Scottish Minister Joins SportAccord Convention 2014 Conference

Thursday, February 27, 2014

SportAccord Convention today announced that Shona Robison, Scotland’s Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, will speak at this year’s event from 6-11 April 2014 in Belek/Antalya, Turkey. In a momentous year for Scotland, which will host the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow – and vote in a referendum on independence from the United Kingdom – the Minister will deliver the keynote address in the City Forum at the Susesi Convention Centre.

Michael Cunnah, Chairman of iSportconnect, formerly CEO of Wembley Stadium, will lend his expertise to moderating that session examining the key requirements facing cities and countries in becoming credible and successful as host locations.

The groundbreaking conference session on “The Integrity Issue” has added a trio of outstanding names to the line-up. Sir Craig Reedie, President of the World Anti-Doping Agency, will join the debate on cheating and sports-related criminality, alongside two top experts on the challenge of match-fixing: Chris Eaton, Director of Sport Integrity at the International Centre for Sport Security, and Andreas Krannich, Managing Director Strategy and Integrity of SportRadar. 

More details about speakers and sessions will be announced soon. As in past years, the conference moderator will be BBC World News Anchor and Journalist David Eades

New Media Platforms Growing in Importance for International Federations

Monday, March 3, 2014

The increasing importance of digital platforms as part of International Federations’ overall media strategies was brought sharply into focus during an online webinar staged by SportAccord Convention in collaboration with Media Partner SportBusiness International.

SportAccord General Director, Vlad Marinescu, International Orienteering Federation (IOF), President Brian Porteous and Essar Gabriel, the Secretary General of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), participated in the webinar, which was entitled ‘Sport’s New Frontiers: The Future of International Federations’ Media Rights Strategies’ and was moderated by Frank Dunne, Editor of TV Sports Markets.

Adapting to developing trends in the modern media world is a continuing challenge for all sports, particularly considering the options available to viewers.

Brian Porteous kicked off the discussion by explaining that the IOF has already adopted various digital innovations and techniques to improve coverage of orienteering.

“We try to take advantage of traditional broadcasting whilst trying to do the same in the digital world,” Porteous said.

“The challenge is finding the means of selling and promoting these.”

Fans of the sport are already able to access satellite tracking of their favourite athletes via the internet to complement television coverage. Such approaches allow the viewer to get closer to the action, acting as a turning point in the way the sport is portrayed to the public. 

“The breakthrough for us came through satellite tracking letting us see exactly where our athletes are,” Brian said. 

“Satellite tracking is attractive to younger audiences as it is so visually attractive. If we do nothing else, we can still broadcast our satellite tracking on the internet to create an almost virtual sport.

“Digital coverage sits very well alongside the traditional broadcasts as orienteering is ideal for second-screen viewing.”

Vlad Marinescu added that new technology should be embraced in order for sports coverage to continue to evolve.

“The world is ever-changing so you must be willing to change your own product to keep up with that,” Vlad said.

“It is important to follow technology, find the most beautiful way to show the sport, make it understandable and do the athletes justice.

“The internet is one of the most valuable platforms that International Federations have. It is very important to activate fans around the world on platforms like social media.”

Essar Gabriel supported Vlad’s viewpoint by saying that although the IAAF recognises television as still the media’s main platform, a focus on social media and online platforms is critical in ensuring that sports can remain relevant in the modern world.

“The non-television platforms are still secondary but they are important and can be used strategically,” Essar said.

“We want to make sure that our product is top-notch and we always have to look to try and make the job we do even better.

“We are using social media and are continually growing on these platforms. We also have to do a better job of linking our athletes with the Federation’s own digital platforms.”

Read our Storify of the Twitter activity around the webinar.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Established SportAccord Convention Bronze Partner, Masterconcept, is pleased to launch its Asian branch, Masterconcept Asia, in a joint venture with SantoAIM Ltd. 

With over 10 years of experience in delivering international projects in the major sports events and mountain resort industry, Masterconcept will combine its knowledge of Olympic Bids, Olympic Games and major event deliveries with SantoAIM's strong market position in China. The Beijing-based enterprise will see Masterconcept Asia focus on mountain touristic projects as well as future major events to be planned and held in China. 

Having secured its first planning contract in early 2013 with Sports University Long Yuan in Shenyang, Northeast China, Masterconcept Asia has also won a contract with the second largest mountain resort development west of Beijing.

