New Professional Era

The world of international federations (IFs) is undergoing significant changes before our very eyes. Long thought of as stuffy, old-fashioned organisations run by former athletes with little knowledge or know-how of operating in the modern-day business of sport, there has been a push to professionalise and turn IFs into organisations that host bigger events, create different revenue streams and attract new fans to the sport, while at the same time ploughing money back into grassroots.

Kevin Roberts went deep into the world of IFs, identifying the major challenges they face in their day-to-day running, and picking out examples of best practice from the last 12 months. Which IFs are succeeding – and which aren’t – in areas such as governance and transparency, marketing and communications, innovation and global expansion?

Modern-Day Mechanics: What are the major challenges facing international federations (IFs) in 2015, and what can they do to achieve better decision-making and more transparent governance? 

Federation or Brand? Is the importance of an international federation’s brand too often neglected? 

Case Study 1: FIVB (International Volleyball Federation) Secretary General Fernando Lima on why a culture of innovation looks set to be the hallmark of Dr. Ary Graça’s presidency.

Case Study 2: The most successful federations have looked to bring in influential executives with experience outside the federation space. We looked at the approach of FIBA (the International Basketball Federation).

Case Study 3: Change can bring uncertainty and insecurity, forcing them to go face-to-face with realities they’d prefer to ignore. We looked at how change was approached by the FIH (International Hockey Federation).


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