Innovating to extend the global reach of World Athletics

Innovation in sport and events will be the central pillar of World Athletics' business strategy for the next four years, according to President Sebastian Coe, who believes that more exciting and dynamic events will also provide greater economic opportunities.

World Athletics' business strategy for the next four years introduces significant changes. Entitled 'Pioneering Change (2024-2027)', it outlines the key strategic priorities for the sport, with innovation at the heart of the strategy to expand its global reach and increase the value of the sport.

In particular, the Pioneering Change strategy focuses ondelivering faster and more exciting events to increase TV viewership and stadium attendances.

This will be complemented by innovation across the board, not only on the field of play, but also in ways that bring athletes and fans closer together, both during and outside of competition.

There will also be a focus on increasing the presence of athletes on social media, with strategies aimed at making them stars through targeted content creation. The strategy also aims to create more inclusive and accessible entry points into athletics as a competitor, coach, referee, volunteer or administrator.

The detailed strategy sets out objectives, outcomes and key performance indicators across five core pillars, four of which build on the previous four-year growth strategy. Innovation is the new pillar, with central resources dedicated to managing the innovation agenda. This includes redesigning the summer season to end each year with a global championship event, providing narrative and long-term calendar consistency.

Another strategy is to launch a new global championship in non-world championship years, providing fans with a major global event each year and raising new funds for elite athletes and World Athletics.

In terms of disciplines, there will be reforms to enhance the entertainment and excitement value of sport and to secure the future of athletics, with a particular focus on field events, race walks and combined events.

In addition, the development of the sport will ensure that relevance, entertainment and excitement will continue to drive competitions by using new technologies, processes, systems, research and data to increase the appeal and impact of competitions worldwide.

Some new events will be introduced, such as a mixed 4x100m relay and a steeplechase mile, as well as a take-off zone for horizontal jumps to improve measurement efficiency. There will also be the use of technology to decide tie-breakers in the jumps and a review of the weights for the women's shot put and javelin.

The trials will also include the introduction of a start zone for the long and triple jumps and the elimination of foul jumps to make the events more attractive to fans, which received mixed reviews when plans for the trials were announced in February.

"All new initiatives will be rigorously tested and consulted on before any decision is made to introduce them into mainstream championships," World Athletics said in a statement. "If they are not tested well, they will not be introduced."

"Innovation in all aspects of the sport will help secure the future of athletics and enhance the range and talent of our athletes, helping them and the sport as a whole to maximise their potential and value. But it all starts with our events and competitions. More events that attract more fans and broadcasters means more money for our athletes, our Federations and the sport in general. This is at the heart of our four-year strategy, Pioneering Change (2024-2027)," said World Athletics President Sebastian Coe.

"World Athletics has ambitious plans, a motivated network of more than 200 Member Federations, passionate athletes, coaches and event organisers, and a solid foundation built over the past eight years to take the sport to an exciting new level," added the British leader of global athletics since 19 August 2015.