World Athletics targets database of 1m fans and a doubling of partnerships in new plan
World Athletics has drawn up a new four-year strategic plan aimed at growing the sport, which, like others, is looking to recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The plan, which was outlined to the 214 member federations in online meetings on Wednesday, envisages measures to ensure athletics is “relevant”, has “appealing and accessible” competitions and events and is “well-governed.”
By 2024 World Athletics wants to have grown its broadcast reach, doubled its digital following and have a database of 1 million known fans “who actively choose to connect and engage” with the federation and the sport.
It is also aiming “to double the current number of commercial and non-commercial partnerships to generate new financial and activation opportunities for our sport, our athletes, our member federations and our communities around the world.”
The full plan will be made available at the end of this month.
Speaking as he and other senior officials prepare to return to the federation’s headquarters in Monaco next week, World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said: “Our head office may have been closed for 11 weeks but we have not been idle. We have used that time to continue to develop our strategy to grow athletics. A huge amount of work has been put into developing our four-year Strategic Plan, led by our CEO Jon Ridgeon and with input and involvement from all at HQ, our Executive Board, our Area Presidents, Commission Chairs and Commissions.
“This is an exceptional body of work that brings together all the great things we do as a global sport body with a laser sharp focus on doing it better, and includes some innovative and creative ideas to drive growth in our sport. It is exactly the type of roadmap our sport needs to bring together all our stakeholders with a single vision, mission and clear priorities.
"Over the next few months we have an unprecedented opportunity on the back of the increased physical activity of people in lockdown. The latest research from runrepeat.com shows that exercise has increased 88 per cent during lockdown and running and walking has topped the tables. We need to inspire these people to continue the habits they have learned and we will with our own campaigns but also by embracing campaigns that many others in our sport are driving."
World Athletics yesterday unveiled a three-part mission to:
“Grow the sport and make it relevant in people’s lives and the lives of their communities.
“Inspire by creating globally appealing and accessible competitions, events, and activities so our talented athletes can entertain and inspire the world.
“Lead by being the best example of a well-governed sports federation taking brave leadership decisions and valuing partnerships that deliver athletics around the world.”