New Stellar Names Join SportAccord Convention 2014 Conference Line-Up

Thursday, March 20, 2014

SportAccord Convention today announced the addition of a flock of exciting new conference speakers for the 12th annual event, which is now less than three weeks away in Belek/Antalya, Turkey.  SportAccord Convention 2014 will be held from April 6-11 at the Susesi Convention Centre.

Olympic swimming legend Donna de Varona, President of DAMAR Inc., who has pioneered efforts to empower girls and women through sport, will take part in the session “A Women’s World: The Journey Towards Sporting Equality.”  

Brett Gosper, Secretary General of the International Rugby Board, has joined the line-up for the session on “The New Face Of Leadership.”  

Gideon Sam, President of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee will participate in the debate on “Establishing New Markets” in the City Forum.

Joining him on that panel will be Yusuf Hacisüleyman, Chairman of the Mediterranean Association of Touristic Hoteliers; Gernot Leitner, Chairman of Masterconcept, and

Professor Nikolay Peshin, Pro Rector of the Russian International Olympic University in Sochi.

New speakers joining the City Forum session on “Sharing the Bidding Process and Responsibilities” will be Susan Sawbridge, Manager of Event Prospecting and Bidding of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development, and H.U. (Henk) Stokhof, Head of the City of Amsterdam’s Sports Department.

SportAccord Convention 2014 Chooses the Winning Way with JTA

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

SportAccord Convention is delighted to announce JTA as a Silver Partner of the 2014 Convention. The event will be the first time JTA has come on board as a Partner.

For more than 15 years, JTA has been the driving force behind winners in every area of international sport: creating and delivering international relations and communications programmes for clients including Sochi 2014, London 2017 and the World Taekwondo Federation.

“We are delighted to welcome JTA as a Silver Partner for the 2014 Convention,” said Nis Hatt, Managing Director of SportAccord Convention.

“With its unmatched knowledge of the global sports sector, JTA will undoubtedly assist in growing our event, as it continues to deliver clear and concise messages directly to the heart of the sports movement.”

Jon Tibbs, Chairman of JTA, added: “JTA’s sponsorship of SportAccord Convention aligns perfectly with our new focus and direction within the Olympic Movement and we are confident that it will support us in broadening and deepening our client base further.”

This year delegates can take advantage of the JTA Business Club - an exclusive area where delegates will host private meetings.

“The JTA Business Club is an excellent platform for delegates to meet and network over the course of the Convention, and JTA will host a number of high profile meetings and receptions during the week,” said Jon Tibbs.

“With its prime location at the entrance to the Convention, we encourage all delegates to come and make use of our excellent facilities.”

In addition to ownership of the Business Club, JTA is also proud to be sponsoring the Official SportAccord Convention 2014 Golf Tournament on Sunday 6 April.

The “Best Ball” Golf Tournament allows delegates the opportunity to network in a relaxed environment, whilst experiencing the fantastic Faldo Course at the Cornelia Diamond Golf Resort.

Don’t miss out: secure your spot on the first tee!

Focus on Youth at SportAccord Convention 2014 Conference

Monday, March 17, 2014

A groundbreaking conference session focusing on the tastes and sporting aspirations of young people, the Youth Club, will be a highlight of the SportAccord Convention 2014 conference during this year’s event from 6-11 April 2014 in Belek/Antalya, Turkey. For the first time, the Convention will feature a conference panel composed of young people from sport and media, who will explain and debate what they like – and don’t like – about sport in a free-spirited atmosphere.

Effervescent sport and technology guru Professor Andy Miah, who heads the Creative Futures Institute at the University of the West of Scotland, has advised on the content of the session and will moderate a highly interactive encounter that is sure to generate plenty of buzz at the Susesi Convention Centre.

“With the average age of television viewers of the Olympics reaching 50, and similar trends in other established sports events, having a better understanding of the younger generation is a matter of survival,” Professor Miah said.  “Sports in the future will be watched on the move using wearable devices, we will play sports in virtual worlds, and they may even involve contests between human cyborgs. So much is about to change and we really need to figure out what to protect, so that sports continue to be important in the 21st and 22nd Centuries.”

