By Arnaud Dubus
After five days of meetings, conferences, events, and exhibitions in the Thai capital Bangkok, the SportAccord convention held since April 15 is wrapping up on Friday, as organizers and participants considered the event to be a “huge success”, during which key agreements were concluded.
“The convention has been hugely successful. We have had around 2,500 people attending the convention this year, which is a very high number”, Nis Hatt, the managing director of SportAccord, told Anadolu Agency. SportAccord is the largest world sport convention and is organized on a yearly basis. Anadolu Agency is the Media Sponsor of the event for the third time.
“The president of the International Olympic Committee was here, and we had also the presence of the prime minister of Thailand and the Thai minister of sports. We really enjoyed the hospitality of Thailand”, Hatt added.
This year among the additions to the program was a sports festival held Wednesday evening nearby the SportAccord's venue in Bangkok’s main commercial district. There were spectacular demonstrations of sepak takraw, a non-Olympic sport being played with a wicker ball mostly in Southeast Asia, and of traditional Thai boxing. Thai youth also addressed the organizers of the convention.
“The sports festival was a strong statement. It is all about the kids and the future. It was quite moving to see all these kids coming there and explaining in a sweet and nice way their needs and their requirements”, said Hatt.
The impact of digital technologies on sports marketing was a dominating topic during the summit held on Wednesday and Thursday under the theme “Uniting a Global Audience: Marketing and Sponsorship for the Future”. On Thursday, Anthony Edgar, the head of media operation at the International Olympic Committee, made a captivating presentation on how the digital technologies transformed media management for the Olympic Games over the last 15 years.
Important agreements were also signed, including a partnership agreement between the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) and the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) on the organization of the editions of the World Beach Games after 2019. Among other agreements, the Peace and Sports organization signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Badminton World Federation for cooperation on future projects “in order to transcend conflict and foster cross-cultural goodwill, friendship and peace”.
In parallel to the formal sessions, the attendees engaged in intense networking. “SportAccord is the only time in the year where we are all meeting. We are doing business networking but also human networking, just exchanging information and ideas, to see what are the new trends, what are the changes in sport”, Jerome Martin, the head of Global Sports Marketing for AFP, told Anadolu Agency.
Tegla Leroupe, a two-time record holder of the New York Marathon, and a UN Sports and Peace ambassador concurred. “It is the first time I come to the SportAccord convention, and I found it very useful. It is the place where you meet different people to share your work and learn about what they are doing”, she said told Anadolu Agency. “I was also quite impressed by the special way the Thai authorities welcome their guests”.
The executive committee of SportAccord is expected to decide and announce soon which city will host next year's edition of the convention.