At the end of September, I will attend Romania’s and probably Eastern Europe’s first international event for sport business practitioners and enthusiasts. Why this first of a kind event is so important and how can it inspire change in an old-fashioned and often left-behind system? Read on to find out more.
Eastern Europe… In the shadow of the West
Record breaking performances in gymnastics or pole vault. Successful football, basketball or handball teams that surprised the world. World-class boxers and tennis players. Hagi, Stoichkov, Nadia, Bubka, Klitschko and the list is a lot longer than that… There are a large number of sports and athletes that reached the highest points in their careers. This fantastic sporting history of Eastern Europe is also recognised by Teodora Busurca, one of the Founders of Sport Business Chain – “This region has a great sport history, but somehow, it also has an enormous potential left to be explored for this history to be able to be repeated.”
Even if the Eastern Europe still produces some fantastic athletes, something seems to be missing. The days where athletes and fans were connected only on event days are far behind… “In 2018, the behind-the-scenes work within the world of sport concentrates teams of open-minded and brave passionate individuals who are not afraid to capitalise upon the millennial fan, the available technology and the expected marketing communications outputs.”
The above is already industry best practice in the Western countries with well-established roots for all the areas of sport. Professionals are eager to learn from each other and not afraid to try new things. That’s why it’s time for Eastern Europe to step out from this shadow and get back in track with the business side of sport.
Sounds interesting? Be part of the change…
Sport Business Chain is open to a wide range of sport professionals and enthusiasts. Representatives of sport organisations, sportspeople, sport academia, policy representatives, but also students and young people, will all get together for three days to create meaningful relationships and to contribute to the growth of football in Europe. Teodora explained: “We hope to facilitate the context for unexpected collaborations to take shape, new deals to be born, and sport enthusiasts to meet and learn from their role models. Ultimately, we aim to provide added value for sport organisations, as well as businesses involved in sport to find new ways of generating sustainable earned income.”
It’s not all about football…
With a high level of media attention and significantly high amounts of money being spent, football keeps incorrectly being associated with sport. Are the events like Sport Business Chain the key to bridging the gap between football and other sports? “This is a question I have no right or wrong answer to. Football is, indeed, a sport that gets high levels of media attention, lucrative sponsorship deals and top-notch technologies.” admits Cosmin Albu, Co-Founder of Sport Business Chain. “However, the available revenue streams – be it from sports marketing, fan engagement campaigns, online exposure, sponsorship activation or grassroots development – are the same. Thus, there is no reason for such an event whose aim is to discuss how can sport organisations become more financially sustainable not to help other sports, as well. In the end, it’s up to the people involved in that particular sport organisation to embrace the learning journey, activate a creative mindset and eradicate ignorance; what I mean by this, is that we all need to be willing to test everything before we jump to the conclusion that it doesn’t work” continued Cosmin.
Take this unique opportunity and come along
The above is just a brief introduction to why Sport Business Chain was born. There is a lot more to be excited about the event, as the list of speakers has been released and there are some quality people on there…
I am really looking forward to listening to the presentations of Nick Speakman from Sporf and Ehsen Shah from B-Engaged – two of UK’s innovators who entered the industry bringing in fresh ideas and ready to re-define the way things were conventionally done. Romanian speakers, such as George Ogararu, Andreea Ogararu (speaking about the Dutch football ecosystem) and Virgil Stanescu (president of Sports-HUB) ignite excitement too, so all three days will be full of invaluable learnings.
If you’re a sport professional or enthusiast, I am looking forward to meeting you at Sport Business Chain. Give me a shout on LinkedIn to let me know if you’re coming!