FILA President Nenad Lalovic, who led the international wrestling federation’s (FILA’s) successful effort to get the sport back into the Olympic Games, was named one of the world’s top 20 Sports Innovators in 2013 by SportBusiness International.
Lalovic, who became president of FILA soon after the sport was recommended to be dropped from the Olympic Programme by the IOC’s Executive Committee in February, led a successful challenge for the reinstatement of the sport in the Games.
He guided wrestling, the Olympic sport that had been part of the Games for more than 2,700 years, past seven other sports that sought inclusion into the sport programme. The full IOC Session voted to include wrestling in the Olympic Games on 8th September 2013, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, capping a seven-month effort to save the sport.
The Serbian businessman joins an elite group of individuals, cited by SportBusiness magazine, (see below).
SportBusiness International’s annual Sports Innovator of the Year list honours the men and women who have made the most original, foresightful and unrivalled business decisions in the last 12 months. The list was compiled using votes from SportBusiness International subscribers and a five-person panel.
“It’s an honor to be included in this impressive list of sport’s most accomplished leaders,” said Lalovic of the recent honor. “But, it’s more important to the sport of wrestling that everyone rose up and fought…from fans, to wrestlers, coaches, mums and dads, and to a lot of passionate people who stood by this sport in its finest hour. The sport and its passion is the winner here. I was just fortunate to be part of this amazing effort.”
The complete Sports Innovator of the Year 2013 list:
20 Nenad Lalovic (President, FILA)
19 Jason Ferguson (Chairman, WPBSA)
18 Stephen Barclay (CEO, America’s Cup Event Authority)
17 Scott McCune (Head of Global Partnerships, Coca-Cola)
16 Mike Dolan (Chairman and CEO, IMG Worldwide)
15 Mahesh Bhupathi (Tennis Player)
14 Don Garber (Commissioner, Major League Soccer)
13 Jay-Z (Rapper)
12 Alejandro Agag (CEO, Formula E)
11 Dmitry Chernyshenko (President and CEO, Sochi 2014 Olympics)
10 Scott Blackmun (CEO, US Olympic Committee)
9 Marc Pritchard (Global Brand Building Officer, Procter & Gamble)
8 Seb Coe (Executive Chairman, CSM Sport and Entertainment)
7 David Stern (Commissioner, National Basketball Association)
6 Roger Goodell (Commission! er, National Football League)
5 Dick Costolo (CEO, Twitter)
4 Bernie Ecclestone (Chief Executive, Formula One)
3 Richard Arnold (Group Managing Director Director, Manchester United)
2 Marc Watson (CEO, BT Television)
1 Dana White (President, Ultimate Fighting Championship)
With thanks to FILA for the copy