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Source: State University Higher School of Economics – State University “Higher School of Economics” –

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On February 29, the anniversary celebration started at HSE, X International Scientific and Practical Conference on Sports Management and Law. Experts, athletes, government and industry representatives discuss the development of national sports in new conditions, challenges and opportunities, international relations, and new competition formats.

Chairman of the conference organizing committee, director Graduate School of Law and Administration HSE National Research University Dmitry Kuznetsov, at the opening ceremony, emphasized that, despite the difficulties, the conference retained its international character. Representatives of near and far abroad countries are participating in its work this year.

He thanked the co-organizers of the conference – the Association for the Development of Corporate Sports, the Physical Culture and Sports Society of Trade Unions “Russia”, the Labor Reserves Society, the State Sports Museum, the Sports Training Center for Russian National Teams and the Spartak football club.

HSE Vice-Rector Dmitry Zemtsov noted: sport plays a big role in the formation of identity, in international politics and the positioning of our country in the world. In the future, in his opinion, sport will be of great importance in the formation of a new world order, creating the foundation for dialogue between states. “Thanks to the colleagues and experts who came to the conference, I look forward to new inspiring ideas from it,” said Dmitry Zemtsov.

Advisor to the Department for Interaction with Religious Organizations of the Office of the President of the Russian Federation for Domestic Policy, Pavel Kostylev, called sport a large-scale collective action in which people of different generations participate, a way to quickly find communication, unite for positive actions and a positive future. In his opinion, sport has become a practice and a space where human values, including spiritual and moral ones, are realized. Pavel Kostylev explained: people understand the values of sport as an attempt to reach the limit of their own capabilities and somewhere surpass it. This attempt involves not only physical actions, but also fortitude and the will to win.

General Director of the ANO World Friendship Games 2024, ex-chairman of the organizing committee of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Alexey Sorokin, called HSE a powerful intellectual foundation of Russian sports. In his opinion, HSE students studying sports management and law are a thinking, dynamic community. Alexey Sorokin believes that new challenges should be met with non-standard competition formats. In 2024, the Future Games will take place, combining conventional competitions with e-sports, the BRICS Games are scheduled for June, and the Friendship Games will take place in September. He emphasized: the organizing committee is pleased to accept HSE students for an internship so that they gain practical experience in sports administration.

The opening ceremony was also attended by the chairman of the Physical Culture and Sports Society of Trade Unions “Russia” Yuri Ansimov, the rector of the Moscow University of Sports and Tourism Natalya Masyagina and the deputy chairman of the Association for the Development of Corporate Sports, vice-president of the sports society “Trudovye Reservy” Elena Kochurova.

The opening ceremony ended with the signing of partnership agreements between HSE and the organizing committee of the World Friendship Games 2024, the Association for the Development of Corporate Sports, the Russian Diving Federation, the Luzhniki sports complex and the National Football League.

“Soon we will have our own fitness center with a swimming pool. The entire HSE will float, this is useful,” noted Dmitry Kuznetsov.

The conference continued with a plenary session “Development of Russian national sports: international relations, sovereignty and new competition formats.” It was moderated by Sergei Altukhov, director of the Institute of Sports Management and Law, professor at the National Research University Higher School of Economics.

He drew the participants’ attention to the high popularity of the Future Games currently taking place in Kazan, in which participants simultaneously compete in regular sports and e-sports disciplines. Sergei Altukhov gave the floor via video link to Deputy General Director of the “Games of the Future” project Anna Kharnas. “Are the expectations from games and physical sports justified?” – he asked.

Anna Harnas reported: more than 2,000 athletes representing 270 teams from 107 countries are participating in the games. The scale exceeded expectations. “For now we are high on emotions and joy when we look at the faces of the athletes,” she said.

Answering the moderator’s question about the quality of equipment and technical support, Anna Kharnas noted that preparations for the games made it possible to test and launch the domestic “Sporttech” platform for recording results and for the interaction of technical services. According to her, she became the first successful import substitution of an IT product. “It was the right investment, everything works,” concluded Anna Harnas.

Executive Director of FC Spartak Sergei Belykh presented the report “Transformation of the club’s strategy at the present stage.” According to the speaker, at Spartak he applied his successful work experience at the Avangard hockey club (Omsk). According to Sergei Belykh, the behavior of sports audiences is influenced by global patterns: domestic fans love comfort in the stands and a colorful show, which was confirmed by the World Cup.

