After seven sessions in Europe, the MESGO team was in New York from 2 to 6 December 2019 to learn more about the North American model of sport.
Organised by Francesc
Solanellas, professor in sports management at the National Institute of
Physical Education (INEFC) and Didier Primault, general manager at the Center
for Law and Economics of Sport (CDES), this eighth session was aimed at
presenting the organisation of sport in North America from a legal, economic,
sociologic and media perspective.
Over the five-day
session, the MESGO group was hosted at key locations such as the Major League
Soccer (MLS), St John’s University, the National Football League (NFL), the
Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA), the National Basketball
Association (NBA) and R/GA (International innovation consultancy).
The next and final
MESGO session will take place in Beijing (China) from 9 to 13 March 2019 and
will be dedicated to the future of sport.
It is with great
sadness that we learned of the passing of Dr Dirk-Reiner Martens on November
Dr Martens was one
of the most influential and renowned lawyers in the sports movement: and one of
the pioneers in sports law in Germany and Worldwide.
Due to his
extraordinary expertise in commercial and sports arbitration, at national and
international level, he has acted in more than 250 arbitration proceedings
relating to commercial law and to sports law either as an arbitrator, President
of the tribunal or party representative. In addition to the CAS, Dr Martens was
also listed as an arbitrator at the AAA, JAMS, CRCIA (Cairo, Egypt), FIA
(Formula 1) and ICDR.
A strong advocate
of alternative sports dispute resolution mechanisms, Dr Martens was one of the
original creators of the Basketball Arbitral Tribunal (BAT), which today is the
second largest sports arbitral tribunal in the world.
Dr Martens also
worked with numerous Olympic and non-Olympic Sports Federations, advising on
and implementing new systems of governance.
For MESGO, it has
been an honour and a privilege to have Dr Martens among our high-profile
speakers for each of our legal seminars. His presentations and sharing his
experience as CAS arbitrator in particular, were always highly appreciated by
the MESGO participants.
Both as a leading
sports lawyer and CAS arbitrator, but also as a constantly enthusiastic,
passionate and caring person, Dr Martens will be deeply missed. All the MESGO
team convey their sincere condolences to Mrs Martens, to Mr and Mrs Martens’
families and friends, and to Mr Martens’ colleagues at Martens Rechtsanwälte. Our
thoughts are with them during this very difficult time.
Three participants of the MESGO V edition were appointed to new senior positions.
Rea Walshe has stepped into the role of interim chief executive at the Football Association of Ireland. Rea Walshe was previously corporate affairs and licensing director at the organisation. Last month she became chief operating officer and took on overall responsibility for FAI governance. Rea Walshe previously worked at Dublin’s Greene Solicitors and at Liberty Insurance. She joined the Football Association of Ireland in May 2014 as head of legal and licensing.
The British Bobsleigh & Skeleton Association (BBSA) has announced the appointment of Joanna Poulton as its new Chair. Joanna has joined the Board of the national governing body for the British winter sports of skeleton and bobsleigh with immediate effect, with confirmation of her position as Chair expected at the upcoming Board meeting in April. Her most recent positions were as non-Executive Director with GB Snowsport (the governing body of British Skiing and Snowboarding) and the Royal Yachting Association (the governing body for British Sailing).
Ciska Austin Du Plessis was recently appointed as Vice President of Cycling South Africa. In her role as Vice President and executive board member, Ciska had been tasked to update and maintain the federation’s sporting and governance policies and to play a supportive role to the President, Executive Committee and the various Commissions. She will work closely with staff and all the board members to ensure enhanced performance in all areas by providing training and guidance.