Officially launched to the wider sporting community and the media in April 2016, ThinkSport this month is celebrating a successful first year by looking back on its early successes and looking forward to further progress in the months and years ahead.
ThinkSport was created to drive progress in sport by facilitating new partnerships, knowledge-sharing, creative thinking and innovative projects. It is the first network that brings together various sectors connected to sport in Lausanne, the canton of Vaud, Switzerland and beyond: from sports organisations, research and development institutes, educational bodies, businesses, health institutions, and the public sector to international organisations and NGOs.
“During our first year in the public eye, we were encouraged to discover that we are on the right track with a solid foundation for our network, reaching a wide variety of people and organisations from different sectors very keen to ‘ThinkSport,’” explains Anna Hellman, Director of ThinkSport. “Our focus was on developing various activities and services that add value to the activities of our network.”
With a solid platform to build upon, Hellman shares some plans for the near future: “In 2017, we have been getting more involved in events with ThinkSport DNA, from Accelerate to Sport Future Rendez-Vous, a sport-specific job fair, a hospitality course for sports federations and other exciting events that are in the pipeline,” she says.
ThinkSport provides customised, personal support through its information office located in the “Maison du Sport International” in Lausanne. Additional services for individuals, organisations, institutions and businesses connected to sport are provided online on thinksport.org. The website includes a network calendar featuring upcoming business conferences, meetings and events taking place in Switzerland; a database of innovative sports-related projects; a section with education programmes offered by institutes and universities in the region; job offers; and a Who’s Who directory of businesses, institutions and organisations working with sport.
ThinkSport’s LinkedIn group, “Sport & Innovation”, features more than 800 creative minds who share ideas about exciting new products, technologies and projects that impact sport.
Every day ThinkSport helps build bridges between different sectors connected to sport. It supports projects through a variety of means, including the facilitation of new partnerships and the identification of experts in specific areas.
ThinkSport recently launched its membership structure, offering interested parties the option of either becoming a standard or premium member, with different levels of rights and benefits. The membership model will facilitate positive and creative dialogue among different sectors linked to sport in a more organised way. In the last few weeks, ThinkSport has welcomed more than 50 official members from different sectors to its unique network. Among them are European and International Federations, start-ups and other innovative businesses in the sports industry. “We are thrilled by the interest we have seen from the various players over the last few weeks and growing our network remains an ongoing, exciting process,” Hellman says.
Thanks to its strong founders – the city of Lausanne, the canton of Vaud, the Swiss Confederation and the International Olympic Committee – ThinkSport is being developed as a sustainable and cost-efficient association working towards generating enough revenue (through its founders, commercial partners and membership fees) to develop services for, and projects with, its members.