The SportAccord World Sport & Business Summit 2024 wrapped up yesterday after an inspirational week that will shape the future of sport and leave a transformative legacy in Birmingham and the West Midlands.

More than 1,700 attendees from 65 different countries travelled to the UK from across the globe for a packed agenda of high-level meetings, conferences, exhibitions, networking, and social events at the International Convention Centre.

Against the backdrop of what many described as the busiest SportAccord exhibition ever, high-calibre participants in the conference programme included Olympic champions and leading industry figures such as Epic Games Vice President and Co-Founder Mark Rein; UK Sport Chair Dame Katherine Grainger; Olympic Broadcasting Services CEO Yannis Exarchos; Rob Alberino, Vice-President of Content and Production, Kansas City Chiefs; Wayne Barnes,  Former Rugby World Cup referee and many more. Topics of discussion and debate ranged from sustainability, innovative technology, fan engagement and new event models to governance, esports and athlete wellbeing. 

Important items during the official meetings included the election of the next Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) President Ingmar De Vos, and presentations from the Organising Committees for Paris 2024 and Milano Cortina 2026.

SportAccord President Prof Dr Uğur Erdener said:

“On behalf of SportAccord, I would like to express our sincere thanks to our hosts for delivering a superb event bringing the international sports family back together in the heart of their vibrant and diverse city.

“An engaging agenda of networking events, supported by the passion of the local volunteers in a state-of-the-art venue in a region steeped in sporting heritage, provided a perfect platform for forging connections, strengthening relationships and exploring new ideas. 

“Birmingham and the West Midlands have given sport an ideal platform for gathering International Federations, the International Olympic Committee, rights holders, businesses, cities, and regions – the whole sporting family.”

SportAccord has been supported by the Commonwealth Games Legacy Enhancement Fund (CWGLEF), administered by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA). In addition to the WMCA, SportAccord’s regional delivery partners include Birmingham City Council and the West Midlands Growth Company.

Neil Rami, Chief Executive of the West Midlands Growth Company, said:

“SportAccord has been a triumph for the West Midlands – this is about return on influence for us, as well as return on investment. This was the natural next step from the success of the Commonwealth Games, as we brought world leaders of sport together in Birmingham at SportAccord to enhance our reputation across the global sports industry and forge crucial relationships with sporting federations.
“Significant announcements made at SportAccord included the release of the government’s official report of £1.2 billion economic impact of the Commonwealth Games, to Tom Wagner’s investment in Birmingham City Football Club and the purchase of Bordesley Park, as well as the creation of the Sports Quarter which is expected to generate 3,000 local jobs.  
“There’s been no better endorsement than when SportAccord President Prof Dr Uğur Erdener has congratulated us and hailed Birmingham as the best SportAccord ever.”