A business commission to maximise commercial revenue, and increased grants and assistance for National Federations were two of the key ideas floated by Sergey Bubka today as he launched his manifesto ahead of this summer’s for the Presidency of the International Assocation of Athletics Federations.
The 51-year-old former world pole vault record holder, who is already – like his only rival for the job, Sebastian Coe – an IAAF Vice President, included these two new elements as part of his election programme, Taking Athletics To New Heights, which he introduced to a live audience via a Google hangout and on YouTube.
Bubka, who is vying to take over from retiring President Lamine Diack at the IAAF Congress in Beijing on August 19, said during his launch: “I consider it would be great to establish a Business Commission consisting of the leaders of global brand, marketing and media communities to serve and share experience and knowledge to our sport.
"And of course it’s important these people really love athletics.
“I think it’s very important to give strong support to the marketing programmes for Area Associations and also National Federations so they can generate more revenue.
"I already started to speak in this direction and I feel we can also achieve a change on this important matter.
“We need to explore new competition broadcast opportunities and ensure that athletics events are as attractive as they can be for the athlete, spectator and television viewer.
"We also need to help sponsors become more visible during IAAF events.
“We need to help our own members to maximise licensing, hospitality and fan engagement opportunities.”
Bubka proposes “the most thorough review ever taken into every aspect of athletics worldwide.”
This review, entitled Vision 2025, would establish a range of working groups which would report to an Extraordinary Athletics Congress, preceded by a Forum in which everyNational Federation would be invited to participate.
Bubka acknowledged that the IAAF was currently “very solid and financially in a very good position until 2029” following the recent signing of its marketing contract with partner Dentsu.
“But,” he said, “we cannot stop looking to better revenue.”
Bubka proposes that the IAAF President makes regular official visits to member countries to discuss with National Federations and also Government Ministers how best to develop the sport.
And he added: “I consider that we should increase grants to member federations from the IAAF.
"I remember for so many years the $15,000 (£10,000/€14,000) we provided in support to you.
"I believe we will be able and we must increase such a grant.
"As at 2009 it was 25 per cent cut, but we look forward to working to give you more financial support.”
Budgets for international sports development, Bubka said, were “the key priority”.
He added: “I am sorry to say, today, we still can’t say that every country has a track.
"I think in a few years we will be able to deliver to every one of our federations a synthetic track on which to hold competitions to high level.”
The Ukrainian insisted that the position of IAAF President “must be a full time job”, adding: “I remember the warnings given by former IOC President Juan-Antonio Samaranch many years ago, that the President must be in the office and must work hard for the interests of his sport.
"I consider it is very important it must be a full-time job.”
Bubka also proposes to revamp the organisation of the IAAF, bringing in a chief executive to ensure all departments offer optimum service.
In his vision statement, he said: “I want to re-establish Athletics as the most exciting, accessible and inspirational global sport for every generation and whose stars are role models for youngsters.
"Athletics needs to offer the finest stadium and television experiences, providing opportunities to watch across all media platforms to attract the world’s finest sponsors.
“I want to see an infrastructure of events, facilities and support across every continent to develop the next generation of athletes, supported by strong, well-resourced and successful National Federations on which the IAAF is based.”To read Sergey Bubka's full manifesto click the link below
Serey Bubka manifesto.pdf