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  • Writer's pictureMEI Management

HFS 2023 Recap - Rounding off Day 1

Looking ahead to Milan Cortina 2026

The future's looking bright, with the Milano Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics approaching in just three

short years. Taking place in two different regions and two autonomous provinces, Italy is in preparation

for the games.

During his talk, Nevino Devidè, the Marketing, Licensing & Events Director for the Milano Cortina 2026

Olympic Games, informed the audience of game venue locations in the surrounding area, including

Tesero, Verona, Predazzo, Anterselva, Bormio, Valdisotto and Livigno, as well as institutional partners

and key outputs.

Currently, the games have announced partnerships with notable brands like Visa, Samsung and

Coca-Cola, hospitality groups and paralympic supporters, both nationally and internationally, to spread

the influence of the Olympic Games on a global scale.

Through the games, Fondazione Milano Cortina 2026 aims to “[create] a solid bond with the audiences

and territories, leveraging the vast social and sports content.” Devidè informed that 83% of the Italian

population voted in favor of Milano Cortina 2026, and 55% watched the 2020 Tokyo Winter Olympics.

Majority of these viewers comprised youth groups, which have a large influence on the future of sports as

we know it.

Overall, the Milano Cortina 2026 Games is hoping to bring new opportunities, interest and growth of

territories to the Italian regions, increased sustainability and accessibility of sport for all.


Olympic E-sports - The Path to Greater Global Reach & Participation

Concluding the day in the main auditorium was a panel discussion surrounding the world of esports and

its growing industry. The host, Craig Lovett, sat alongside Gustavo Arellano, Valerio Cianfoni and

Nicolas Bianco, all professionals within the Esports space, to discuss the expansion of the industry.

When asked about how esports is able to come into its own entity and whether it conflicts with live sport,

Arellano stated, “it’s not conflicting to the real thing, but a new discipline.” Through esports, new and

growing generations are able to fall in love with the game differently, while still remaining a part of the

sport family.

Bianco added that “esports is an asset,” in which the sports industry can learn a lot from.

There is much concern surrounding the ethics and integrity of esport though, especially in such a high

level of competition. To ensure fair play and ethical treatment if esports reaches the Olympic level,

Gustavo mentioned the creation and implementation of an “anti-cheating department and supervision” for

the games, much like the ITA’s anti-doping tests, to ensure that participants are not cheating or exploiting


Esports is not just limited to sports video games; Rocket League, for example, can also be played at the

competitive level. Organizations like FIBA and the WBSC have expanded business opportunities to the

esports space. FIBA will be hosting its first in-person gaming event in December of 2023. In just less than

a week, the Olympic Esports Week will be held for the first time in-person in Singapore between June 22

and 25, 2023.

Discussions are ongoing to push esports in the direction of creating a gaming Olympic of sorts.

As of right now, esports is not currently profitable as an Olympic venture, due to its difficulty to regulate,

but the technology is developing to enhance the esports experience and industry overall.


The Hosts & Federations Summit is an event dedicated to leaders in the sports industry who want to connect with other influential decision-makers and influencers directly. Learn more >


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