JULY 3 - The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), in partnership with UK Athletics, today launched a major new drive to promote athletics globally with a cutting edge magazine and interactive global website to exploit the interest in the sport in the run-up to London 2012.


The UK, as host to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, is seen by the IAAF as the ideal partner and will become the first country to see the magazine called SPIKES, which has been produced by Haymarket Publishing.


Speaking at the SPIKES launch at the Olympic venue O2, Sebastian Coe, the London 2012 chairman and IAAF vice-president, said “There’s a lot of good happening in our sport, both here in the UK and globally, but we need to be much more creative and dynamic about how we reach out and promote the sport. 


"SPIKES will help us meet this challenge by fusing traditional and online media to celebrate our heroes, create new ones and inspire a new breed of track and field fans. 


“Spikesmag.com will be the heart of the new marketing drive containing a wealth of footage – including world records and inspiring clips of athlete heroes in action and at rest. 


"I certainly would have loved to have had this type of material available when I started out. 


"It’s a great way for young people to connect with our sport and access it in a way that makes sense to them.


“The IAAF’s vision and ambitions for athletics are global and we plan to roll the magazine out to other territories over the next few years as part of our wider plans to help re-energize athletics across the world.  SPIKES will be our shop-front for a new era – to capture the imagination of those who follow the sport and to reach out to the next generation.” 


Coe was joined by a host of British and global athletes past and present at the London SPIKES launch, including Wilson Kipketer, the Kenyan-born Dane who succeeded Coe as world record holder for the 800 metres,  Coe's great rival Steve Ovett,  Colin Jackson, the former  world record holder for 110m hurdles,and Andy Baddeley, the UK’s leading 1500m runner.


SPIKES magazine will initially be published twice a year and goes on sale on July 9 in Tesco at a cost of £2.50. 


It can also be ordered via the SPIKES web site www.spikesmag.com which went live today.


To read a review of the new magazine visit http://www.sportsjournalists.co.uk/blog/?p=1295.