(ATR) The Pan American and Parapan American Games in Chile will be the first to fully benefit from the new marketing plan showcased by Panam Sports leaders during its general assembly in Prague.
The Chilean capital of Santiago presented its plans to the 41 National Olympic Committee leaders of Panam Sports last week as the sole bidder for 2023 edition. Rivals in Argentina dropped from the bid race in April, allowing Santiago 2023 to be unanimously confirmed as the host city Nov.4. The general assembly was held in Prague on the sidelines of the ANOC assembly that took place earlier in the week.
The signing ceremony of the host city contract featured many firsts in the 66-year history of the Pan Am Games. The 2023 contract was the first to be signed by both Panam Sports and the Americas Paralympic Committee, represented by International Paralympic Committee President Andrew Parsons. The agreement is the result of increased cooperation between the two organizations in organizing the Pan and Parapan Ams.
APC President and the architect of this cooperation, Jose Luis Campo, died of a sudden heart attack in October. A moment of silence was held for Campo and other Panam Sports leaders who have died since the last assembly in April.
The contract was the first signed by new leaders of each organization, with Panam Sports President Neven Ilic and IPC President Parsons each taking office this year. It is also the first to feature the new logos of Panam Sports also unveiled during the assembly in Prague.
Santiago 2023 leaders signed the shortest Pan Am Games contract in history, with Panam Sports legal commission chairman Michael Chambers cutting the 100-page document to approximately 20. The shorter contract is rid of redundancies and outdated practices no longer required.
The host city contract included the first instance of language stipulating the marketing rights of the Games – traditionally held in full by the host city – would be split 75-25 percent between Panam Sports and Santiago 2023. This practice will begin with Lima 2019 to allow those organizers to repay a $3.3 million debt owed to the continental association.
Ilic told Around the Rings the practice will continue as part of Panam Sports’ new and improved marketing efforts.
"Today we want to be the owner of our brand and our rights, our marketing rights, so we can go to the market as a partner with Panam Sport," Ilic told ATR during a makeshift press conference. "We want to have a relationship during the four years with our sponsors and for this reason it is better for us to manage our rights and to decide what the best way to work with this is."
In the press scrum after the contract signing, Ilic said he is proud the Pan Ams will finally be coming to his country.
"We applied many times to get the Games but because of different reasons we didn’t get the Games," Ilic said. "For a country like Chile it’s a nice opportunity because we will have the Games, but more than this, we have the opportunity of six years to develop the sport."
Ilic was President of the Chilean Olympic Committee until succeeded by Miguel Mujica in October. Mujica was a vice president of the COC and former president of the Chilean Rugby Federation.
Mujica and Santiago 2023 reiterated this message during their presentation to the general assembly, noting that they have learned from losing to Lima in the 2019 bid race.
"We have worked hard and laid no stone to rest; for years we wanted to make this dream a reality," Mujica said.
"Now more than ever before, we are in position and we are ready to host the greatest sports event in the Americas. We know the requirements and demands of Panam Sports and we have the requisite preparations and more experience than four years ago when we bid against Peru."
Reported and written by Kevin Nutley
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