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Arnaud Drijard, Co-Founder & CEO - Sports Innovation Society & Global Sports Week (Interview)

Updated: Mar 29, 2021

An excerpt from the interview of Arnaud Drijard, someone who has had extensive experience with multiple sports organizations and knows the power of building relations and creating lasting connections.

Q) I wanted to talk a little bit about Global Sports Week. I was lucky enough to get an invitation from you to attend and it was a fantastic few days in terms of the way you guys curated the content and the way y’all were able to engage all the stakeholders. How long did that take to plan?

A) We built a team; we hired our Executive Director one year before the event. So that's one operational year, but it's years of experience gathered. To do the Global Sports Week I gathered with my former boss Lucien Boyer and Laurent Damiani. So, we are three stakeholders, and we build on the networks and the strengths of each one to be able to make something very impactful. It's all about building on the strengths of the partners and having a smart team to be able to make the dream come true.

I've created some other summits in Barcelona, in France. I've had my own relations as well through Sports Innovation Society and Sports Innovation Summit in Paris. With all this, we were able to build what we've built and what we look for is to make it different from other congresses. The way to do it, is to be very premium. So, we decided to do it at the Louvre Museum, which is a fantastic environment. So, a year before at SIS, the Sports Innovation Summit, we had the VIP cocktail on the 1st floor of Eiffel Tower which was not bad. We decided to do it premium so that if we speak to the IOC president or all the big ones and the big International federations and brands, they will say “Oh, nice, nice!”.

We decided also, a way to make it different, is to involve youth because the Gen Z is not thinking the way we do. The sports leaders need to understand what Gen Z is thinking. Sports is a massive business. Many sports are struggling to survive, and many sports are getting older. The audience is getting older. We need to refresh the interest of sports and when you see esports growing everywhere, do we want kids to be in front of a screen playing or do we want kids to be outside practicing sports, getting social skills and being healthy?

"My opinion is very clear. I don't want esports to be developed. I want sports. I want sports for the kids. I want sports for the future of society."

So, we selected 50 young sports makers from 22 countries. We flew them to Paris and we decided to work with them and get their insights and we wanted them to challenge the leaders themselves.

We involved them in the storytelling at the event, in questioning the leaders, not in a critical way, in a very positive way, in a way to build a better future. So we've done that, and I guess it's what made the spirit of the event to be different.


To watch the complete interview, please click here

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