Courtesy of SportAccord Principal Media Partner SportsPro
SportAccord President Dr. Raffaele Chiulli (pictured) explains why the SportAccord World Sport & Business Summit 2021 in Ekaterinburg, Russia will provide a vital signpost for a recuperating industry.
Few people will be sorry to see the back of 2020, but in the world of sport, there are real reasons to look forward to 2021, with the return of the SportAccord World Sport & Business Summit in May offering a vital signpost for an industry facing unprecedented challenges.
As we enter the final quarter of this turbulent year, it is obvious that many international, national and regional sports organisations are continuing to struggle with the ongoing disruption caused by Covid-19.
Navigating a path towards a brighter future may seem unattainable for lots of people at this moment. However, in this year of adversity, sport has provided a key pillar upon which we, as a global society, can build a positive future with sport playing a crucial part.
I have been inspired – but not surprised – to see the creativity of our international sport federation members in how they have engaged their followers through innovative channels and strategies, even when there has been relatively sparse sporting action.
Restrictions on spectators may have left many arenas eerily empty, but we have begun to see a gradual return to what has been described as a “new normal”, and any action that has taken place has helped to provide entertainment and a positive distraction to followers worldwide.
Elite sport can captivate, but sport also has the power to encourage people of all ages and abilities to be more active and improve their mental and social wellbeing, as well as their physical health. As custodians of sport, our community has an even greater responsibility in this regard considering the impact of Covid-19 this year.
Alongside sport, the importance of community and connections has been underlined in recent months. We have all seen how communities have pulled together to support each other, and how people who have been forced to dispense with their usual face-to-face meetings have maintained contact with friends, relations and colleagues via alternative means of communication.
Strengthening the international sporting community through building connections lies at the very heart of SportAccord’s raison d’être. Since our very first event in 2003, SportAccord has brought together sport’s leading decision-makers to form a community that engages in constructive dialogue in the spirit of unity and friendship, all for the good of sport and our society.
Given the events of this year, for our international sport federation members and the global sports industry, the 2021 World Sport & Business Summit in Ekaterinburg will undoubtedly be the most important edition of our flagship annual event so far.
We have seen the positive impact of SportAccord over the years, with federations forging closer bonds across the multiple meetings and social events that take place over the week, while delegates have gained valuable insights from countless experts via our extensive conference programme to enhance best practice strategies.
Our conference programme is split into a series of streams, enabling attendees to select a dedicated area of interest. In addition to the central SportAccord Summit, LawAccord, CityAccord, HealthAccord and MediaAccord have become established parts of SportAccord’s comprehensive offering.
In addition to these, the new InvestAccord conference stream will launch in Ekaterinburg – and the timing could not be more appropriate. The conference will be geared towards investors, as well as federations, sport organisations, promoters and properties that are interested in exploring new revenue streams or identifying fresh investment sources, whilst reducing financial risk.
Sport has shown tremendous resilience in dealing with this pandemic so far, but with plenty more to do, working together to identify solutions is crucial.
In this context, Ekaterinburg is the ideal destination for the sporting world to reunite. This is a stunning, sports-loving city that sits at the intersection of Europe and Asia. The meeting rooms overlook the exhibition space, ensuring a hub of activity and networking at the state-of-the-art IEC Ekaterinburg-Expo.
As always, there will be over 150 cities and regions represented by more than 1,500 decision-makers and at least 1,000 different organisations in attendance. SportAccord remains the only global sports business gathering attended by all international federations and their affiliated umbrella organisations, as well as organising committees, hosting cities and regions, governments and administrations, rights holders, agencies and athletes, plus experts and organisations from the sports media, technology, investment, medical and legal sectors.
Of course, significant challenges lie ahead for many in the global sports movement. However, it is worth remembering that generations of sports fans are craving the full return of sport – and it will return, with gusto.
Opportunities can come out of adversity, but we need to work together as a global community to find solutions for the benefit of sport as we look forward to a new chapter for our movement. For that reason, SportAccord, and especially the World Sport & Business Summit 2021, has never been more important.
Registration is open for the 2021 SportAccord World Sport & Business Summit, which will take place from 23rd to 28th May in Ekaterinburg, Russia. Visit www.sportaccord.sport for more information.