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Guest Speaker 2016 – Olivier Gers


Global Media ace, marketing and commercial wizard and current CEO of the international Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Olivier Gers is the guest speaker for the 2016 RJR Sports Foundation’s National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards. A man for whom success has become a daily habit, Gers has more than 20 years of commercial, marketing and media experience, leading large global teams in creating revenue-driven products, networks and brands. the new IAAF CEO has headed some of the World’s largest media entities, including being Global President of LiquidThread, a division of Publics Media Group, in the UK and as Global Head of IMG Digital Media in New York, as well as serving as CEO of Endemol Worldwide Brands. A native Frenchman, Gers has a track record of revenue growth and harnessing the power of digital platforms to drive marketing innovation and profitability.

IAAF President Sebastien Coe said of Gers, “The IAAF is on a mission to change. We looked for a CEO with energy, passion and experience to lead the organisation and, together with the Council and the Congress, drive the sport to be the best that it can be. Olivier’s experience in leading global teams, working with world-class brands and businesses and developing and creating digital products and platforms is exactly what we need.”

On his appointment Gers himself said: “Sport is the purest expression of human possibility and all sport is anchored in the disciplines of athletics. the IAAF is at a challenging and exciting junction. It is a multimillion dollar business that needs to stay relevant, build its fan base and re-establish trust. Sitting at the heart of the sport are the athletes and their remarkable achievements. Bringing the global athletes and their fans closer together through technology is the ultimate goal to driving the business of athletics forward, and I believe my commercial, marketing and digital exeperience will help to achieve this.”

With a background in marketing and digital media, Gers is a man ideally suited for the post. He has the experience to lead the IAAF through troubled times, increase revenue, improve transparency, ramp up its online prescence and streamline processes to make the IAAF the true servant of its administrators, coaches, support staff, fans and athletes.