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SPORTACCORD 2024 INSIGHTS: How Gaming is Changing our World

By Yutang Sports Tuesday, 07 May 2024 10:44

The SportAccord 2024 Insights series reveals parts of some of the most exciting discussions from Birmingham, centred around the horizontal theme “The Power of Sport”.

SportAccord 2024 saw a lineup of amazing speakers tackling the hottest industry topics – with the sessions on gaming, its impact on the sports industry, creating a lasting impression.

Mark Rein, Vice President of Epic Games, creator of Fortnite and Unreal Engine, made it all the way from the US to Birmingham to share his exclusive insights on some of gaming’s key success factors and how sports can be part of the huge gaming ecosystem created over the last decades. Here are some top take-aways:

The most important rule when making games is to “make it fun”. If you don’t like it, others won’t either. It sounds simple, but has been the guiding principle for the highly successful Fortnite creator.

In this context, Rein highlighted sport’s huge and valuable entertainment factor: “Just like games, sport is entertainment – that’s where video games and sport really collide.”

It’s something Fortnite has definitely used to its advantage: “Sport is in the environment of Fortnite,” Rein said. “When we put Patrick Mahomes and Lewis Hamilton in Fortnite, it was the most popular skins we ever had,” he acknowledged, underlining the huge value in engaging people in a sport they are not familiar with or in getting fans more enthusiastic about one particular sport.

While Fortnite has leveraged successfully bigger sports like American Football or Basketball, Rein also sees potential for “smaller sports” to get involved. They can build on the existing distribution platform of 700 million accounts, well established communication tools for the players and many different environments at hand, without starting from scratch, he advised.

Rein concluded: “Nobody has really built sports games in this environment yet, but that’s coming and the possibility to do it is there now.”

Check out on YouTube the full conversation with Mark Rein and Nate Nazer – Vice President of Epic Games, Head of Global Partnerships.


Alice Dearing – Olympic marathon swimmer for Team GB and global diversity advocate – shared her perspective as an avid gamer, outlining the many opportunities esports and gaming provide in terms of inclusion:

Alice Dearing ©️Getty Images

“Having more competitions for people to be able to choose from, whether it’s traditional sports, esports or virtual sports, it’s exciting, it’s more options, it’s more opportunities, it’s another place for someone to pull an effort and a passion into.”

She cautioned that some people may nothave the opportunity to engage with traditional sports for different reasons, but would be able to have an opportunity to connect with people and spark their competitive spirit through esports and gaming.

“It’s something we should ever encourage,” urged Dearing. “I truly believe everyone is a gamer at heart, it is about capturing and letting people know it’s a space that is open to everybody.”
Dearing also insisted that gaming promotes interaction, at times even more so than traditional sports may do:

“The majority of athletes I know, particularly males and in swimming, play video games, and it brings people together in a way that being in the pool cannot.”

She also agreed with Rein on the potential of gaming for creative expression:  “You really can create what you want to create and find great partnerships.”

Check out on YouTube the full conversation with Alice Dearing, which also featured Alban Dechelotte – CEO of G2 and member of the IOC Esports Commission, Paul Foster – CEO of Global Esports Federation and Alex Inglot – Commissioner of ESL Pro League.


The SportAccord World Sport & Business Summit 2024 is supported by a number of strong partners and suppliers:

Gold Partner: Sport Event Denmark

Silver Partners: EventScotlandExplore EdmontonTourism & Events Queensland

Bronze Partner: Sport Liverpool Sports Authority Thailand

Official Suppliers: DB SchenkerWiz-Team

About SportAccord World Sport & Business Summit 

The SportAccord World Sport & Business Summit brings together around 1,500 leaders and key decision makers from over 120 International Federations (IFs), the International Olympic Committee, and organisations involved in the business of sport. 

The Summit provides an unrivalled platform enabling global business leaders and host cities to have access to all the International Federations and their stakeholders in one location over several days. 

This unique event is a combination of official sports meetings, networking gatherings, a themed conference programme, and exhibition space enabling International Federations, industry, cities and regions to showcase and advance their sport, services and facilities. 


SportAccord is a sports event organisation based in the Olympic Capital, Lausanne, Switzerland, and governed by stakeholders representing the Olympic and non-Olympic International Federations.  

It brings together International Federations and organisations involved in the business of sport with the aim to serve, promote and protect the common interests of its stakeholders, help them achieve their global objectives and facilitate knowledge-sharing.

SportAccord’s stakeholders include:

ASOIF (Association of Summer Olympic International Federations)

WOF (Winter Olympic Federations)

ARISF (Association of IOC Recognised International Sports Federations)

AIMS (Alliance of Independent Recognised Members of Sport)

Visit SportAccord.sport for more information.

About Yutang Sports

As one of SportAccord's Principal Media Partners, Yutang Sports is a Chinese leading sports marketing and media platform, with an ultimate mission to connect China and world through sports. After years of growing, Yutang Sports, with a comprehensive media and marketing promotion system, is now dedicating to reporting sports business and marketing trends, providing sports business news, analysis, and exclusive data reports in both Chinese and English. Having been cooperated with top-level domestic and international sports summits, Yutang Sports is opening a window for Chinese sports industry to embrace the world.

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