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More than an Athlete 不簡單的體育人| 林義傑Kevin Lin

如果有機會和林義傑坐下來聊幾句,你會發現他是一個不簡單的「體育人」。卸下運動員身份將這份信念延伸至從事體育相關工作,抱著試一試的態度,開啟了運動產業創業之旅,辦賽事、成立服飾品牌,走了一條不怎麼容易走的路。

TRANSLATION | Eugenia Yang

If you have the time to sit down with Kevin Lin and have a chat, you will realize he is not just a simple athlete. After retirement, he turned his attention to other jobs related to sports. From organizing competitions to starting a clothing brand, he took a path that was rather difficult. But still willing to give everything a try, Kevin embarked on the journey of sports entrepreneurship.

迷思
於大家心中,對於運動員「四肢發達,頭腦簡單」的印象,如今的運動員們越來越注重場外生意的拓展,把運動員的韌勁用到做企業上,不管生活還是工作林義傑都是一個停不下來了人,學商學法,甚至現在正在撰寫寫法律碩士的論文,他透露,學習是永無止盡的,你永遠要學習下一個世代東西,跨界延伸自己的專長, 「即時現在身為一名創業人,大家用仍然會用運動員這個身份來看我。」

他坦言擔任法律顧問,許多人會覺得很奇怪,當出社會經歷事情多了,不管是在商界、體育界的人,因為不知道你經歷了什麼,會用他們的認知告訴你應該如何做,此時內心的那桿秤就需要自己靠著學習的商法知識,去判斷對與否。他更很無奈地透露如今台灣經營的體育賽事如同一個淺碟子,低價市場、人口數不高、體育法規不完善,稍有震盪即產生經濟波動。

初心
談起自己年輕時期的經歷,關於教書,沒有這麼多缺額,出社會找工作的話,只能像是加油站、打零工,沒有地方可以走,他開始思考是不是可以為台灣體育環境做一些什麼?沿著心中最嚮往之處靠近,「創業」於林義傑而言想走出一條運動員不一樣的路,而路是光明的,學商學法後,他發現體育脈絡的兩面:壞的是什麼都沒有,如同一片沙漠,好的也是什麼都沒有,爆發前瞻性更高。「義傑事業」成立近8年,他希望能夠在他的推動之下,讓運動成為全民生活上的一部分,之於他而言人生成就感很簡單,將運動賽事服務全民,推廣健康重要性,探索自我,從運動之中追尋一種純粹的快樂泉源。

即將迎來的2020東京奧運賽事,林義傑說在發揮正常水準的狀態,很看好田徑選手鄭兆村拿金牌,關注著田徑賽事,並非自己田徑出身,在黑人、高加索人、黃種人、白人各種種族均可參加,一同競爭的狀態,在田徑項目中要取得好成績不非易事,而以鄭兆村擁有「黃金右臂」之稱的水準的運動員,若是在歐美國家發展名與利是不容忽視,幾句話感嘆著台灣體育賽事的苦處。

堅守
長時間以來,國內大部分體育賽事機構極少有打造品牌價值,在當今時代裡,或許打造「全民健康運動」,更是一個體育運動事業所需要努力的方向,與人溝通、服務於人,才能使得一個品牌走得更為久遠。話題聊到了時下正夯的自媒體,他坦言雖然自己身為知名體育人,卻沒有考慮過這條道路,適合與想做是不同的概念,但很鼓勵年輕體育教練拍攝短視頻,讓更多人看到運動員的光景。

後疫情之下,當運動賽事受到百分百的衝擊,他開始著手讓品牌進行異業合作,未來除了自家SUPERACE運動服飾銷售,更準備推出運動食品相關品牌。於何時我們可以摘下口罩,千人跑一場馬拉松,或許是我們可以一起期待的。對話十年後的自己,林義傑想了半刻,簡單幾個字「辛苦了」包覆著近8年來,歲月給予他披荊斬將的力量,再續前行。在人生的下一個賽場,他要講述的是一個嶄新的故事。

Assumption
Opposite to the stereotype of being a jock, athletes nowadays pay much attention to the business potentials outside of the game. Channeling the tenacity of an athlete to his businesses, Kevin is someone who never stops, in both life and work. From business, law studies to finishing his master’s dissertation for law school, he believes there is no end to learning. It is important for us to learn new things from the new generations and expand our expertise to many different fields. “Even though I am an entrepreneur now, people still see me as an athlete.” He admits a lot of people question his decision of becoming a legal counsel and tries to tell him what to do according to their knowledge. This is when he looks to the knowledge he has acquired himself and decides what is right and wrong. Unfortunately, Kevin also reveals that the sports events in Taiwan is a rather thin market. Low-priced, underpopulated with dissatisfying sports regulations, even the slightest change can result in economic fluctuations and affect the market.

On the same day, Canelle visited the area where all the tea parlors in Wanhua are located. Through the window of the car, she saw that there was not one single soul on the street. Due to the confirmed cases, she had to conduct her live interview in the news van. It was the same day she witnessed a completely empty Longshan Temple, a stark contrast to what she saw just a few months ago when the temple was packed with people during Chinese New Year.

Motivation
Speaking of Kevin’s earlier experiences, he says there were limited opportunities for him to become a teacher back then. His other choices were working at the gas station or getting a part-time job. With nowhere else to go, he wondered if there was anything else he could offer to Taiwan’s sports environment? Decided to listen to his heart, Kevin wanted to take on a different path from other athletes and try entrepreneurship. After studying business and law, he realized there are two sides to the market of sports: the bad thing is there is nothing, which is also a good thing, because it means that there is unlimited potential. Having established Kevin Lin Company Limited for almost eight years now, Kevin hopes that with his promotion, sports can become a part of everyone’s daily life. To him, a sense of fulfillment meant serving the public, promoting the importance of health and continuing to search for the source of happiness from sports. Speaking of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, he believes that if Chao-tsun Cheng maintains his performance, there is a good chance that he’ll bring back a medal. A sport that welcomes all races—African American, Caucasian, Asian and more—it becomes even harder to standout in track and field. However, Kevin is confident that if Chao-tsun Cheng, also known as the athlete with “The Golden Arm,” is able to win, the fame and success he will achieve in Western countries are incomparable.

Persistence
For a long time, the sports institutions in Taiwan rarely considered establishing their brand value. Perhaps developing a nationwide sport for everyone is the goal a sports business needs work towards. Active communication and proper service are what it takes for a business to last. Speaking of the trending We Media, Kevin admits that although he is a famous athlete, he never really considered this path because he wanted to build something a little different. However, he encourages young coaches to utilize the resource and show the world the life of athletes through social media. In the wake of the pandemic, it is undeniable that sports events are taking a huge toll. For his own brand, SUPERACE, Kevin has started to work with different businesses and is planning on launching a line for health foods and supplements. As for when will we be able to take off our masks and attend a thousand people marathon? It is definitely something we can all look forward to. When asked to give a word of advice to his future self in the next ten years, Kevin gave it some thought and said softly, “Keep up with the good work” —six simple words enclosed with eight years of effort and the fuel of time that will support him through all the challenges and continue on his path.

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