On March 23 and 24, the Sokolniki Congress and Exhibition Center, Moscow, held the 13th International Trade Fair "Sports'16",
the sports industry's major event of the season. Traditionally, the trade fair was arranged and organized by the Sports
Ministry of the Russian Federation and the Physical Culture and Sports Department of the city of Moscow.
For more than 12 years now, the trade fair has flaunted its status as a unique professional platform for the discussion
of development programs of the sports industry of the Russian Federation, which brings together the best domestic and
international producers of sport-related goods and services, representatives of the business community and government
institutions in the area of sports.
This year, the trade fair had more than 220 Russian and international business exhibitors from 11 countries across the
globe. The total exhibition area was 11,000 square meters. During the three days while the fair stayed open, it was attended
by over 17,000 people.
The participation, alongside national companies, of dynamic international manufacturers of sports equipment, gear and
outfits, was an opportunity to assess competitive advantages of the industry's leaders, to become aware of the trends
existing in the sports industry, and to establish useful business contacts. The themes featured at the trade fair spanned
across key segments of the sports industry, and reflected most fully the present-day condition and the tendencies of sports
as an area of business.
The 2016 trade fair was announced to be open by Pavel Novikov, Russia's Deputy Sports Minister. On behalf of Vitaly
Mutko, Sports Minister of the Russian Federation, he conveyed a warm welcome to the numerous exhibitors and attendees,
wished them constructive communication and networking, and implementation of their plans, strengthening of business contacts
and showcasing innovative achievements in sports and physical culture. Furthermore, the deputy minister also noted that
this year the trade fair had surpassed all the previous ones in terms of space, and one of the distinguishing features of
the exhibition, in his opinion, was an extensive focus on the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup to
be hosted by Russia. The opening ceremony was also attended by Svetlana Khorkina, a two-time Olympic Champion and First
Deputy Head of CSKA (PFC Central Sport Club of the Army), Svetlana Ishmuratova, a two-time Olympic Champion and Deputy Head
of CSKA, Nikolai Gulyayev, an Olympic Champion and First Deputy Head of Moscow's Physical Culture and Sports Department,
and Ildar Gilmutdinov, Russia's State Duma Deputy.
An all-Russian conference, "Implementation of individual segments of the federal targeted program 'Development
of Physical Culture and Sports in the Russian Federation, 2016-2020,'" was the first business event on the agenda.
Marina Tomilova, Deputy Sports Minister of the Russian Federation, was the keynote speaker at the meeting. The following
topics were broached during the conference:
- General requirements for the preparation and implementation of government programs of subjects of the Russian
Federation in the area of development of physical culture and sports;
- Application of recommended projects of sports facilities within the framework of the federal targeted program
"Development of Physical Culture and Sports in the Russian Federation, 2016-2020";
- Specifics of procurement of sports gear and equipment for schools and trade schools of the Olympic Reserve.
An Open International Football Congress was held for the first time at the "Sports" trade fair. The congress was
organized by the SportB2B publishing house and was attended by the best market experts and hands-on professionals working in
Russian and international football. Presentations and discussions that took place during the Congress lasted about
12 hours, with 42 speakers sharing their abundant practical experience with the delegates. More than 320 attendees were
present at the discussion panels. Representatives of the six cities that will be hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup came to
listen to the speakers and to network with the football community, including people from Kazan, Kaliningrad, Samara,
Saransk, Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod. Additionally, those sessions were attended by 40 representatives of football
clubs, 14 envoys of leagues and federations, 28 people in charge of sports facilities and stadiums, regional sports agencies
and football schools. The first day of the Congress, March 23, highlighted global sports events, their legacy and impact
on the infrastructure. The second day was devoted entirely to case sessions covering various aspects of activities of
football organizations, such as leagues, federations, clubs and stadiums.
Of special interest to the trade show attendees and exhibitors was the three-day Fourth Moscow International Fitness
Festival. More than 10,000 people attended its events. The guests of the festival took part in competitions, contests,
and master classes, were able to try out innovative training equipment offered by major domestic and international
manufacturers, and to undergo multiple tests evaluating the condition of their health. The key topic of the "FitExpo - 2016"
exhibition sector was the issue of import substitution, which is a current priority, and in that connection, a specialized
display was arranged for the purpose, where the festival attendees were presented a wide range of innovative equipment
designed and manufactured in Russia.
Following its tradition, the International Trade Fair "Sports" became again a platform for business communication
and networking of sports industry specialists, for successful promotion of Russian products and for the enhancement of the
prestige of domestic and international manufacturers.