(ATR) Kevin Roberts is being remembered for his humor and grace as a moderator for sports conferences worldwide.

Roberts died suddenly at his home in Kent, England on Dec. 2. Friends say they believe he was struck with some form of cardiac failure. He was 61.

He was the founding editor for SportBusiness in 1995. He left the company to open a consulting practice and then returned in 2019 as group editorial director for the SportBusiness Group.

Roberts moderated conferences organized by SportBusiness, SportAccord, Host Cities, Sportel and others.

International sports consultant Jon Tibbs says he developed a strong friendship with Roberts through decades of worldwide encounters far from their homes in Kent.

“From Azerbaijan to Turkmenistan, China to Lima, Peru Kevin was one of the consummate pros on the conference stage. Even when the presentations became boring, he was able to keep things lively with his grace and humor,” says Tibbs, head of consulting and communications group JTA.

Swiss sports consultant Michel Filliau worked with Roberts through the years on various projects.

“I loved working with him. We could work on projects without speaking thousands of words between us,” says Filliau.

Riccardo Silva and Marco Auletta of SportBusiness owner Silva International expressed condolences on behalf of the London-based company.

“We speak for everyone at SportBusiness Group when we say we are devastated by the sudden loss of Kevin. He was fundamental to the success of the editorial team and his legacy is the dynamism of our subscription products. But more than anything we will miss his wonderful sense of humour, energy and passion for sport.”

Host City 2020 Next Week

A global audience of more than 1,000 major event industry professionals is expected to attend the seventh edition of the Host City conference and exhibition on Dec. 8-9.

The annual international meeting of cities and sports, hosted by EventScotland and Glasgow Life, is virtual this year.

The theme is "The Big Restart: Recovery with a Purpose for the Digital Age” and the opening session will feature keynotes from IOC member and former WADA president Craig Reedie and Paris 2024 CEO Etienne Thobois among others.

Among the latest speakers to join are World Curling president Kate Caithness and Jimena Saldaña, Vice President of the Mexican Olympic Committee.

ATR Editor Ed Hula will moderate the closing session from 15:10-15:45 GMT.

“What’s next for the events sector?” is the question to be explored with Jakob Larsen of World Athletics, Geoff Ellis, CEO, DF Concerts and Bridget McConnell, Chief Executive, Glasgow Life.

In a written interview with Around the Rings, Host City Conference Director Ben Avison revealed last week what it was like to plan around a pandemic and what's in store for the first virtual edition of the event.

Click here to read the interview.

Click here to book your free pass.

Inaugural #worldconnected Series Launched

The Global Esports Federation marks its first anniversary by hosting the inaugural edition of the #worldconnected series (#wcs20).

The #wcs20, which runs from Dec. 17-19, includes GEFcon - the Global Esports Federation Convention - as well as a series of regional esports competitions hosted by GEF member federations across the world.

GEFcon will feature exclusive live webinar sessions and a series of sessions on-demand that are designed for the collective benefit of esports. Visit www.GEFcon.org for full program and registration details.

“It has been an eventful year since we embarked on the mission to establish the credibility, legitimacy, and prestige for esports at the worldwide launch of the Global Esports Federation in Singapore,” said Chris Chan, Global Esports Federation president, in a statement.

“The first #worldconnected series and GEFcon is truly a global platform bringing together our Member Federations and Partners in support of our mission – cultivating collaborations, forging synergies, developing and growing the connections between esports and sport in communities across the world.”

Global Sports Week Paris Adds Founding Partner

Global Sports Week Paris adds a new founding partner with adidas coming on board.

The iconic sports brand joins France's Ministry of Sport, French banking group BPCE and EGG Events in the top-tier category. EDF and Vivendi are associate partners.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC), UN Women and World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI) are among those who will help to co-create the event as official ‘Proud Supporters.’

The second edition will again be held under the patronage of UNESCO and the high patronage of French President Emmanuel Macron.

The event will run from February 1-5, 2021 and will take place primarily online, with speakers linked live across studio settings in Paris and five future Olympic host cities – Beijing, Tokyo, Milan, Dakar and Los Angeles. Where local health conditions allow, physical events will also be organized with support from France’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Global Sports Week will also feature a first-of-its-kind virtual exhibition – the GSWMarketplace – comprising immersive, customizable and interactive booths, accessible for businesses and organizations of all types and sizes.

Written by Gerard Farek

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