Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Technology, sports stars and Coca-Cola converge at exciting new venue

When the first-ever European Games launch this June in Baku, technology, athletes and entertainers will command the stage in a two-week extravaganza certain to catapult Azerbaijan onto the global sports stage.

Baku is a city known for its rich European history and culture, but after a massive construction effort it will also showcase a state-of-the-art sports venue unlike any in the world.

The European Games is the first multi-sport event to rely entirely on cloud-based technology for both infrastructure and software applications, a model that is likely to be adopted by all major sports events in the future.

Baku 2015 will also make use of more than 600 kilometres of fibre optic network to connect venues. That new optical fibre network won’t just bring the games to life on television and computer screens, it will also provide a lasting benefit to the former Soviet republic with a booming oil economy and a populace craving innovation, information and economic opportunity.

“The European Games is an opportunity for Azerbaijan to be at the forefront of technological advancements in sport and we are extremely happy with how our preparations are progressing so far,” Adrian Corcoran, Baku 2015’s director of technology, proclaimed last month.

The European Games are the continent’s first major multi-sport event, with participants from all countries regulated by the European Olympic Committees. Baku, a capital city on the Caspian Sea, was awarded the first ever games back in 2012 and will host the first competition starting June 12. The European Games will take place every four years thereafter, with the next competition slated for 2019

Of the 18 venues that will host competition ranging from boxing and boxing to volleyball and gymnastics, the majority are ready. And the main arena is due to be finished in a few short weeks.

Some of the world’s biggest corporate names will also be front and center.

Coca-Cola — a decades-long sponsor of the Olympic was — was the latest to sign on an official partner of the European Games last month. Its logo and soda products will be visible throughout Baku 2015 for what company executives see as the next big global sporting event.

“This is an exciting opportunity to support a new and innovative event that will unite Europe in a celebration of sport and active lifestyle,” expained Galya Frayman Molinas, President of Coca-Cola’s Turkey, Caucasus and Central Asia Business Unit. “We are very proud to be supporting the inaugural European Games, which will soon become one of the international calendar’s leading multi-sport events.”

Other corporate partners include Azerbaijan Airlines, oil giants BP and SOCAR and P&G.

The host country also has assembled a star-studded lineup of global ambassadors and entertainers to showcase Azerbaijan’s many talents, including actor and comedians Bahram Baghirzade and Murad Dadashov as well as female singing sensations Nigar Jamal and Roya Aykhan.

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