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IAAF & UK Athletics Launch Spikes magazine and website

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3 July 2008





The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), in partnership with UK Athletics (UKA), today launched a major new drive to promote athletics globally with a cutting edge magazine and interactive global website – SPIKES.   The UK, as host to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, is seen by the IAAF as the ideal partner and will become the first country to see SPIKES rolled out.


Speaking at the SPIKES launch, Sebastian Coe, IAAF Vice-President, said “There’s a lot of good happening in our sport, both here in the UK and globally, but we need to be much more creative and dynamic about how we reach out and promote the sport.  SPIKES will help us meet this challenge by fusing traditional and online media to celebrate our heroes, create new ones and inspire a new breed of track and field fans. 


“Spikesmag.com will be the heart of the new marketing drive containing a wealth of footage – including world records and inspiring clips of athlete heroes in action and at rest.  I certainly would have loved to have had this type of material available when I started out.  It’s a great way for young people to connect with our sport and access it in a way that makes sense to them.


“The IAAF’s vision and ambitions for athletics are global and we plan to roll the magazine out to other territories over the next few years as part of our wider plans to help re-energize athletics across the world.  SPIKES will be our shop-front for a new era – to capture the imagination of those who follow the sport and to reach out to the next generation.” 


Seb Coe was joined by a host of UK and global athletes past and present at the London SPIKES launch, including:


Wilson Kipketer, World Record Holder and three times World Champion: “Young people need heroes to inspire them, no matter where they, whether here in the UK, in Denmark where I live or in Kenya where I was born.  SPIKES will help promote our sport at a time when there is so much competition for young people’s attention.  What’s particularly exciting about SPIKES is that it can be tailored to appeal to different countries as well as promote the global stars of our sport, no matter where they come from.”  


Steve Ovett, Olympic Champion: “Athletics needs to move with the times and that is exactly what SPIKES is about.  We know we face challenges.  Like every sport, it’s harder than ever to bring young people and athletics together and addressing this challenge is crucial if we are to flourish.  I’m sure SPIKES can reach out in an exciting and accessible way to reward and support our existing fans but also embrace new ones.  It’s a great initiative” 


Colin Jackson, Olympic 110m Champion: “You only need look at the huge interest and excitement that Liu Xiang is creating across China’s 1.3 billion population to see that athletics really does have the ability to dominate the pubic conscience on a massive scale.  The sport needs innovations like SPIKES to take us to the next level and ensure our growth globally.”  

Andy Baddeley, the UK’s leading 1500m runner: “Seb Coe, Steve Ovett and Steve Cram were the legends that I looked up to and, because of their success, were the inspiration that first got me interested in athletics.  Creating heroes and icons is what our sport needs to continue to grow and I’m really excited by what I’ve seen of SPIKES, and the way it’s using the web to inspire and attract a whole new audience to our sport.  It’s a great time for athletics in the UK as we head towards 2012 and the timing of SPIKES could not be better.”