The FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015 delivered a global impact across over 200 nations in what was the fifth-largest world championships event in terms of athlete participation last year, according to the latest analysis from Sportcal’s Global Sports Impact [GSI] Project.
Findings across economic, media, social media, sporting, social and legacy impacts of the games have been released in the latest published GSI Event Study.
In what could be described as a turning point for the event and for the FAI, Dubai delivered a compact city-based games, where the 23 air sports disciplines shared the same arenas and athlete experience.
FAI President Frits Brink said: “We knew the FAI World Air Games in Dubai were a success, but this GSI Event Study confirms it.”
“It allows us to see exactly how many people took part, the impact on the city, and the global media reach through television channels and social media around the world.”
“It highlights the strong links we formed with the organisers in Dubai, and describes in detail the economic impact the FAI World Air Games had in the host city.”
“It also identified the legacy we created, both locally in Dubai and within the air sports community around the world. It has helped us identify where we can grow and how we can do that. In short, it provides a blueprint on which we can build bigger and better events and competitions as we grow and move forward.”
Mike Laflin, CEO of Sportcal, commented: “The FAI World Air Games 2015 created an event that mixed elite competition with entertainment, which showcased Dubai in a unique way that we have never seen before.
“The GSI Event Study demonstrates what an exciting prospect the FAI World Air Games is for future host cities with an event that can be brought right into the heart of a city, creating iconic moments that can showcase a city in a way that many other sports can’t. It truly shows the power of air sports to engage spectators and fans in a unique city-wide experience, and to create a holistic impact for the host city.”
Economic - Overseas athletes, officials, staff, media and accompanying persons contributed an estimated 18,115 bed nights to the Dubai economy over the event period, with greater impact anticipated from training camps held before the event.
Media - TV images from WAG 2015 reached a global audience via 217 broadcasters. Meanwhile, 99 websites carried web clips from the event, and 706 online news articles were published over the event period.
Social Media - Across six key accounts, there were 1,219 posts, which attracted over 66,000 likes and more than 22,000 new followers for air sports over the 12 days of the event.
Sporting - WAG 2015 was the fifth-largest world championships event in 2015 by athlete participation, with 951 athletes from 52 nations on six continents, representing 59% of member national associations.
Social - A two-day medical symposium held in conjunction with WAG 2015 was the first of its kind, drawing 179 delegates to discuss the theme of ‘Medical Challenges in Extreme Air Sports and Aviation’.
Legacy - WAG 2015 left behind an improved air sports hub for Dubai and the Emirates Aerosports Federation. The event also leaves a legacy of greater diversity in air sports expertise, in a region famous for parachuting.
Photo Credit: FAI / Marcus King