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Steve Bainbridge - Partner, Head of Sports & Events Management - Commercial / Family Business

Welcome to the Sports & Events Management focus edition of Law Update. This edition provides an interesting glimpse into some of the challenges our clients throughout the Middle East region are working through in these unpredictable times. Year on year we cannot help but note how the pandemic has changed the landscape previously characterised by mass participation events and sold out venues. There is cause for great optimism,
though, and whether supporting entities, individuals or institutions from the public or private sector, we feel privileged to support clients consistently leading the way towards a promising sporting horizon. This edition of Law Update gives us a chance to share some of the insights and experiences we have been fortunate to gain over the past year. We start with a look at the direct impact of COVID-19 on the sports sector, which reminds us that even in challenging times there are green shoots and opportunities in the UAE. We take a look into the world of event insurance and consider some of those issues with which many clients have been grappling in terms of coverage under a pandemic. Thereafter, we look at a number of ways the sports sector has led the way to operating in difficult conditions and plotting a
course forward. We then turn towards Kuwait, where the new sports law sets a foundation for growth and forms the cornerstone of the country’s return to the international sporting fold. We also explore one of the interesting ways technology is working its magic in the form of virtual advertising, which is a promising economic development in the sports sector that is rapidly growing in prominence across numerous professional leagues and global sports events.

We look forward to the post COVID-19 world when the media headlines properly return to the athletes, teams and varied competitors we are proud to represent as they chase their dreams across golf, tennis, motorsports, football, cricket, rugby, cycling and so many other sports. It also seems sure that the early re-start suggests a trajectory for the sports and events sector in the Middle East that will ensure the commercial ecosystem of sponsors, suppliers, contractors, broadcasters, governing bodies, regulators, community stakeholders and fans will keep us busy between now and next year’s sports edition, so please enjoy this snapshot as we move towards brighter days.

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