“The Youth Club will be about what young people really want from sport, what sports they are participating in and watching, how they’re consuming them and what inspires them to switch on a sport or skip it. It’s going to be frank, informative and fun.”

Among the panelists will be Youth Olympics silver-medal athlete Alessia Trost, Olympic swimmer Katinka Hosszú and Paralympic athlete and former Bath Rugby player Megan Harris, plus a representative from the IOC Young Reporters programme, amongst others.

For more information on our panellists, please visit our Speaker Biographies page.

SportAccord Convention Enhances its Online Presence

Thursday, March 13, 2014

SportAccord Convention today announced the launch of its brilliant new website:

Developed by Geneva-based communication and web design agency Penceo Sport, the upgraded site, optimised for mobile devices, offers a fresh look for SportAccord Convention.

“We are very pleased and enthusiastic with the latest version of the website and its significant improvements which makes SportAccord Convention more accessible than ever, providing the end user with additional features and a new easy to use interface,” explains Nis Hatt, Managing Director of SportAccord Convention.

The launch of the Convention’s brand new electronic publications - SAC2014: The Preview and SAC2014: The Review - means delegates will be able to enjoy all pre-event buzz and post-event summary.

“We are proud to have assisted SportAccord Convention in establishing its enhanced online presence and we are excited about launching the digital publications,” said Pascal Willoughby-Petit, Managing Director of Penceo Sport.

In addition, SportAccord Convention has launched its first ever mobile app. Available for free on iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone and Desktop Computer, the app enables delegates to make the most of their spectacular week in Belek/Antalya.

ISA Brings its World StandUp Race Champion to Belek

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The International Surfing Association (ISA) is pleased to announce that its 2013 World Stand-Up Paddle (SUP) Champion, Casper Steinfath from Denmark, will be joining the ISA President, Fernando Aguerre, at SportAccord Convention in Belek/Antalya, Turkey on 9 April 2014 for a special live demonstration of one of surfing’s most popular and fastest growing disciplines.

“I’m super stoked to come to Belek and support the ISA’s promotion of our great sport,” said Steinfath, who narrowly defeated Australian legend, Jaime Mitchell, at the 2013 ISA World Championships in Lima, Peru. “SUP is taking off in Europe and the rest of the world and I can’t wait to get in the water, cool off, and have fun with the SportAccord Convention participants.”

The ISA is also celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout 2014 with a series of events and initiatives including Steinfath’s participation in SportAccord Convention. As the World Governing Body for surfing and wave sports, the ISA has been crowning world champions in the sport since 1964 and has seen its membership grow to 81 members this year with the recent recognitions of National Federations in Belgium, Hong Kong, Poland, São Tomé and Príncipe, The Gambia and Nigeria.

The ISA has set a goal to recognize 100 National Federations by the end of 2015.

“These new territories underline our sport’s trajectory and expansion,” said Aguerre who will be in Belek promoting surfing and SUP to Olympic leaders. “What may have started as a niche activity in a handful of coast-lined countries of the world back when we got started in 1964, is now a truly universal and global sport.”

Aguerre will also be using the opportunity of SportAccord Convention to promote new venue technology to Olympic Movement leaders that will make the sport of surfing more accessible to multi-sport events and the Olympic Games, as well as to illustrate the progress of the ISA’s development of SUP racing and surfing.

“One of the biggest obstacles to surfing in the Olympic Games has been a consistent, reliable venue to ride waves, but this technology has the potential to change all that,” said Aguerre. “Surfing is one of the fastest growing sports among youth around the world and we understand well how important this demographic is to the Olympic Movement. Wave pool technology will change the landscape for future high performance surfing and competitive opportunities everywhere and opens the door for our sport to major multi-sport games.”

With the capacity to deliver a 2-metre (6-7 foot) high, 120-metre (400 foot) long wave suitable for high performance surfing every 60 seconds, the technology would allow for a consistent, reliable venue even in locations where there is no ocean and potentially using existing Olympic venues. There are already 10 facilities around the world in development that are expected to be completed towards the end of 2014 and early 2015.

Aguerre will also be pushing the case for SUP with the help of his Danish star Steinfath.  Practiced in both racing and surfing formats, SUP has gained an enormous global following, and could be even easier for Olympic and multi-sport organisers to integrate, depending on the local venue infrastructure. 

