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London looks forward to welcoming SportAccord International Convention in 2011

London today (Thursday 29th April) became the official host city for the 2011 international SportAccord Convention. The announcement was made at this year's event in Dubai, where Paul Deighton, Chief Executive Officer, London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, gave the official presentation on behalf of the SportAccord London Board. Supporting the presentation was a video message from London by Mayor Boris Johnson.

A strong London delegation, with representatives from the Mayor's Office, London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, and the SportAccord London Board are attending the Dubai convention. Throughout the week they have been lobbying delegates, showcasing London and Britain’s expertise in hosting international sporting events and positioning the capital as a long-term partner of the global sports movement.

The SportAccord International Convention in London (3rd – 8th April 2011) will see over 1,500 of the world's top sporting officials and business people from more than 60 countries come to the capital. It is a unique chance for the capital to increase its market share in the US$111 billion global sports business industry. In the year prior to the London 2012 Games, it is an unprecedented opportunity for London and the UK to promote itself as new world leaders in the business of sport and major events for many years to come.

The convention is expected to contribute over £3m to the London economy. However, it is expected to be worth many more millions through contracts for new businesses and more major events coming to the capital and the UK beyond 2012. The Events for London team is now undertaking detailed plans to identify major events to bring to London, including major championships in sport such as athletics, swimming, cycling and hockey.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: 'London is delighted to be the next host city for SportAccord and this is a truly fantastic opportunity for the capital. Delivering a legacy for London after the Games is crucially important and hosting the convention next year will play a significant role in helping us achieve this. Sport is at the heart of this great city and I am looking forward to welcoming all involved to London next April and giving them a taste of what’s in store for 2012 and after.'

Paul Deighton, Chief Executive Officer, LOCOG commented: 'It’s terrific that SportAccord is coming to London in 2011 at a time where the UK heads into a fantastic decade of sport, with the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games centre stage. UK companies already hold a solid foundation in the business of sport and SportAccord will be a great opportunity to showcase British expertise and win new contracts in the global sports business industry.'

Lord Digby Jones, Chairman of SportAccord London Board, commented: 'Sport is a great (probably the greatest) way of bringing the World together, especially at times of economic uncertainty and shifting values. Leadership is all-important at times like these & it is wonderful that London, and the wider UK, has this opportunity to lead. We invite the World to London for SportAccord. Plan the next decade, learn more, make new friendships & renew old ones. We in Britain want to learn more from every single country that engages in the Global Sporting family. We want to experience other’s views and values. Come to London & teach us! Welcome to London, the Global Sporting Hub for the next Decade.'

Hein Verbruggen, Chairman of SportAccord Convention commented, 'Our constituents comprise the top leadership in all areas of international sport and have a vested interest in any city that is hosting an Olympic Games and other top-level sporting events. With London preparing to welcome the world for the Games in 2012, there is no better time for the SportAccord Convention to come here and witness the final preparations taking place in your city.  We look forward to working with our colleagues here over the coming year and a half, and to together creating an event which will show the world what a wonderful host city London will be - for the SportAccord Convention, the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and future major sports events in the city.'

The bid to bring this prestigious sport's convention was co-ordinated by the Events for London team at Visit London and has been heavily supported and funded by a number of the UK’s sporting and business bodies. Those bodies include the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) whose key role is to build Britain’s capabilities to compete in the global economy. The government’s sporting body UK Sport has also proactively supported the bid as well as the Greater London Authority (GLA), LOCOG, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), the London Development Agency (LDA), VisitBritain, and Events for London.

The six-day gathering in London will be the first time the convention is hosted in the UK. The convention will be held in the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London, located only steps from the city's most iconic attractions including Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, London Aquarium and Royal Festival Hall. Andrew Swindells, General Manager of Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, concluded by saying 'We are proud to have been selected as the host hotel for SportAccord 2011 and look forward to setting a new benchmark for outstanding facilities and excellent service.'

Exclusive news about London's SportAccord International Convention 2011 opening ceremony

At the handover presentation at Dubai’s SportAccord, exclusive news was also announced that London's opening ceremony for the SportAccord International Convention 2011 will take place in the world’s most popular music and entertainment venue The O2 in London.

