Sport’s leading decision-makers are set to converge on Florida in December for a groundbreaking industry gathering that will seek to strengthen international sport federations’ ties with commissions, cities, administrations and agencies in the Americas.
Regional SportAccord Pan America 2019 will take place from December 10-12 at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, giving sport’s stakeholders a significant opportunity to establish connections and exchange knowledge.
The inaugural gathering is being organised by SportAccord in addition to the organisation’s established annual World Sport & Business Summit, which was first staged in 2003 and has travelled from Aarhus in Denmark to Bangkok in Thailand to Gold Coast in Australia over the past three years, with Beijing hosting the 2020 edition from April 19-24
Regional SportAccord will offer something different, however – a chance for governing bodies from the Summer and Winter Olympic Games, as well as ambitious international sport federations that are seeking Olympic recognition, to link up with cities and regions, sports commissions, sports ministries, rights-holders, commercial entities and agencies and learn more about expanding into the region.
“The aim of Regional SportAccord Pan America 2019 is to bring together the Pan American, Olympic and non-Olympic communities, along with the public and commercial sectors from North, South and Central America, in one location,” says SportAccord managing director Nis Hatt.
“Regional SportAccord has been in our thoughts for some time and the opportunity to bring this event to the doorstep of the Americas will be of huge benefit to cities, regions, countries, administrative bodies, national federations, sports commissions and executives.”
The event is being held at a time of strengthening relations between the international sports movement and public and private entities in North, South and Central America.
Whilst the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games is an obvious signpost on the horizon, sport’s governing bodies and administrators are increasingly turning towards the Americas, home to a population of more than a billion, to explore exciting new markets and opportunities.
The level of interest has been illustrated by, at the latest count, more than 50 international sports federations having already signed up for the inaugural event.
Among the high-profile Olympic international sports federations to have confirmed their attendance are the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation (IBSF), International Judo Federation (IJF), International Ski Federation (FIS), International Tennis Federation (ITF), International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) and World Rugby.
Numerous members and representatives of ASOIF (Association of Summer Olympic International Federations) will be present, as well as AIOWF (Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations), ARISF (Association of IOC Recognised International Sports Federations), AIMS (Alliance of Independent Recognised Members of Sport), GAISF (Global Association of International Sports Federations) and Associate Members.
The tone of Regional SportAccord Pan America 2019 will be set by Ricci Bitti’s opening keynote address on The Changing Landscape of the International Sports World.
A panel session on The Future of International Sports Governance will then feature SportAccord and GAISF President Raffaele Chiulli; AIMS President and GAISF Vice President Stephan Fox, AIOWF Secretary General Sarah Lewis and ASOIF Executive Director Andrew Ryan.
With the topics of anti-doping and protecting athletes set to be tackled in separate sessions, esports will also come under the spotlight, during a Esports 101 scene setter delivered by Vlad Marinescu, Vice President of the International Esport Federation and President of the United States eSports Federation, followed by his participation in a panel session with a variety of industry representatives.
International sports federation perspectives will also be provided by the likes of IJF President Marius L. Vizer and Ivo Ferriani, President of the IBSF and an International Olympic Committee Executive Board Member.
Representatives of sports organisations and governing bodies in the Americas will focus on how ‘win-win’ relationships can be nurtured with athletes, including the Government of Ecuador’s Minister of Sport, Andrea Sotomayor; Carlos Zegarra, President of the Peruvian Judo Federation and Assistant Minister of Education at the Peru Ministry of Education; and Ana Gabriela Guevara, Director of CONADE – the National Commission of Physical Culture and Sports of Mexico.
Jason Jenkins, Senior Vice President of Communications and Community Affairs at the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, and Patrick Singleton, Medical & Scientific and Athlete Commission Member at the International Olympic Committee, will be among the panel members for a session on Social Responsibility in Sport that will focus on equality, diversity and inclusion.
The industry’s sharpest commercial brains will also be on hand to offer advice about rebranding opportunities joined by Jim Scherr, CEO, World Lacrosse, while a workshop will provide Panam Tools for International Federations.
One of sport’s most famous names, Nadia Comăneci, the five-time Olympic gymnastics gold medal-winner, will be the subject of a fireside chat, while other speakers during the packed conference programme will include Panam Sports secretary general Ivar Sisniega and Maria Loreto Gonzalez Jaque, Legal Counsel at the National Olympic Committee of Chile’s Office for Respect for the Sport.
Numerous other high-profile speakers will be confirmed in the weeks leading up to the event, with the conference theme focusing on ‘A United Approach to the International Sport Landscape in the Americas’.
Chiulli says: “As a gateway to the Americas, Regional SportAccord will equip international sports federations and sports entities with the knowhow and connections required to engage
the region. The conference programme theme underlines the importance of the international sports movement working collaboratively to explore new horizons.”
Exhibition and social events
A bustling exhibition and numerous social events will provide the backdrop to the conference programme which will take place at the Convention Center, which is located just 15 minutes from the local airport.
“The conference programme is at the heart of the drive to connect sport’s key decision-makers and exchange knowledge in the context of Pan America,” Hatt adds.
“The theme reflects the inspiration behind the creation of Regional SportAccord and we are thrilled to have secured so many first-class speakers already, with many more to be unveiled in the coming weeks.
“The purpose and value of the event will be to give international sports federations the opportunity to exchange views and ideas with sport entities and businesses in the Pan American region supported by continental unions and national federations.
“Regional SportAccord is the perfect platform for enabling this to happen in a constructive and beneficial way for the region and across the sports movement, and we look forward to welcoming the sports community to Fort Lauderdale.”