For the past three years, the ISA has been running world championships in SUP, and has consistently seen the number of participating athletes and countries grow. There are already 40 countries with SUP teams expected at this year’s ISA World Championships in Nicaragua next month.

“Because SUP is easier to practice, and can be done on waves or flatwater, it offers an additional element of universality to the Olympic Movement,” Aguerre added.

Repucom is SportAccord Convention Official Sports Marketing Research Partner

Monday, March 10, 2014

LAUSANNE, Switzerland – SportAccord Convention announced today that Repucom will be the Official Sports Marketing Research Partner 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.

As the research and consultancy provider of choice for over 1,000 of the top brands and organisations in the sports business, Repucom is ideally positioned to take the pulse of the industry on behalf of SportAccord Convention. As part of the partnership, Repucom will conduct a pre-event survey focusing on the SportAccord Convention 2014 conference and the future of sports in general.

“We are very pleased to have this opportunity to help SportAccord Convention in obtaining a better picture of what this year’s delegates and people in the sports business more generally want and expect from the event,” said Thomas Zimmermann, Repucom Global Director of Marketing and Communications. “Our research will also help to understand how the 2,500 delegates and participants from around the globe see sports developing over the next five years.”

“Having Repucom on board as our Official Sports Marketing Research Partner will help us to sharpen our efforts to deliver maximum value to delegates present and future,” said Nis Hatt, Managing Director of SportAccord Convention.

Kazakhstan Combat Sports Group Becomes SportAccord Convention Gold Partner

Monday, March 10, 2014

LAUSANNE, Switzerland – SportAccord Convention announced today that the Combat and Strength Sports Confederation of Kazakhstan will be a Gold Partner for this year’s event taking place in Belek/Antalya, Turkey from April 6-11, 2014. The Confederation represents National Federations in five of Kazakhstan’s most popular sports (boxing, judo, taekwondo, weightlifting and wrestling).

“Our Gold Partnership with SportAccord Convention will open new opportunities for the development of our Confederation in particular and for strengthening sports of Kazakhstan in general,” said Confederation Chairman Kulibayev Timur. “This event will facilitate the development and promotion of Olympic sports in Kazakhstan and enable us to meet and communicate with leaders of international sports federations, rights holders and organising committees. Strengthening international cooperation with other sports organisations is one of the main directions of our activity.”

The new agreement with Combat and Strength Sports Confederation of Kazakhstan marks the first time that SportAccord Convention has had a national confederation as a Gold Partner. The 12th annual edition of the event will take place at the Susesi Convention Centre in Belek/Antalya, one of the biggest and most modern congress centres in the Mediterranean area.

“This new Gold Partnership with the Combat and Strength Sports Confederation of Kazakhstan highlights the growing importance both of new markets such as Kazakhstan and of combat sports,” said Nis Hatt, Managing Director of SportAccord Convention. “We are gratified by this show of confidence in our event.”

FREE WEBINAR: How International Federations Can Maximise Sponsorship

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

They all want it. Big or small, they all need it. But how can International Federations maximise sponsorship?

Our Future of Sponsorship Rights Strategies for International Federations (IFs) webinar, co-hosted by SportBusiness Group, will take place on Wednesday 12 March, 15:00 GMT

Didier Mieville, Marketing and TV Director at the World Archery Federation, and Brian Mahony, Director of Global Projects at the International Triathlon Union (ITU), will offer their insight from the IF perspective, whilst Joel Seymour-Hyde, Vice President of Strategy EMEI at Octagon UK, a global sports marketing agency, will tackle the topic from the brand’s point of view.

The 45 minute webinar will be moderated by Matthew Glendinning, Editor of Sports Sponsorship Insider at SportBusiness Group, who will pose the questions:

•    How are IFs making themselves attractive to sponsors?
•    What are the challenges for IFs in securing sponsors for their sport?  
•    How can digital technology and social media be used to maximise exposure for sponsors?

Space is limited, so please sign up here. (A recording of the webinar will be emailed to all registrants.)

Follow #SponsorshipRights on Twitter to join the conversation!

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.