Nikon supports the AFC Asian Cup

Nikon Field Photographer Program and Nikon Professional Services

Nikon supports the AFC Asian Cup

The AFC Asian Cup is an international football tournament to determine the Asian champion run by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), which is held every four years. Nikon supported the event held in January 2011 to introduce exciting aspects of football with photography through various activities it can offer as a camera manufacturer.

Text by Yu Fukumoto

* Text and images originally published in Number Web.

The AFC Asian Cup 2011 was held in Doha, Qatar. As a camera manufacturer that has many professional photographers as its users, Nikon supported the Asian Cup 2011 through a range of activities as an official supporter of the AFC over the last two tournaments.

Nikon opened a service depot of Nikon Professional Services (NPS) to support professional photographers covering the matches. An array of NPS activities included loan of the latest Nikon equipment such as digital SLRs and NIKKOR lenses, parts repair and replacement, and equipment inspection such as cleaning of image sensors. To effectively maintain these activities during the event, which lasted for approximately three weeks, skilled technicians attended from Hong Kong, India and Qatar.

Supporting professionals in various international events for nearly half a century

Mr. Ogasawara, Senior Manager of the Service Department of Nikon Hong Kong, who is a supervisor of the depot, says, "Professional photographers appreciate our maintenance service such as inspection and cleaning of their indispensable equipment, however, they especially highly evaluate the loan of replacement equipment in emergencies."

Quick response even when facing unexpected troubles can be realized through the accumulated experience of supporting professionals in a wide range of international events for nearly half a century.

"With the reliable support of NPS, we can concentrate on shooting anywhere in the world," it is the verdict of many professionals. Photographers that captured exciting scenes of the Asian Cup 2011 were effectively supported by NPS staff.

The NPS depot, opened at the AFC Asian Cup 2011, conducted comprehensive maintenance and equipment loan services for professionals from all over the world. Many photographers took advantage of these services provided by Nikon's technical staff during the event.

Transmitting the excitement of sports through photography

Nikon supports not only professional photographers. During the event, Nikon also hosted the Nikon Field Photographer Program, in which local families were invited to take photographs of the players from the sidelines or behind the goal with Nikon digital SLRs before kickoff. Several pairs — one parent and child — were invited from the host country, Qatar, this time.

Comments of children who attended included, "I attended the program just because I wanted to have a new experience. Actually, I was more excited than I expected to be taking photographs of the players so close to the pitch," and "I really enjoyed the exciting moments. I really want to attend an event like this again." The program that allowed these children to see the players close up and take photographs of them has surely given them precious memories.

It is equally enjoyable to see sports photographs taken by professionals as well as to take photographs of sports. Nikon's desire to convey exciting aspects of football with photography in its role as a camera manufacturer has hopefully reached the hearts of many people.

In the Nikon Field Photographer Program, several families took photographs of Qatar players warming up on the pitch prior to kickoff, together with professional photographers. Participants enjoyed the special experience of wearing the same official bib as professionals and releasing the shutter freely.
Khalifa International Stadium where the opening match was held.

* The above text and images were originally published in Japanese on the website of Number, one of the most popular sports magazines in Japan, to introduce some of the NPS activities at the AFC Asian Cup 2011, including service depots and the Nikon Field Photographer Program.