LAUSANNE, Switzerland – SportAccord Convention is delighted to confirm that Michael Evans, President of the Alibaba Group will be the Keynote for this year’s Plenary Conference, Innovation in Action at the 15th edition, to be held at the Aarhus Convention Center, Denmark from 2 – 7 April 2017. 

The Keynote will begin on Wednesday, 5 April at 09:10 to 09:40 and take the format of a Fireside Chat with David Eades, Anchor and Journalist, BBC World. The session is entitled: Open Sesame: Unlocking the rich potential of new sporting horizons, and using innovation to drive sport to a new level of entertainment and fan engagement.

When Sydney hosted the Olympic Games in 2000, Alibaba was a Chinese start-up and not quite a year old. Fast forward 18 years and Alibaba has now grown into the world’s largest online and mobile commerce company. Alibaba is now expanding into media, entertainment and sport, recently forging an historic long-term partnership with the IOC through 2028, using technological innovation and know-how to contribute to the Olympic Movement. 

As President, Michael Evans is responsible for leading and executing Alibaba Group’s international growth strategy. Commenting on Alibaba’s involvement in the SportAccord Convention, Evans said:

“We’re delighted to be taking part in the SportAccord Convention as this gives us an opportunity to   share some of the key insights and innovative approach Alibaba is taking when it comes to sport and entertainment, the growth of the digital and mobile market, as well as the exciting potential of the Chinese market for sport.”

Panel sessions and case studies following the Keynote will include:

•      Plenary Panel Session entitled: Innovation – A permanent change revolution, or an opportunity to reset your sport? 
•      Innovation in the Business of Sport
•      IF Innovation in Action – International Orienteering Federation
•      Future Sports – Drone Racing

Nis Hatt, Managing Director of SportAccord Convention said, “We’re delighted Alibaba will open the Plenary Conference focused on Innovation in Action. With the increasing significance of sport in China in terms of fan engagement and business growth, there are significant opportunities to be had by everyone. Alibaba’s meteoric rise will most certainly have some bearing on what we hear during the Keynote.” 

SportAccord Convention is the world’s premier and most exclusive annual event at the service of sport. It is focused on driving positive change internationally and dedicated to engaging and connecting; international sports federations, rights holders, organising committees, cities, press and media, businesses and other organisations involved in the development of sport.

The Convention is host to annual general meetings of governing bodies, and once again, will welcome a delegation from the International Olympic Committee. The 6-day Convention includes the Plenary Conference, City Forum, LawAccord, MediaAccord, the Exhibition, as well as the Opening Ceremony and Closing Event.

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SportAccord Convention

The SportAccord Convention is a not-for-profit organisation which annually brings together representatives from more than 100 International Sports Federations affiliated with the following umbrella organisations that host their Annual General Assemblies at the SportAccord Convention.

SportAccord, ASOIF (Association of Summer Olympic International Federations), AIOWF (Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations), ARISF (Association of IOC Recognised International Sports Federations), AIMS (Alliance of Independent Recognised Members of Sport) and Associate Members. In addition, the SportAccord Convention receives the full support of the International Olympic Committee.

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