The Austrian-based company has been a dedicated Bronze Partner since the 2010 event in Dubai, although Masterconcept's relationship with the Convention started in 2009 when it first exhibited in Denver. Since then, Masterconcept has continued to enjoy the advantages of an exhibition space and arranged meetings with various cities, regions and tourist boards that are hosting or looking to host major events. 

"China's large domestic market and fast growing segment of mountain and leisure tourism is a great opportunity for exporting the Austrian mountain development experience and spirit instilled within Masterconcept" said Gernot Leitner, CEO of Masterconcept. "We have developed one of the world's leading intermodal transport simulation models (ITSOS), fully based on GIS (Geographic Information Systems) which has helped Sochi 2014 to set up its operational master plan. The model is a great tool to assess and improve cities and regions in terms of public transport and will be a great asset in China's modernisation ambitions."

James Tay, skiing fanatic and owner of SantoAIM, and Gernot Leitner, a former Austrian national team volleyball player and owner of Masterconcept, are both equal shareholders in this venture. The office, with a starting size of eight design industry and project management experts, is located in central Beijing and operates across China. 

With SantoAIM's 200 engineers in Beijing and Masterconcept's 40 architects, designers and transport planners in Austria and Russia, the partnership will have the power to deliver large scale projects of the highest quality.

See the 2014 event schedule and conference programme.

Register here.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

LAUSANNE, Switzerland - SportAccord Convention announced today that International Cycling Union (UCI) President Brian Cookson and freerunning pioneer Sébastien Foucan, whose acrobatic exploits thrilled global cinema audiences in the opening sequence of James Bond film Casino Royale, will be among the speakers during SportAccord Convention 2014 taking place 6-11 April 2014, in Belek/Antalya, Turkey.

The UCI President, attending SportAccord Convention for the first time since his dramatic election last autumn, will deliver a keynote speech in a new-look Conference Programme at SportAccord Convention 2014 with the theme of "Sport's New Frontiers." Delegates will be able to hear top speakers and enjoy interactive sessions in new formats outside of the main auditorium as well as inside the event at Belek's Susesi Convention Centre.

One of the founders of the urban youth discipline of Parkour, Foucan will expound his views on the importance of self-expression in sport and demonstrate his eye-popping skills in conjunction with The Youth Club, an imaginative session on the sporting tastes, habits and aspirations of young audiences.

Participants in a panel session on "Rule-Breakers and Game-Changers" will include Adrian Christy, Chief Executive of Badminton England and Brett Hasell, Marketing Coordinator of the International Hockey Federation (FIH). They will join the audience in debating the provocative question, if you could change the rules of one sport, what would you do? 

Lisa Lazarus, Chief of Business Development & Strategy at the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), will be among the guests for "A Woman's World - The Journey Towards Sporting Equality," a frank discussion of how to create better sporting equality - on the field of play and in the media, business and governing bodies. Olympic medallist Charmaine Crooks, President of NGU Consultants, will moderate the session.

These are just a few of the confirmed speakers and sessions on the programme, more details will be announced in coming weeks. As in past years, the conference moderator will be BBC World news anchor and journalist David Eades.

Learn more about the conference programme.

A discounted rate is in effect for delegates booking their places early via the website by Friday 31 Janaury.



Friday, January 17, 2014

The International Ski Federation (FIS) and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), two organisations always present at SportAccord Convention, are joining forces once again to promote youth interest in snow sports through the third FIS World Snow Day on 19 January 2014.

FIS World Snow Day encourages all stakeholders in the snow industry to contribute to a special day for four to 14-year olds and their families on the third Sunday in January every year. The initiative is part of FIS's international Bring Children to the Snow campaign, launched in 2007, which seeks to reverse the decline in snow sports participation by the younger generations.

To promote the event, the EBU is making available its global EUROVISION distribution capabilities - including the World Link platform - and its members' distribution channels to spread the message of World Snow Day 2013 through a top-quality 30-second promotional trailer - which is free to broadcasters and is available in English, German, French, Italian, Russian and Spanish. In addition, EBU Members can add links to their online channels to World Snow Day's digital online platform:

New Webinar Series Explores Sport's New Frontiers

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

We are excited to announce that we have joined up with SportAccord Convention Exhibitor, SportBusiness Group, to co-host a series of webinars in the build-up to the 2014 Convention in April.

