CLASS ACT: 'THIS IS CORPORATE'
By Rico Navarro
Sun, 04 Mar 2007
They say that the level of success or greatness of an event can be measured by how much talk the event is able to generate a day or more after the event takes place. Obviously, the longer the period of talk, the greater the event was. Conversely, no post-event talk means no success or the event was a downright flop.
Now when will people stop talking about the 'Moment of Truth'?When will all 'oohS' and 'ahs' finally die down? It'S still very much fresh and hotly discussed in the many different conversations of both boxing fans and the ordinary people. And controversy or not, it's also very much a hot topic among boxing journalists most especially in cyberspace. Not bad for a card headlined by a world championship fight that isn't even at the level of the big stars of world boxing.
But as talks, stories and forums will dwell on the Montiel-Gorres controversy, the scoring of judges Raul Caiz and Chuck Giampa, the two one-point deductions by referee Sammy Viruet and the future of Boom Boom and AJ Banal, I'd like to take a detour and talk about something else, with your permission of course.
For starters, I thought the 'Moment of Truth' was the best organized boxing event in Philippine history. The main reason why we all have the opportunity to talk about how great the event was is due to the perfect way the event was managed. As a practitioner of events management at my corporate job, I was in awe and was drooling at the way the entire undertaking was conceptualized, planned, organized and executed. Everything, from a spectator's viewpoint, was just perfect! For those of us in the business, the Moment of Truth was a perfect case study on how things should be done and would be hands-down a perfect model for excellence in events management under the realm sports.
And the key success factor behind all the success? I'd like to call it 'little things.' Attention to take care of the little things was glaringly obvious that when all these things added to compose the big event, everything was just a simple and smooth ride.
Little things start with seating arrangement. Unlike boxing events of the past, seating was orderly and people were led to their proper places. The divisions between all the different sections were clear and I don't recall anyone daring enough to cross over to the other more expensive sections (a common practice at all sporting events). Everyone was assigned to their proper places and even the media was provided with I'd call the best seating arrangement of any local event (Manila included). Journalists had access to chairs and more importantly, tables, and it was a common sight for laptops to be open and busy. Photographers also had their section where they clicked away freely without the hassle of having a spectator climbing over their backs.
Security was just that: perfectly secure! The presence of the members of the security force all over the place assured that nothing untoward would happen. No freebies were entertained at the gate and everyone who was part of the event had to be wearing their event ID's at all times, the Aldeguers included! The only people who were excused from wearing their ID's were the boxers on top of the ring (for obvious reasons), the referees and ring announcers.
The TV studio. While we've seen the Cebu City Sports Complex 'fixed up' many times in the past for TV productions, nothing beats last Saturday's set-up. I purposely went to the venue two hours early to get a glimpse of what ABS-CBN would do, and boy was I impressed. Abellana looked like it was hosting a Sharon Cuneta concert, not a boxing event. Lights, sounds, camera placements, the works. While there, I thought that one didn't have to go to Vegas to see how it's done. The ultimate comment about the TV production came from my colleagues at the office who watched the fights on TV. They asked me where the event was held. From a TV viewpoint, they thought the event was being held at a huge indoor stadium (which Cebu doesn't have). When I told them it was being held at a track and field stadium, they were stunned. 'Outdoor diay to?' My hats off to Peter Musngi (the top man of ABS-CBN Sports), Direk Abet Ramos and the crew of ABS-CBN Sports. For a team that doesn't do boxing events regularly, you showed that it was a piece of cake.
Punctuality. The posters, advices and memos to all said 6pm, and 6pm it was when the first bout started. TV coverage was supposed to start at 8:30pm, with the live feed beamed to the closed-circuit TV customers in Manila. And what time did this start? 8:20! What else could you ask for? Regular TV started later at 9:30pm over ABS-CBN.
There were many other little things that we could cite as having contributed to the event's success, but we'd run out of space for these: from the dressing rooms to waiters serving the VIPs, the traffic management along Osmena (Jones), treatment of guests from abroad and many many more.
When chatting with Tony Aldeguer before the fights, he proudly said this is the way things should be done. This wasn't sports for sports sake. This wasn't 'boxing boxing lang.' And so I asked, 'What is this then?'
ALA's reply? 'This is corporate.'
For me? Class act!
Time-out: Happy birthday to the hardworking Lando Mendoza of the GAB-Cebu office! >>> You can reach me at email@example.com.
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