In the wake of the recent, and by all accounts successful, summer Olympic games in Beijing (despite early talks of various boycotts), gyms and sport centers worldwide have reported record attendance. TV viewers were apparently inspired by athletes such as American Michael Phelps--who proved himself to be one of the greatest swimmers of all time--to get into shape.
Now, organizers of the 19th edition of SPORTELMonaco, which itself is taking shape as we speak, are hoping for a larger influx of TV sports executives--execs who were similarly stimulated by the events in Beijing--to their programming market, which will be held at Monaco's Grimaldi Forum, October 20-23, just three days after MIPCOM in nearby Cannes.
Now that it's all over in Beijing, the game moves to another exhibition floor, that of SPORTEL, where 500 companies will take advantage of the trailing effects of the XXIX Olympiad to find more TV time for countless varieties of sports, even more than the 28 sports that made up the 302 events of the Olympiad.
As proof of the fact that all things sports are firmly entrenched on the entertainment industry's radar, in the weeks leading up to the market one thing quickly became clear--it was going to be a packed house. As VideoAge went to press, 98 percent of the exhibition space had already been sold out, leading the powers that be at SPORTEL to predict that 2008 would be its biggest year ever.
"Based on contracts already received and verbal commitments from new and returning exhibitors, we surely will have our second consecutive sell-out at SPORTELMonaco and perhaps our third consecutive largest-ever market in terms of overall attendance," said David Tomatis, CEO of SPORTEL. "Virtually all of our core group of major exhibitors will be returning, along with a number of first-time exhibitors. We are seeing a good mix of companies involved in traditional sports television, along with those involved with the Internet and mobile technologies. SPORTEL is certainly reflective of a rapidly developing marketplace."
Bill Vitale, chairman of New Jersey-based Vital Communications, the exclusive worldwide Sales and Marketing representative for SPORTEL, added: "We've got a bunch of new companies this year, which means new opportunities for attendees."
Due to the overwhelming response, market organizers have had to once again put stands in the lobby area, something they did for the first time just last year. "As an organizer...