New IWGA Executive Committee member John Liljelund wants greater visibility for the World Games ©Claudio Schwarz/International Floorball Federation

New International World Games Association (IWGA) Executive Committee member John Liljelund believes the World Games should be promoted as the "crown jewel".

"I think I have spotted some real opportunities in how to enhance the Games and how we prepare for them," Liljelund said.

"I see a huge potential in the development of the IWGA marketing and commercialization of The World Games, the key thing is to set The World Games as a part of your ordinary competition calendar. 

"It is not a stand-alone event, but an important part of the international sports calendar of all the federations, especially the non-Olympic ones."

Liljelund, the secretary General of the International Floorball Federation, was also chairman of the IWGA Marketing Commission before his election to the Executive Committee at the IWGA Annual General Meeting in Madrid last month.

The World Games were first staged in 1981 at Santa Clara, California, with an estimated 1,400 competitors.

The Games held in Birmingham, Alabama, last July attracted 3,457 competitors and generated $165 million (£136 million/€154 million) in economic impact.

The 2022 World Games in Birmingham, Alabama, attracted more competitors than any previous editions ©World Games
The 2022 World Games in Birmingham, Alabama, attracted more competitors than any previous editions ©World Games

"It’s important to recognize that I’m not only a marketing guy, but also very keen to develop the World Games operations and the overall social responsibility of the event," Liljelund insisted.

"This is the platform where we can showcase our sport to the world, to non-fans of our sport. 

"If we don’t promote the event, how can we think that it will become better?"

Liljelund's own sport of floorball will be included for the third successive World Games at Chengdu in 2025 and he is is set to sit on the IWGA Executive Committee until 2026.

"The potential actually lies in the active involvement of the entities that make up The World Games, namely the IWGA member federations, when you realise that we have an enormous fan base, and if we can 'sell' the Games to these people as the crown jewel for the sports and disciplines on The World Games, then we can easily increase the visibility and awareness of our event," Liljelund continued.

Liljelund has recommended a greater effort to involve sponsors in supporting the local associations at the Games.

"To support the members in various ways we need resources, and one way here is to work with partners and sponsors," Liljelund said.

"I hope to be able to share the experience we have and also consider what the Games should look like to make the event a world-class event."

Liljelund believes social media could be used to a greater extent to enhance the experience of spectators.

The 2025 World Games in Chengdu are scheduled to open on August 7 of that year.