In keeping with our conference theme 'Sport's New Frontiers', the webinars will look at three key areas that impact the effectiveness and profitability of International Federations: Media Rights, Sponsorship Rights and Hosting Rights.

The first of these webinars, 'Sport's New Frontiers - The Future of International Federations - Media Rights Strategies', will be held next Tuesday (25 February) at 3pm GMT. Joining moderator, Frank Dunne, Editor of TV Sports Markets, will be three panellists from across the International Federation spectrum:

* S. Vlad Marinescu, General Director, SportAccord
* Brian Porteous, President, International Orienteering Federation
* Essar Gabriel, Secretary General, IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations)

The webinar on Sponsorship Rights will take place on 11 March and on Hosting Rights on 25 March.

Space is limited, so please register your place on the webinar here

Cities Look to Sporting Events for Tourism Boost

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The World Masters Games is set to provide a huge boost for the local economies in Québec City, Canada and Auckland, New Zealand over the next three years, according to newly-reported figures.

The next summer and winter editions of the International World Games Association's flagship multi-sport event will take place in Québec City in 2015 and Auckland in 2017, respectively.

Next year's event in Québec City is projected to generate between $6-10 million CDN whereas the next Summer Games in 2017 in Auckland is expected to contribute $53.5 million NZ towards the country's gross domestic product and $36 million NZ into Auckland's local economy, according to independent estimates.

"Auckland prides itself on being a vibrant international events city - and our plans to host the World Masters Games 2017 is a fantastic example of this in action, bringing significant economic and social benefits," Rachael Carroll, Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development's (ATEED) General Manager Destination and Marketing, said.

"The event will showcase the region to thousands of international visitors. On top of that, Aucklanders and New Zealanders will have the opportunity to participate in the world's largest multi-sport event as athletes, volunteers or spectators.

"As Auckland continues to build on the momentum of Rugby World Cup 2011, hosting major events like this provides a great boost to our growing international reputation."

Auckland will join an increasing number of cities that consider sporting events as a major driver of tourist activity.

The London Olympic and Paralympic Games were credited with boosting tourism spending in the UK capital by seven per cent year-on-year to more than £10 billion, but single- or multi-sports events of all sizes can also generate significant returns for host cities, according to newly-reported figures.

During the 2013 International Skating Union World Figure Skating Championships in London, Ontario, Canada, excluding any of the capital upgrades, the city invested under $1 million CDN with the combined spending of out of town visitors, participants, media, plus the operational spending in London reaching $14.7 million CDN. Three-quarters of all spectators came from outside the host city.

Meanwhile according to the Sport Event Denmark national events agency, the 2011 International Cycling Union Road World Championships in Copenhagen generated total tourism turnover of EUR31.2 million, with 40% of the 262,000 spectators being tourists.


Sport Event Denmark's CEO Gears Up for a 'Game Changing' Event

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Last year, SportAccord Convention Gold Partner, Sport Event Denmark, had a Game Changer when it successfully campaigned to open the IAAF/AL-Bank World Half Marathon Championships to the general public. On 29 March 2014, 300 elite runners will be joined by thousands of recreational runners in a gigantic running festival. We spoke to Lars Lundov, CEO of Sport Event Denmark, about the campaign.

1. How did you bring the 2014 IAAF/AL-Bank World Half Marathon Championships to Copenhagen?

Back in November 2011, Sport Event Denmark, the Danish Athletic Association and the City of Copenhagen went to Monte-Carlo to present the Danish bid to the IAAF Council. We were competing against 2-3 other strong candidates, so it was definitely not a 'walk-over'. As always when Denmark is bidding on a major event we were well prepared and presented a professional bid file with strong messages and on-site presentation as well. So in the end, we could celebrate one more major event in Denmark over a drink in Monte-Carlo the same evening. 

2. In your opinion, how important was it to allow the general public to participate in the race?

Allowing the public to participate has really emphasised running in Denmark. However, our focus is not only on the runners, but on spectators too. Along the course more than 15 bands will play and spectators will be invited to join in in the festivities. It will be a celebration for everyone!

