Peter Knowles

The Aquatic Conference kicked-off this morning with the session Brand Aquatics – Grasping the Commercial opportunities.

Experts Jim Andrews from ESP Properties, Kazuhiro Kiyoshige from Japanese marketing agency Dentsu and Alisport Vice-President Wang Dong took part in the panel, while Peter Carlisle, Omnigon Managing Director was moderating the discussions.

Sport represents a unique opportunity for commercial organisations positively to influence a global audience. Ways on how National Federations, clubs, right holders and event organisers maximise their sponsorship value and work hard with brands were debated this morning. The session explained how sponsorship can be optimised to achieve way beyond a commercial level.

Jim Andrews (ESP Properties) said: “Sponsorship has changed over the last three decades. And what has really changed the game? We now have access to data. Using this data we can really engage and personalise communications for our audiences. After all, the audience remains at the heart of the sponsorship proposition in the world of marketing.”

Kazuhiro Kiyoshige (Dentsu) said: “FINA is in great shape now. But the marketing landscape is evolving rapidly and our partner’s needs are changing. So, we have to adapt ourselves to a new environment. FINA has unique assets but we have an opportunity to evolve. We cannot stand still. Sponsors need to reach consumers in new ways, through new channels, with new reasons to stay current. For example, Swimming for All – Swimming for Life is a great story for FINA to sell. It provides a unique opportunity for potential sponsors.”

Dong Wang (Alisports): “Swimming is already one of the most popular sports in China but the country is encouraging more children across the country to take part in the sport. Following our success at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, national icons such as Fu Yuanhui are inspiring the country and raising the awareness of the beautiful sport of swimming.”

Following the lively panel talks, the morning concluded with The Hosting Debate – Delivering a lasting legacy from Aquatic events, moderated by FINA Executive Director Cornel Marculescu.

It is acknowledged that there are many benefits of hosting a sport event, many of which extend beyond economic impacts. This session analysed the issues host cities are facing and need to address. In addition, it shed light on the socio-economic legacy Aquatic events can deliver.

Azat Kadyrov, ANO Executive Directorate for Sports Projects, shared insights on the legacy left behind from the 16th FINA World Championships 2015 in Kazan and the long-term benefit for the future generations.

Tamas Gyarfas, Vice President of FINA and Co-President of the 17th FINA World Championships 2017 Budapest, provided a progress update on the preparations and developments for the 17th FINA World Championships 2017 Budapest.

Eva Szanto, Budapest 2017 Executive Director gave a presentation about next year’s World Championships. “It is only 221 days to go until the Championships and I can guarantee you that we are doing everything to be ready to welcome you all next summer in our wonderful city.”

After presenting the competition’s schedules Mrs Szanto informed the audience that “around 10 000 master athletes are expected to take part.”

“Knowledge and expertise is the third pillar of the legacy that will be left after the World Championships in Budapest. The knowledge transfer will hopefully be used for future events in our country.”

Windsor 2016 Executive Director Peter Knowles said: “The World Swimming Championships isn’t much different to the World Championships and Windsor is one of the smallest cities to host such a huge event. However it has a big lasting legacy potential. Of course there is the infrastructures and facilities which we can call it the “hard legacy” many of which the city will benefit from in the long term. The new 25m swimming pool that was built for example will serve the East Windsor community who didn’t have a pool at all before. But there is also what I call the “soft legacy” and the sport legacy that will inspire many children along the way. Both of which are non-negligible. FINA major events provide a significant legacy potential and economic benefits.”


View the Aquatics Conference programme.