The Taipei City Government said yesterday it had not invited tennis player Hsieh Su-wei (謝淑薇) to promote the 2017 Summer Universiade, but rebuffed accusations that it was neglecting local athletes after it was accused of offering her too little money for promotional efforts.
Sponsorships and endorsements for Hsieh have drawn attention after she and her Chinese partner won the Wimbledon women’s doubles tennis championship on Saturday, and the city’s promotion of the 2017 event sparked disputes on Monday as Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City Councilor Yen Sheng-kuan (顏聖冠) and Yang Hui-ju (楊蕙如), a Web manager for former DPP premier Frank Hsieh’s (謝長廷) presidential campaign, accused the city government of showing little interest in inviting the player to serve as a spokesperson for the Universiade, saying it was only willing to pay her NT$500,000 (US$16,600) for promotional work for one year.
The city announced in October last year that it had invited golfer Yani Tseng (曾雅妮) to serve as the event’s spokesperson.
Information and Tourism Bureau Commissioner Chao Hsin-ping (趙心屏) yesterday denied the city had plans to invite Hsieh Su-wei to promote the Universiade for NT$500,000. Chao said the bureau had considered many world-renowned athletes when choosing spokespersons for the event, including Hsieh Su-wei and NBA star Jeremy Lin (林書豪).
“We invited Yani Tseng to serve as spokesperson and her contract will end at the end of this year. We do not rule out the possibility of working with other athletes in promoting the event,” Chao said.
The total budget for hosting the event is about NT$42.5 billion, and the city signed a contract with Tseng in September last year for her to shoot videos and attend other promotional activities until the end of this year.
The first promotional video was released in December last year and has been seen in 134 countries and areas, including the US, Europe, Japan and South Korea, with a promotional budget of NT$70 million.
Taipei beat Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, to secure the right to host the 2017 Summer Universiade. It will be the largest international event hosted by Taipei since the Summer Deaflympics in 2009 and the Taipei International Flora Expo in 2010.
Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) is attending the 2013 Universiade in Kazan, Russia, this week.