Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Olympic bid steps up with key campaign boost

WSF President Jacques Fontaine, Svetlana Picou of Weber Shandwick and Alex Gough, Chief Executive of the PSA

WSF and PSA appoint Weber Shandwick to support bid for Paris 2024
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad International Correspondent


Squash’s Olympic ambitions have intensified with the appointment of a leading marketing company to strengthen the campaign for inclusion in the 2024 Paris Games.

The World Squash Federation (WSF) in partnership with the Professional Squash Association (PSA) has appointed Weber Shandwick, one of the world’s leading global communications and engagement firms, as communications campaign partner to provide strategic counsel and global public relations to support the bid for squash to be included in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games Programme.

Commenting on the appointment, WSF President Jacques Fontaine said: “Becoming a Summer Olympic medal sport has been a long-time dream and goal for the sport of squash. We are engaging in our fourth bid to be included in the Games’ programme, with more passion and a clearer vision than ever before. Given Weber Shandwick’s vast Olympic experience and its innovative, forward-looking approach, the agency is the preferred partner to help us make the case for our sport.”

The campaign follows the signing, on September 11th, of a Memorandum of Understanding between the WSF and PSA. The MoU allows for the two bodies to work in unison towards achieving a joint vision for the future of squash on a global scale.

PSA Chief Executive Alex Gough said: “The Olympic ambition is a cornerstone of the unified structure that we created with WSF in order to expand squash’s international profile as a sport and grow it at both professional and grass roots levels. Weber Shandwick’s appointment will greatly support us in achieving our joint goal and communicating our cohesive vision.”

Weber Shandwick has more than 20 years of experience in supporting campaigns related to the Olympic Games, producing award-winning work for successful Olympic bids and Organising Committees, including most recently Los Angeles 2028, Beijing 2022, Tokyo 2020 and Sochi 2014.

The firm has also supported federations and clubs, as well as sponsors and host destinations. The agency brings a strong understanding of the environment in the new era of Olympic Agenda 2020, which outlines a strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement.

Svetlana Picou, Chair, Global Olympic and Sport Affairs, Weber Shandwick (pictured above with Fontaine, left, and Gough, right), commented: “The sport of squash has undergone a significant transformation in recent years, becoming truly innovative, inclusive and urban, while preserving its qualities as a well-established sport.

“Squash is a perfect blend of unique sport heritage and excitement of the new. We look forward to helping WSF and PSA demonstrate why squash will be an excellent and complementary addition to the programme, and how it embodies Olympic Agenda 2020.”

Promoting the message: A Squash 2024 sign at the recent Mens World Team Championship in France

About Weber Shandwick:
Weber Shandwick is a leading global communications and engagement firm in 77 cities across 31 countries with a network extending to 129 cities in 81 countries. The firm’s diverse team of strategists, analysts, producers, designers, developers and campaign activators has won the most prestigious awards in the world for innovative, creative approaches and impactful work. Weber Shandwick was the only public relations agency included on the Advertising Age Agency A-list in 2014 and 2015 and the only PR firm designated an A-List Agency Standout in 2017.

Weber Shandwick was honoured as PRWeek’s Global Agency of the Year in 2015, 2016 and 2017, The Holmes Report’s Global Agency of the Year in 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2017, and The Holmes Report’s Global Digital Agency of the Year in 2016. The firm deploys deep expertise across sectors and specialty areas, including consumer marketing, corporate reputation, healthcare, technology, public affairs, financial services, employee engagement, social impact, financial communications and crisis management, using proprietary social, digital and analytics methodologies. Weber Shandwick is part of the Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG). For more information, visit www.webershandwick.com

About WSF:
The World Squash Federation (WSF) is the IOC Recognised International Federation for the sport of squash. It represents the interests of the sport as a whole, and features membership of 148 nations. The responsibilities of WSF include the Rules of Squash, governance, officiating, world championships (picture above shows action during the 2017 WSF Men’s World Team Championship in Marseille in December), junior and masters circuits, coaching, development, technical / construction standards, and ball / equipment specifications amongst many other areas. Liaison with regions and nations is a primary role, as is the close partnership with PSA, who manage professional squash. The WSF website may be found at www.worldsquash.org

About PSA:
The Professional Squash Association (PSA) is the global governing body responsible for the administration of both men’s and women’s professional squash around the world. With over 800 registered players and over 200 events taking place in all four corners of the globe every year, the PSA World Tour showcases the game of squash at its highest level in some of the world’s most unique and stunning locations. Encapsulating all that is good about top flight professional squash, combining athleticism, skill, fitness, tenacity, power, drama and above all else, passion, the PSA World Tour is the pinnacle of world squash. For more information, visit www.psaworldtour.com

Pictures courtesy of PSA and WSF


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