3. What positive impact would you like to see from hosting the race?

The event has sold out and actually very fast, with over 30,000 starting numbers handed out across 72 different nations. We're really trying to create an international running festival, open to all, enjoyed by all! Outside of Danish competitors, Sweden has the largest number of participating runners, making up a third of foreign participants. Norwegian runners represent about one-fifth, while Britain and Germany make up about a tenth. The race also includes runners from: the United States; Australia; Brazil; Iraq; Mexico; Barbados and The Dominican Republic.

4. How did Sport Event Denmark use SportAccord Convention 2013 to highlight the race as a Game Changer?

Leading up to the Convention, we launched the #YourGameChanger social media campaign. The campaign's aim was to get individuals from all areas of sport to share their 'Event Game Changers.' 

Our exhibition stand reflected this theme as we used the space to interview key people about their 'Game Changers'. Their responses were then displayed in our booth, shared via our social media channels and SportAccord Convention's The Daily.* 

Following the success of the #YourGameChanger campaign, we have developed a new theme for SportAccord Convention 2014. This year delegates will be asked: "What can be added to events to enhance the visitor experience?" This could be anything from the welcome activities in the airport to the side events that engage spectators and visitors. 

Further information on the new campaign will be released closer to the event at

*You can view a selection of these interviews, including Lord Sebastian Coe's, on SportAccord Convention's YouTube channel.

All Eyes on Scotland as it Continues Partnership with SportAccord Convention

Thursday, February 20, 2014

SportAccord Convention announced today that EventScotland will once again be a Silver Partner of the event as part of a new three-year deal through to the 2016 event. The 12th annual SportAccord Convention takes place from 6-11 April 2014 at the Susesi Convention Centre in Belek/Antalya, Turkey and will be the fifth successive year that EventScotland has participated as a Silver Partner. 

The eyes of the world will be on Scotland in 2014 with both the Commonwealth Games and The Ryder Cup taking place there within the space of three months. EventScotland has been involved in securing a number of major properties for 2015 which will ensure Scotland continues to be the perfect stage for sport events. These include:

o FIG World Gymnastics Championships; 
o IOF World Orienteering Championships; 
o IPC Swimming World Championships; 
o FEI European Eventing Championships; 
o EJU European Judo Championships; 
o The Open Championship
o RICOH Women's British Open

"SportAccord Convention provides us with an unrivalled platform to engage with our global event partners, and our partnership is hugely valuable to us," said Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland. "After our major events in 2014, Scotland will host three World and two European Championships next year and we are looking forward to discussing our future aspirations with colleagues at the Convention in April." 

"EventScotland are a great partner to work with, always fully immersing themselves in the Convention and the various networking opportunities," said Nis Hatt, Managing Director of SportAccord Convention. "They never fail to deliver an engaging exhibition stand that provides our delegates with a real taste of what Scotland has to offer. This year I'm sure will be no exception!"

PwC Continues SportAccord Convention Gold Partnership

Friday, February 28, 2014

SportAccord Convention announced today that PwC will be a Gold Partner of SportAccord Convention for this year's event taking place from 6-11 April 2014 at the Susesi Convention Centre in Belek/Antalya, Turkey, one of the biggest and most modern congress centres in the Mediterranean area. 

The agreement marks PwC's second year as a Gold Partner. In 2013, PwC conducted the first Economic Impact Study of SportAccord Convention and estimated the direct and indirect impact of the event in Saint Petersburg, Russia, at US$7.69 million - which exceeded PwC's pre-Convention estimate by more than 12%.

"The first year of our partnership with SportAccord Convention was extremely successful and we are very pleased to be continuing as a Gold Partner in 2014," said Robert Gruman, PwC Russia Advisory Leader, who heads PwC's Global Sports Mega-Events Centre of Excellence. "SportAccord Convention provides us with networking opportunities and enhances our ability to build relationships with International Federations and the global sports movement."

"Our Gold Partnership with PwC has been of great value to us as an organisation and we are gratified to know that the feeling is mutual" said Nis Hatt, Managing Director of SportAccord Convention. "We are very pleased that the partnership is continuing and that we are able to provide a platform for PwC to meet its business objectives." 

PwC's Sports Mega-Events Centre of Excellence comprises a network of professionals experienced in bringing value at all phases of the sports mega-events lifecycle. 

For the Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (still to come from 7-16 March), PwC's experts, in partnership with the Sochi Organising Committee, carried out over 200 projects in several key areas, from strategic and operational planning to supply chain management, from HR consulting to risk management.