The organisers of SportsPro Live have announced that International Judo Federation president Marius Vizer, EBU/Eurovision director of sport business Stefan Kuerten and British Cycling’s director of cycle sport and membership Jonny Clay are confirmed to speak on 22nd and 23rd March at Wembley Stadium.
Vizer is one of the most outspoken members of sports administration’s global elite. President of the International Judo Federation (IJF) since 2007, Vizer’s efforts to build professionalism and grassroots programmes have won him plaudits across the judo world.
His stint as president of International Federations’ union SportAccord, however, won him a wider reputation. Last year, after his re-election in Sochi, he decided to resign following pressure exerted on the International Federation members of SportAccord, after his proposal of revolutionary reforms in the Olympic and international sports movement.
Vizer’s Sochi speech last year was considered by International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach as a direct attack. Privately, many saw the substance in what Vizer had to say, and his remains a rare voice of open dissent in the corridors of Olympic power.
As director of sports & business at the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and its commercial arm Eurovision, Kuerten is ultimately responsible for the majority of the EBU’s business strategy, as well as its sports rights acquisitions and sales processes.
A former international lawyer and ZDF executive, Kuerten joined the EBU in 2001 and has positioned the Eurovision brand as a global provider of broadcast services – worldwide fibre and broadband facilitation – at sports and news events around the world.
On the rights side, he has maintained the strength-in-numbers approach of the union of free-to-air European networks, but Eurosport and Discovery’s latest deal to the Olympic rights away from the EBU from 2018 could signal a change in thinking at one Europe’s most traditional broadcast entities.
Olympic bronze medal-winning cycling Jonny Clay leads a British Cycling team responsible for the delivery of major domestic and international events, as well as the development of cycling across six distinct disciplines: track, road, mountain bike, BMX, cyclo-cross and cycle speedway.
Vizer, Kuerten and Clay will be taking to the stage at Wembley Stadium in just under two months’ time, together with Yiannis Exarchos, Greg Carey, Chris Lencheski, Sir Hugh Robertson, Reggie Bradford, Peter Hutton and George Pyne.
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