He said that at the time of his arrival at the club in 2018, match attendance did not exceed 30%, which was partly caused by a long period of failures in the game – Avangard did not become a champion for a long time (2004) and last played in the final in 2012 – and the club’s poor media visibility. The new management team invested in the club and players, transformed media promotion, including using well-known, although not controversial, figures (for example, Olga Buzova). Products with the club’s symbols and an application were developed in which tickets and paraphernalia could be purchased. Finally, the process of operational accounting of activities and movement of funds was automated.

As a result, the media mention of Avangard sharply increased, which in this indicator lagged behind only the football clubs Zenit and Spartak, the occupancy of the stands increased to 97%, and the club’s income increased 8 times. Media success was combined with sports success: in 2019, Avangard reached the final of the Gagarin Cup, and in 2021 became the champion of Russia.

Speaking about the situation in the current Spartak, Sergei Belykh noted that the club, like the entire football industry, is under pressure from the consequences of the pandemic and political turmoil.

Before the pandemic and the introduction of Fan ID, attendance at Spartak’s home matches was 30,000 fans; in the 2021/22 season it decreased by 4 times (to just over 7,000); now it has increased to 10,000.

To maintain revenue, many top clubs resort to “sporttainment,” a method that combines sport with entertainment. This is no coincidence: according to research, 88% of fans go to sporting events not to see their favorite team win, but to spend time, 86% want to get emotions. A striking example of this phenomenon, the speaker named the move of Lionel Messi to the MLS club Inter Miami and Cristiano Ronaldo to the Saudi Arabian An-Nasr, which sharply increased the attendance of matches not only of these clubs, but also of the leagues as a whole.

Sports clubs do not compete with each other, but with the entertainment industry as a whole. “Our opponent is not Dynamo and CSKA, but everything that entertains,” noted Sergei Belykh. In his opinion, media platforms are taking away tens of thousands of potential viewers from football. In order not to miss out on viewers, the club entered into a partnership with Kinopoisk and launched the series “The Time of Spartak.” “If you cannot resist the movement, you need to lead it,” says the manager.

In his opinion, work with fans is based on analytics of client data, including audience segmentation, analysis of the average bill and consumer basket of a potential match viewer and club website visitor.

“The main thing is to increase traffic by offering more targeted offers,” summed up Sergei Belykh.

RUSADA General Director Veronika Loginova spoke about doping control in modern realities. She recalled: now there are many different opinions about the advisability of maintaining the previous procedures and scope of doping control. There is a widespread point of view that if it is difficult for Russian athletes to enter international competitions, the previous volume of testing is not necessary. RUSADA does not agree with this position, and by February 28, 1,790 tests were organized and 1,960 samples were collected, testing continues according to international standards and procedures and complies with the anti-doping code.

According to the speaker, we should not forget that, in addition to the anti-doping code, Russia has signed the UNESCO convention on combating doping in sport and a similar convention of the Council of Europe.

Also, many new competitions are being held on the territory of the Russian Federation, the participants of which are interested in following the rules. Athletes and authorities of countries where competitions are held in which domestic athletes participate, such as China and India, are interested in maintaining fair competition. “We know that the organizers of the Friendship Games said that doping control must be ensured and the games must be held in fair conditions and according to transparent standards. We will follow them when organizing controls and tests,” noted Veronika Loginova. A problem in terms of maintaining the quality of doping control was the purchase of equipment for special analyzes produced in Switzerland. Nevertheless, RUSADA intends to maintain the current level of 11,000 samples.

“The idea of alternative games with permitted doping has emerged,” noted Sergei Altukhov.

“This is not a new format, but a return to the last century without doping control. Doping has caused a number of deaths and undermined the health of many athletes. The main goal of the anti-doping program is the health of athletes. Most of the prohibited substances lead to irreparable consequences for those who use them, my position is that such games should not exist,” Veronika Loginova is sure.

Deputy Director of the National Priorities ANO Irina Osadchaya, Deputy Director of the Department of Digital Transformation and Strategic Development of the Ministry of Sports of Russia Sergei Smirnitsky and sports commentator of the REN TV channel Alexander Kuzmak also made presentations at the plenary session.

The work of the conference continued at subsequent plenary sessions and panel discussions.

Note; This information is raw content directly from the source of the information. This is exactly what the source states and does not reflect the position of MIL-OSI or its clients.

Please note; This information is raw content directly from the information source. It is accurate to what the source is stating and does not reflect the position of MIL-OSI or its clients.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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