, each team is encouraged to find their own local sponsor, to cover the entrance fee and any other costs that may be incurred during the tournament. In return for their support, team sponsors can have their names and advertising slogans printed on the kits, and bring additional promotional material to the event. Flyers and business cards can be handed out to supporters, and flags can be prominently displayed. Whilst not a global sporting event that is covered by international television media, the Hua Hin World Cup is enthusiastically promoted across a variety of social media channels, which means that sponsors can look forward to a decent amount of exposure both online and at the tournament itself.
Fiercely Competitive, Family Friendly, Footballing Fun
The Hua Hin World Cup organizers are keen to foster a comradely atmosphere throughout the course of each annual tournament and wish it to be known that their primary aim since the beginning has been the creation of a genuinely exciting amateur footballing event that could be enjoyed by players and family members alike.
While Jungle Aid would appreciate a few more yellow and red cards this year, players are expected to behave in a gentlemanly manner at all times, unlike their professional counterparts (!) and to use the tournament as an opportunity to make new friends and enjoy a shared love of the beautiful game, rather than to employ tactics that are designed to help them win at all costs. Having said that, friendly international rivalry is, of course, a key component of any such competition and we hope that the 2017 tournament will be no different in this respect. In recognition of the sporting efforts made by all the players during the tournament, a fair play trophy is presented to the team that collects the fewest cards.
The competition starts with the group stage which will feature 2 groups of 4 teams this year. All group games take place on the first day of the competition and are comprised of 2 x 12-minute halves with a short break at half time. On the second and final day of the competition, the winners of the competition will take home the coveted Hua Hin World Cup. As mentioned earlier, the size of the teams involved in the tournament has increased over the years and what was originally a 6-a-side event is now a 7-a-side competition played on 7-a-side FIFA regulation pitches in a first-class sporting arena. Squads of 11 are the ideal size, allowing for 7 first-team members and 4 substitutes.
Who Will Win the 2017 Hua Hin World Cup?
Confirmed entrants for this year’s event at the time of writing are England, France, Sweden, Thailand, Spain, Scotland, Finland and Mexico. A few of the UK’s more optimistic local expatriate citizens may be looking forward to football coming home in 2017 but judging by the results in previous years, the professional England football team probably have more chance of carrying off the big prize in Russia next year. Thailand are expected to make another strong showing as they aim to take the prize home for the third year in a row, while the Swedes are said to be confident of a return to victorious ways after three years in the wilderness.
Whatever the outcome, Smart Digital is proud to be associated with this prestigious local event and wishes all teams the very best of luck. And don’t forget: if you have scored an own goal with your digital media campaigns in the past, you are welcome to contact us for a free SEO and social media review.