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Digital Power

Updated: Mar 14, 2020

This article takes up on the one published yesterday, Crossing Borders, where I suggest that the powers-that-be, i.e. the FAI Skydiving Commission, consider moving some of the events to be contested at the World Cup of Indoor Skydiving from the Charleroi, BEL, venue to the digital environment. IF travel restrictions due to the coronavirus spread should make it impossible for all athletes to make it to Belgium! Looked at it from the Spanish perspective today, the likelihood for that does not seem to get any smaller.

When World DanceSport opted to "go digital" with one of the most important competitive events it needed to stage, the qualifying for the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games, it was for a different reason. Gathering young athletes by the hundreds, maybe the thousands, from around the world in one location proved far too costly. Aged as young as 14, all of them would have had to be accompanied by an adult – a parent or a legal guardian. For many of these kids, traveling and attending an event abroad would have been far too challenging financially as well as logistically.

That is how the idea of a digital competition came about – in December of 2016. From this moment of enlightenment to the roll-out of an actual platform which allowed for the uploading and screening of videos, it took the governing body less than six months.

First it was a matter of finding a suitable, i.e. an affordable, partner to provide the technology. Making a global casting call without the appropriate hard- and software was not an option. From three proposals that were submitted by companies working in different areas – from over-the-top to engagement marketing and on to online casting and contests – one was awarded the contract. As it turned out, it was the best choice for many reasons. The system performed flawlessly, exactly to the specifications that were defined. And the "Breaking for Gold" system exceeded all expectations when it came to the positive impact it had on DanceSport's social media. More tomorrow!

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