Emily Goddard
Patrick NallyThis month two iconic venues in London will host an event which is set to change the way we think about sport and set new boundaries for sports marketing.

It's not football, rugby or track and field and it's not motor racing or yachting.

The event in question is the inaugural IFP Nations Cup of Duplicate Poker, which will be contested by 12 national teams on the EDF Energy London Eye and in adjacent County Hall.

There are bound to be those among you who have never heard of duplicate poker and who, in any case, think of poker as a casino game, played for money in smoke-filled back rooms. And, up to a point, you might have been right - until now. It is changing because in the IFP Nations Cup, teams will compete for medals and not money. There is no gambling and the duplicate version of poker is designed to reduce the impact of luck as far as possible.

Now let's be realistic about this. Every sport involves an element of luck. The bounce of a rugby ball, for example, introduces an element of chance that every chasing full back will recognise. And how often have other examples of chance influenced the result of even the longest established sport?  From unexpected injuries, which let an also-ran win to a fluky golf shot, chance is an element of every worthwhile sport, but it should never be the dominant factor.

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By removing gambling and reducing any element of luck, duplicate poker is positioned to take its place alongside the other mind sports which come under the banner of the International Mind Sports Association (IMSA) - a member of SportAccord. These are bridge, chess, draughts, go and xiangqi (Chinese chess).

I believe that in a fast-changing world mind sports have an important role to play in engaging and educating young people, creating opportunities for genuine competition and providing a channel for brands to communicate more effectively with their customers.

I have spent the last four decades working in sport and am delighted to have been involved in setting up the marketing programmes which have become the standard for almost all major events. Those programmes have generated billions of dollars for football, athletics and the Olympic Games among others.

Now I believe mind sports are set to move to centre stage, complementing "physical" sports and becoming a social phenomenon. Mind sports are played by over one billion people worldwide and that number is set to rise exponentially with the spread of digital media, which will enable new competitions, leagues and federations to be established.

Mind sports - including duplicate poker - also share many of the attributes and make many of the demands of physical sports. They are real sports with the characteristics and qualities of physical sports including self-discipline, competition, training, stamina and fair play.

Mind sports also share universal values with other sports and with the Olympic Movement. If physical activity is a fundamental necessity for human beings, the same can be said for mental activity, which is an indispensible complement.

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People often ask me how I view the future of sports marketing and there is no doubt that it is bound up in the possibilities for engagement created by digital technology. By using that technology as an engine the entire world becomes an arena for mind sports. It liberates people from physical boundaries, is blind to age, gender, religious belief and oblivious to national boundaries.  It frees players to join or form federations, launch competitions and simply focus on enjoying sport.

Are mind sports the new football?  No, of course not. Are they likely to be included in the Olympic Games? Well not for a while at least.

But should mind sports be recognised as pure sports and treated as such by the global sports community? Absolutely.

That, of course, includes duplicate poker, seen by many as the ultimate mind sport.

On November 17 in London, the world will have a chance to see for itself what top-level sports poker is all about.  It's for glory not cash, without gambling or the need to buy a seat at the table. This is poker taken out of the casino and played on a global sporting stage. It's a real glimpse of the future.

Patrick Nally is the entrepreneur and specialist consultant widely acknowledged as the founding father of modern sports marketing. He is arguably the principal pioneer of today's sports business industry.