SportAccord: ‘a triumph for the West Midlands’

WMGC Chief Exec, Neil Rami

The SportAccord World Sport & Business Summit 2024 has concluded, with hopes of influencing the future of sports in Birmingham and the West Midlands across the world.

With over 1,700 attendees from 65 different countries, the event drew a global audience to the International Convention Centre.

The schedule was packed with meetings, conferences, exhibitions, networking opportunities, and social gatherings.

Speakers for the event included Olympic champions and industry figures such as Mark Rein, vice president and co-founder of Epic Games; Dame Katherine Grainger, Chair of UK Sport; Yannis Exarchos, CEO of Olympic Broadcasting Services; Rob Alberino, Vice President of Content and Production at the Kansas City Chiefs; Wayne Barnes, former Rugby World Cup referee, and others.

Discussions and debates covered different topics, from sustainability, innovative technology, and fan engagement to new event models, governance, esports, and athlete wellbeing.

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, 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 congratulated us and hailed Birmingham as the best SportAccord ever.”

SportAccord received support from the Commonwealth Games Legacy Enhancement Fund (CWGLEF), managed by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).

Alongside the WMCA, SportAccord collaborated with regional partners such as Birmingham City Council and the West Midlands Growth Company.