The next five years of the IAAF Diamond League are guaranteed following a new agreement announced here today by Lamine Diack, President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
“The IAAF Diamond League is a valuable asset for the IAAF,” the President told a press conference that was being streamed live on television worldwide.
“Therefore I am delighted to announce that the IAAF has agreed a new contract with our partners which will ensure the IAAF’s continued support of the series to at least 2019.”
Speaking on the eve of the opening 2014 Diamond League meeting at the Qatar Sports Club -which hosted the first ever Diamond League meeting in 2010 – the 82-year-old President added: “I hope that we will have a title sponsor in the Diamond League.”
The Diamond League is proceeding for a second successive season without a title sponsor following the departure of Samsung.
But the new agreement – between the IAAF, the 14 involved meetings in the series and IMG, which owns the broadcast rights – is believed to have opened up the category of title sponsorship to companies in other sectors than electronics, such as airlines.
The challenge has been to find potential sponsors in fields which do not clash with sponsors already signed up by individual meetings.
Diack claimed that since the Diamond League was established in 2010, with the first meeting being in Doha, it had “established itself in the hearts and minds of sports fans worldwide”, encompassing 14 meetings in Asia, the Middle East and the United States, as well as the old Golden League territory of Europe.
“Our vision in 2009 was to create a new, exciting product for an athletics top-tier invitational circuit,” he said.
“While there remain many challenges ahead, the IAAF firmly believes that we have made an exceptionally good start in the first four years.
“The IAAF Diamond League offers the best of athletics entertainment outside the World Championships and Olympic Games.
“The worldwide TV audience for the IAAF Diamond League is far greater than the previous Golden League.
“In 2013, the 14-meeting series attracted an increased global TV audience with 265 million viewers across 135 countries.
“Doha 2014 looks set to be the greatest ever…overall the Doha entry lists include over 20 individual champions and 50 global medallists from the World Championships or Olympic Games.”