London confirmed as 2011 Sport Accord host

From the Mayor of London’s office
London today became the official host city for the 2011 international SportAccord Convention.

The announcement was made at this year’s event in Dubai, where Paul Deighton, Chief Executive Officer, London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, gave the official presentation on behalf of the SportAccord London Board. Supporting the presentation was a video message from London by Mayor Boris Johnson.

A strong London delegation, with representatives from the Mayor’s Office, London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, and the SportAccord London Board are attending the Dubai convention. Throughout the week they have been lobbying delegates, showcasing London and Britain’s expertise in hosting international sporting events and positioning the capital as a long-term partner of the global sports movement.

The SportAccord International Convention in London (April 3-8, 2011) will see over 1,500 of the world’s top sporting officials and business people from more than 60 countries come to the capital. It is a unique chance for the capital to increase its market share in the US$111 billion global sports business industry. In the year prior to the London 2012 Games, it is an unprecedented opportunity for London and the UK to promote itself as new world leaders in the business of sport and major events for many years to come.

The convention is expected to contribute over £3m to the London economy. However, it is expected to be worth many more millions through contracts for new businesses and more major events coming to the capital and the UK beyond 2012. The Events for London team is now undertaking detailed plans to identify major events to bring to London, including major championships in sport such as athletics, swimming, cycling and hockey.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “London is delighted to be the next host city for SportAccord and this is a truly fantastic opportunity for the capital. Delivering a legacy for London after the Games is crucially important and hosting the convention next year will play a significant role in helping us achieve this. Sport is at the heart of this great city and I am looking forward to welcoming all involved to London next April and giving them a taste of what’s in store for 2012 and after.”

Paul Deighton, Chief Executive Officer, LOCOG commented: “It’s terrific that SportAccord is coming to London in 2011 at a time where the UK heads into a fantastic decade of sport, with the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games centre stage. UK companies already hold a solid foundation in the business of sport and SportAccord will be a great opportunity to showcase British expertise and win new contracts in the global sports business industry.”

Lord Digby Jones, Chairman of SportAccord London Board, commented: “Sport is a great (probably the greatest) way of bringing the World together, especially at times of economic uncertainty and shifting values. Leadership is all-important at times like these & it is wonderful that London, and the wider UK, has this opportunity to lead. We invite the World to London for SportAccord. Plan the next decade, learn more, make new friendships & renew old ones. We in Britain want to learn more from every single country that engages in the Global Sporting family. We want to experience other’s views and values. Come to London & teach us! Welcome to London, the Global Sporting Hub for the next Decade.”

Hein Verbruggen, Chairman of SportAccord Convention commented, “Our constituents comprise the top leadership in all areas of international sport and have a vested interest in any city that is hosting an Olympic Games and other top-level sporting events. With London preparing to welcome the world for the Games in 2012, there is no better time for the SportAccord Convention to come here and witness the final preparations taking place in your city. We look forward to working with our colleagues here over the coming year and a half, and to together creating an event which will show the world what a wonderful host city London will be – for the SportAccord Convention, the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and future major sports events in the city.”

The bid to bring this prestigious sport’s convention was co-ordinated by the Events for London team at Visit London and has been heavily supported and funded by a number of the UK’s sporting and business bodies. Those bodies include the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) whose key role is to build Britain’s capabilities to compete in the global economy. The government’s sporting body UK Sport has also proactively supported the bid as well as the Greater London Authority (GLA), LOCOG, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), the London Development Agency (LDA), VisitBritain, and Events for London.

The six-day gathering in London will be the first time the convention is hosted in the UK. The convention will be held in the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London, located only steps from the city’s most iconic attractions including Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, London Aquarium and Royal Festival Hall. Andrew Swindells, General Manager of Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, concluded by saying “We are proud to have been selected as the host hotel for SportAccord 2011 and look forward to setting a new benchmark for outstanding facilities and excellent service.”

At the handover presentation at Dubai’s SportAccord, exclusive news was also announced that London’s opening ceremony for the SportAccord International Convention 2011 would take place in the world’s most popular music and entertainment venue The O2 in London.

AEG & The O2 spokesperson commented: “Sport Accord’s opening night ceremony will be co-hosted by the Royal Borough of Greenwich and AEG at The O2, the world’s most popular venue. Both Greenwich and The O2 are key venues for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Delegates will be transported by the high speed Thames Clippers river service along the Thames to enjoy an evening of entertainment at indigO2 to open the prestigious conference.”

Notes for editors:

1. The SportAccord Convention is a unique annual event owned by the International Sports Movement, gathering all the top officials of the Olympic and non-Olympic International Federations of sport, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board, rights holders of major sports events, media, sponsors and other commercial businesses in the global sports industry.

2. The first SportAccord Convention was held in Madrid in 2003. Each city to be successful in hosting the Convention has to provide an itinerary of engaging events and activities, which allows the attendees to experience the culture and hospitality of that city.

3. London follows on from previous host cities including Beijing, which also hosted SportAccord in the year before the 2008 summer Olympics. Other previous host cities include Dubai, Denver, Lausanne and Olympic cities Seoul and Athens.

4. The Events for London coordinated and spearheaded the overall bid. The team was created in 2007 by the Mayor’s office to attract and bid for new major events to London.

SportAccord Convention
The Sportaccord Convention is a 6-day gathering of 1500 leading representatives from international sport. The annual convention is held in a different country each year and encompasses the Congress and General Assemblies of over 100 international sports federations and their related associations. Its mission is to offer the sports community a powerful opportunity to come together on a global scale, in an exclusive and authoritative networking environment, to build relationships, share knowledge and develop ideas.

The SportAccord Convention comprises networking activities and a select series of high-level conference sessions centered on a comprehensive exhibition, which showcases over 80 organisations. The event attracts a global audience of about 1,500 delegates from 60 countries around the world, representing 500 different organisations, including 85 cities and national event bodies, consultants, lawyers and a wide range of companies, as well as media covering the event.

Owned by SportAccord/GAISF (General Association of International Sports Federations), ASOIF (Association of Summer Olympic International Federations) and AIOWF (Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations), the SportAccord Convention encompasses the annual Congress and General Assembly of each of these association, while also 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. These three associations have a collective membership of over 100 international sports federations who turn own and manage over 1000 international sports events in over 100 different sports disciplines. The International Olympic Committee have organised the spring meetings of the IOC Executive Board at each convention to date. In addition to its Executive Board Meeting, the IOC also hold their annual joint meetings with SportAccord/GAISF, ASOIF and AIOWF during the Sportaccord annual gathering.

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