19 years on - it's still the one to win
ALL ROUNDER: Emirates' new Singapore-based country manager Andrew Bunn has tried his hands, and legs, on most sports, but he hasn't ridden a horse. - PHOTOS: TNP FILE, EMIRATES
Like the airline he represents, Andrew Bunn is heavy into sports.
Any sport. You name it, he's played it. Or is playing it.
Cricket? Done it.. Squash? Gave it a bash. Golf? Still enjoys it. Football? Captained his university side.
The guy has even driven a Formula 3 car at Goodwood in England.
But he hasn't been on a horse - which makes it a level playing field when he meets his guests at tomorrow's Emirates Singapore Derby Day party at the Singapore Racecourse at Kranji.
A 45-year-old Englishman, he was born in Middlesex, Bunn had worked in Indonesia and Hong Kong, before taking up his new posting in Singapore as country manager, Emirates.
"In Emirates, sports sponsorship is so far-reaching. And since sports has always been a passion of mine, I would say it was one of the reasons why I joined the airline," said Bunn.
I was curious about two things. Being English, which team did he support in the EPL and would the Germans astound all and win the World Cup in South America?
He was quick with the answers to both questions.
"I know, Emirates is Arsenal's sponsor and I respect that. Indeed, I wish the Gunners well and hope they win the title. But I have been supporting Tottenham since I was little and I will also be hoping they do well.
"As for the World Cup, it will be Germany. That's for sure. But even before they can kick-off, there's the Derby."
Here with his wife Dominique and their two daughters, this will be Bunn's first Emirates Derby and he's excited.
"I enjoy horse racing. Indeed, on my stag weekend before I got married, we went to the races in the UK," he said.
Will he be having punt on the Derby?
"Of course, I will but I will leave the selection of the horse to the wife. Let her go for her favourite colour, name or number. I'll tag along. But it'll be nice to pick the winner."
Two months into the job here, Bunn is looking forward to building on Emirates' reputation and its strong ties with Singapore.
"It's not just about sales," he said.
"I want to continue to develop Emirates as a lifestyle brand - and Singapore is an ideal place to do it.
"I look around and see what Singapore is doing for sports. It's truly incredible.
"As for the Singapore Derby, it has been a 19-year commitment for Emirates and that's quite an achievement. I've talked to people about the race and all I have been hearing is good things. Everyone wants to win it."
Being the sportsperson he is, Bunn was quick to point out that we're in the midst of, what he called, a "summer of sports".
He reminded me: "There was that Formula 1 race at Silverstone. Wimbledon's just ended. There's also the Tour d'France, golf's British Open and the World Cup in Brazil.
"Then , right in this heady mix, is the Emirates Singapore Derby. The timing couldn't have better."
So say all of us.
As for the Singapore Derby, it has been a 19-year commitment for Emirates and that's quite an achievement. I've talked to people about the race and all I have been hearing is good things. Everyone wants to win the Emirates Derby.
- Andrew Bunn, Emirates' Singapore-based country manager