AEG & The O2 spokesperson commented: 'SportAccord's opening night ceremony will be co-hosted by the Royal Borough of Greenwich and AEG at The O2, the world's most popular venue. Both Greenwich and The O2 are key venues for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Delegates will be transported by the high speed Thames Clippers river service along the Thames to enjoy an evening of entertainment at indigO2 to open the prestigious conference.'

Notes to Editors

1. The SportAccord Convention is a unique annual event owned by the International Sports Movement, gathering all the top officials of the Olympic and non-Olympic International Federations of sport, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board, rights holders of major sports events, media, sponsors and other commercial businesses in the global sports industry.
2. The first SportAccord Convention was held in Madrid in 2003. Each city to be successful in hosting the Convention has to provide an itinerary of engaging events and activities, which allows the attendees to experience the culture and hospitality of that city.
3. London follows on from previous host cities including Beijing, which also hosted SportAccord in the year before the 2008 summer Olympics.  Other previous host cities include Dubai, Denver, Lausanne and Olympic cities Seoul and Athens.
4. The Events for London coordinated and spearheaded the overall bid. The team was created in 2007 by the Mayor's office to attract and bid for new major events to London.

SportAccord Convention
The Sportaccord Convention is a 6-day gathering of 1500 leading representatives from international sport. The annual convention is held in a different country each year and encompasses the Congress and General Assemblies of over 100 international sports federations and their related associations. Its mission is to offer the sports community a powerful opportunity to come together on a global scale, in an exclusive and authoritative networking environment, to build relationships, share knowledge and develop ideas.

The SportAccord Convention comprises networking activities and a select series of high-level conference sessions centered on a comprehensive exhibition, which showcases over 80 organisations. The event attracts a global audience of about 1,500 delegates from 60 countries around the world, representing 500 different organisations, including 85 cities and national event bodies, consultants, lawyers and a wide range of companies, as well as media covering the event.

Owned by SportAccord/GAISF (General Association of International Sports Federations), ASOIF (Association of Summer Olympic International Federations) and AIOWF (Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations), the SportAccord Convention encompasses the annual Congress and General Assembly of each of these association, while also offering the sports community a powerful opportunity to come together in an exclusive and authoritative networking environment to build relationships, exchange knowledge and develop ideas. These three associations have a collective membership of over 100 international sports federations who turn own and manage over 1000 international sports events in over 100 different sports disciplines. The International Olympic Committee have organised the spring meetings of the IOC Executive Board at each convention to date. In addition to its Executive Board Meeting, the IOC also hold their annual joint meetings with SportAccord/GAISF, ASOIF and AIOWF during the Sportaccord annual gathering.

LOCOG
LOCOG is the body responsible for staging the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in London in 2012. As it heads towards its £2bn budget for staging the Games, LOCOG has seven domestic Tier One Partners - adidas, BMW, BP, British Airways, BT, EDF and Lloyds TSB. There are six domestic Tier Two Supporters – Adecco, Cadbury, Cisco, Deloitte, Thomas Cook and UPS. There are now fifteen domestic Tier Three Suppliers and Providers – Airwave, Atkins, Boston Consulting Group, Crystal CG, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, GSK, Gymnova, Holiday Inn, John Lewis, McCann Worldgroup, Next, The Nielsen Company, Populous, Ticketmaster and Trident.

The Worldwide Olympic Partners signed up for London 2012 are Coca-Cola, Acer, Atos Origin, GE, McDonald’s, Omega, Panasonic, Samsung and Visa.

Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS)
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is building a dynamic and competitive UK economy by: creating the conditions for business success; promoting innovation, enterprise and science; and giving everyone the skills and opportunities to succeed. To achieve this it will foster world-class universities and promote an open global economy. BIS - Investing in our future.

