PR 18 - FINA World Water Polo Conference: Tracking a new future for the oldest Olympic team sport

Press Release

Cancun (MEX), March 1, 2014 – The FINA World Water Polo Conference gathered experts from the oldest Olympic team sport in Cancun (MEX) from February 27-28, 2014 to discuss and exchange ideas on the future evolution of water polo, and the improvement of its place and importance in the international sport market.

Including panels with representatives from other professional leagues and newly popular team sports, sponsors, media/TV, players and leaders of water polo, this two-day initiative reaffirmed the need for a more understandable sport, that attracts new fans on a global scale.

“Our main goal is to modernise our product - water polo - within the new developments of the sports industry. FINA is at the top of International Federations concerning the rate of innovation of our disciplines. Therefore, we must not be afraid to move forward”, said Cornel Marculescu at the conclusion of the Conference.


Taking example on highly successful leagues (NBA, NFL or NHL), the water polo family was briefed about the secrets behind the high-level exposure of these sports on TV, social media, and their importance at world level but also next to the respective local communities.

“Combined with the exchange of ideas and the innovative concepts that we have heard about, I know that together we can make our sport even more popular and more recognised internationally”, declared FINA President Dr. Julio C. Maglione in his closing speech. 

Throughout the Conference, one main message emerged to the delegates present in Mexico. To target high, water polo should be much more than a game; it should represent a unique experience for fans, create a memorable opportunity to attract new spectators and supporters. Many ideas were presented on this matter, but one conclusion was evident: fans' satisfaction is the number one priority.

Promotion, entertainment, global show, heroes, social media, drama and emotion were some of the key concepts that were retained.

“The rules of the game are perhaps the easiest part of the equation. We have to create synergies at all levels. We have a great game, with fantastic players, so let’s think high and don’t be afraid of the change”, appealed FINA’s Executive Director Cornel Marculescu to the 80 delegates from 65 countries attending the Conference in Cancun.

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