From the IAAF
LONDON, July 4, 2008 - The IAAF, in partnership with UK Athletics , yesterday launched a major new drive to promote athletics globally with a cutting edge magazine and interactive global website - SPIKES.
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 SPIKES rolled
IAAF President Lamine Diack said: "The IAAF will use SPIKES as part of our ambitious srategy to make the sport of athletics as relevant as possible in the 21st century.
Although starting in the UK with the support of our friends at UKA, our ambition for
the future is to capture the imagination of those who follow the sport and to reach
new groups of fans and participants in other countries as well."
Speaking at the SPIKES launch at the O2 arena in London, Sebastian Coe, 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.
Seb Coe, twice Olympic Champion and multiple World Record Breaker, was joined by a host of IAAF Ambassadors and UK athletes including Andy Baddeley, Martyn Rooney, Becky Lyne and Marylin Okoro.
Wilson Kipketer, World Record Holder and three times World 800m Champion (1995, 97, 99): "Young people need heroes to inspire them, no matter where they are, whether
here in the UK, in Denmark where I live or in Kenya where I was born. SPIKES will
help promote our sport at a time when there is so much competition for young
people's attention. What's particularly exciting about SPIKES is that it can be
tailored to appeal to different countries as well as promote the global stars of our
sport, no matter where they come from."
Steve Ovett, 1980 Olympic 800m Champion and multiple World Record Breaker:
"Athletics needs to move with the times and that is exactly what SPIKES is about.
We know we face challenges. Like every sport, it's harder than ever to bring young
people and athletics together and addressing this challenge is crucial if we are to
flourish. I'm sure SPIKES can reach out in an exciting and accessible way to reward
and support our existing fans but also embrace new ones. It's a great initiative."
Colin Jackson, 1993 & 1999 World 110m Hurdles Champion and multiple World Record Breaker: "You only need look at the huge interest and excitement that Liu Xiang is creating across China's 1.3 billion population to see that athletics really does
have the ability to dominate the pubic conscience on a massive scale. The sport
needs innovations like SPIKES to take us to the next level and ensure our growth
The magazine is available only for delivery in the UK, however you can read more by going to www.spikesmag.com