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI)
UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the government organisation that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. We also help overseas companies bring their high quality investment to the UK's economy – acknowledged as Europe’s best place from which to succeed in global business. UKTI offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. We provide companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage. For more information visit: http://www.uktradeinvest.gov.uk | http://www.youtube.com/UKTIWeb | http://blog.ukti.gov.uk | http://www.flickr.com/ukti | http://twitter.com/ukti

UK Sport
UK Sport is the strategic lead body for high performance sport in the UK.  It invests Exchequer, National Lottery and private funds in Britain’s best Olympic and Paralympic sports and athletes to maximise their chances of success on the world stage. UK Sport also leads the campaign to bring strategically important sporting events to our shores; works with National Governing Bodies and other partner organisations to help them build positive working relationships with International Federations and other international bodies; and, until December 2009, acts as National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO) for the UK. For more details go to http://www.uksport.gov.uk

London Development Agency
The London Development Agency (LDA) is one of nine Regional Development Agencies set up by the Government to transform England’s regions through sustainable economic development. It is also a functional body of the Greater London Authority and plays a key role in delivering the Mayor of London's vision and priorities for the capital. The LDA’s investment focuses on giving all Londoners the chance to share in the capital's economic success, ensuring London has a competitive business environment and becomes a world leading, low carbon capital. The LDA is working closely with the Mayor of London and Visit London to ensure the capital benefits from a lasting social, physical, economic, cultural and sporting legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and its support for Sport Accord builds on that work.

Visit London – Events for London
Visit London is the official visitor organisation for London, working in partnership with the Mayor of London, the London Development Agency and the commercial sector. Visit London promotes the UK’s capital internationally, across Britain and to Londoners targeting leisure and business visitors.

Visit London has supported the Sport Accord bid through their dedicated Events for London team. The EfL team has been created to support the capital's major events strategy to attract, develop and deliver major sporting and cultural events.

Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London is located only steps from the city's most iconic attractions including the London Eye, London Aquarium and Royal Festival Hall.  From its 1,021 spacious guest rooms including 54 suites and penthouses to its five distinctive dining experiences, the hotel's design-led, contemporary surroundings provide the perfect setting for work or play. In addition to a 1,200 square-metre ballroom and 31 additional meeting rooms, amenities will include a luxurious spa with 8 treatment rooms, a fitness centre with 15-metre swimming pool, two executive lounges and Wi-Fi throughout the hotel. Park Plaza Hotels Limited is owner, operator and franchisor of hotels in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The majority of the group's 35 hotels and aparthotels hotels operate under the Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts brand (part of Carlson Hotels Worldwide), over which the Group has exclusive rights in 56 countries in EMEA, or art’otel, a brand which the company fully owns. By the end of 2012, the Group’s committed projects and territorial franchise agreements are expected to increase the number of rooms to over 13,000.

About AEG & The O2
AEG is one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world. It owns or operates some of the world’s best arenas and theatres, numerous sports franchises including the Los Angeles Kings (NHL) and LA Galaxy (MLS), and a collection of companies dedicated to producing, promoting and presenting world-class live entertainment.

In May 2005, AEG Europe announced that it would transform the former Millennium Dome and the surrounding area into the UK ’s most exciting and technically advanced music, sport and entertainment destination. It was renamed The O2 and opened in June 2007.  The centerpiece of the multi-million pound development is the 20,000 capacity indoor arena, the most popular music arena in the world.  There is also a live music venue – indigO2 - with a capacity of 2,350, The O2 bubble – a state of the art exhibition space that is host to the British Music Experience, a permanent, high-tech, interactive music museum, an 11 cinema complex, and a vibrant ‘Entertainment District’ featuring a variety of bars, restaurants, and leisure facilities including the 2,500 capacity nightclub, matter.

The O2 arena sold more tickets than any other arena in the world last year (breaking all previous records) – making it the most popular music venue in the world for the third year running. Since opening The O2 has picked up many industry awards including Venue of the Year at the Music Week Awards, Pollstar International Arena of the Year (2 years running) and Best New Major Concert Venue, Venue of the Year at The Event Services Association and Favorite Venue at the TPI Awards. In Zone 2 of London's Underground, The O2 is situated on the Greenwich Peninsula next to the North Greenwich station on the Jubilee Line, which provides direct access to central London in less than twenty minutes. Thames Clippers, fast-speed catamarans run a ferry service from central London to the QEII pier next to the venue every 20 minutes.

The O2 is an official venue for the 2012 Olympics hosting both the gymnastic and basketball events.

AEG employs more than 3,000 staff in over 45 operating companies worldwide. Its international head office is in Los Angeles, and its European headquarters is based in London.

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