Sportaccord 2009 - Denver, Colorado (USA)

By Donalda Ammons

President Donalda Ammons represented ICSD at the 2009 SportAccord Conference in Denver, Colorado from 23-26 March.

Sportaccord annually brings representatives from the 100 international sports federationsPDF affiliated to GAISF (General Association of International Sports Federations), ASOIF (Association of Summer Olympic International Federations) and AIOWF (Association of the International Olympic Winter Sports Federations), as well as the International Olympic Committee Executive Board, together with sponsors, bidding and host cities, architects, sports lawyers, broadcasters, games organising committees, rights holders and other specialists to discuss the key issues facing the sports industry. 

Owned by GAISF, ASOIF and AIOWF, Sportaccord encompasses the annual Congress and General Assembly of each association, while offering the sports community a powerful opportunity to come together in an exclusive and authoritative networking environment to build relationships, exchange knowledge and develop ideas.

Interesting tidbits:
IAAF- Unveils a new approach to finding host city partners, by Nick Davies, Communications Director of IAAF
Until now, the IAAF has always searched for host cities by inviting any of its member federations to declare an interest. Ultimately, one of them will be selected to host following a presentation to our executive board- the IAAF Council.

However, although the IAAF member federations must always remain central to the organization of our events because they are directly associated to us and also have the technical expertise needed to organize athletics competitions, they also need other partners within their countries.

The growth of what could be called the sport hosting business means the municipal, regional and even national authorities play an increasingly crucial role. In many cases, we believe that the resources needed to organize world class sporting events, as well as the enthusiasm and understanding o f the wider benefits, will be found there.  This also allows the member federations to focus on what they do best-the technical aspect of competition organization.

But how do we reach this target audience of sport tourism destinations, which may be delighted to organize a top athletics event but are not aware of which IAAF events are on offer and what the demands and benefits might be.

So IAAF have taken a more pro-active approach by producing a new publication which directly addresses the target audience of city and other authorities with key messages about the values and qualities of the IAAF, as well as detailed analysis of each of our major competitions.

Athletes for HOPE
One of the highlights of the SportAccord was the Sport and Philanthropy session. Athletes for HOPE is a charitable organization created in 2007 by a few very successful athletes of exemplary character who have a deep commitment to charitable and community causes, like Andre Agassi, Lance Armstrong and Mia Hamm.  Two of the organization‘s founding athletes- Andre Agassi and Andrea Jaeger were invited speakers at the SportAccord.

The aim is to educate athletes about the importance of charitable work, as it connects them to causes and it recognizes the importance of what they are doing.  More importantly, it symbolises a movement within the ranks of professional athletes and Olympic athletes and also within the country to enable people to make a difference.

Sportaccord 2010 will be held in Dubai from April 26-30. It will be the first time the international sports convention is held in the Middle East.