Sporting events to Russia

Trends and opportunities

The market

Russia has a proud history of sporting achievements and sport is again becoming a national priority with increasing attendance at sporting events, growing television coverage and government and private financial support for the sector.

Starting in 2013, Russia embarked on a golden decade of sport, hosting:

  • 2013 Rugby Sevens – June 2013
  • University Games in Kazan – July 2013
  • 2013 Athletics World Championships in Moscow - August 2013
  • 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics
  • 2015 FINA Aquatics World Championship
  • 2014/2015 new Formula One Grand Prix
  • 2018 FIFA World Cup

These events present tangible business opportunities for Australian companies offering world-class products, technologies and expertise.

Sport has become a highly visible part of Russian life. The number of Russians engaging regularly in sporting activities has increased significantly in recent years and the Russian Government has set itself a goal of 42 million people engaging in sports by 2015.

The largest country in the world by territory, eighth by GDP and ninth by population, Russia offers a striking variety of landscapes and weather conditions for sporting pursuits, from swimming and water sports to skiing and a range of indoor sports. There are diverse opportunities for sporting professionals and amateurs.

2013 University Games in Kazan

Kazan, capital of Tatarstan Republic and one of the oldest cities of the Russian Federation, has a unique multi-national historical and cultural heritage.

The University Games took place on 6–17 July 2013. The Universiade-2013 was attended by almost 12,000 athletes from 160 countries. Competitions were held in a record number of sports - 27, 351 sets of medals were awarded.

1,500 media representatives and a record number of 150,000 tourists, fans and spectators from all over the world came to Kazan.

Kazan built 64 new sports venues and upgraded existing facilities. The University Games Village, which was finished in 2011, covers 38ha and comprises three clusters, including residential buildings, an entertainment complex, halls for religious worship, transport dispatch and logistics services, athletes' dining halls, a media centre and the largest concert hall in the region. After the completion of the student games Ilsur Metshin, Mayor of Kazan announced that all the sports facilities built for the Universiade will be used as training centres for Russian teams in various sports.

2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi

The Black Sea resort city of Sochi will host the XXII Olympic Winter Games, from 7–23 February 2014. Sochi is situated in a unique and picturesque location on the sea with the Caucasus Mountains nearby. The Russian federal and regional governments have allocated A$10.42 billion for the development, expansion and hosting of the Games. By 2014, 183 infrastructure facilities will be constructed or modernised in Sochi. These games will be the most compact Winter Games in terms of the convenience of location of all events, with 11 sporting venues divided into two clusters – mountain and coastal. The clusters will be located within 48km of each other; each housing an Olympic Village.

2015 FINA Aquatics World Championship in Kazan

The 16th FINA World Aquatics Championships will be held in Kazan in the summer of 2015. The World Championships will take place two years after the University Games. The existing infrastructure, the improvement and expansion of its transport system and other developments will serve Kazan well for the World Cup. Attracting tourists and investment into the infrastructure of the city were key elements in winning the bid of the 2015 World Aquatics Championships.

Opportunities for Australian companies include:

  • event management services
  • training
  • specialist equipment
  • ceremonies
  • temporary infrastructure
  • overlay

2014/15 Formula One Grand Prix

The Russian Formula One Grand Prix is a new event for the FIA calendar from 2014/15.

The Grand Prix will run for at least seven years under an agreement signed with Formula 1 management. The 5.8km circuit, designed by the famous Tilke architects, will include street and track elements and will integrate with the Sochi Olympic Stadium. The permanent part of the race track comprising 2.2km will be ready to take year-round competition.

The Russian Government has allocated A$187.5 million for this major event. The construction of the track itself will cost about A$191.9 million.

Opportunities for Australian companies include:

  • venue and event management services
  • specialist equipment
  • training and safety
  • ceremonies
  • overlay

2018 FIFA World Cup

From 8 June to 8 July 2018 Russia will host the FIFA World Cup football tournament. The Russian 2018 World Cup bid presented 13 candidate cities (15-16 stadiums) for the tournament, reduced to 11 cities after the final FIFA decision in 2012. Cities are divided into clusters: Northern Cluster (Kaliningrad, St Petersburg), Central Cluster (Moscow), Southern Cluster (Krasnodar, Rostov on Don, Sochi), Volga Cluster (Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Saransk, Volgograd) and Ural (Yekaterinburg). The Russian government has approved an Infrastructure Program, supporting construction and upgrade of 12 stadiums, 113 training sites, 62 hotels, 11 airports and other infrastructure facilities, including energy, IT and communication. The federal government estimates that the overall program financing will be 664.1 billion roubles (US$22.14 billion). FIFA has invited Russia to hold a ‘Fan Fest’ in 2014; currently all 11 host cities are exploring the opportunity to organise fan zones during World Cup 2014 and will present their proposals in autumn 2013.

Opportunities for Australian companies include:

  • architecture and urban design
  • civil engineering and construction
  • infrastructure development
  • project management
  • training
  • event delivery services
  • tourism strategy and development

Commercial opportunities exist for Australian companies to deliver specialist know-how, technologies and expertise. Australian firms are respected for their strong track record gained through the involvement in major events from Sydney 2000 Olympics through to the start-of-the-art London 2012 Olympics. Austrade is promoting the proven Australian trade record and capability in this specific sector.

Russian stakeholders are particularly seeking companies with specialist capabilities in:

  • Design and construction of sports infrastructure (stadia, training grounds)
  • Training of staff and volunteers
  • Sustainable construction (green games)
  • Technological and engineering systems integration
  • Security, consultancy, ICT
  • Sports specialist equipment
  • Specialist services for major event management
  • Tourism, brand image and marketing
  • Experience with Olympic overlay issues
  • Temporary seating
  • Transportation development (railroads, highways, airports, bridges)
  • Urban infrastructure development (hotels, recreation centres, city centre redevelopment)

Contact details

The Australian Trade and Investment Commission – Austrade – contributes to Australia's economic prosperity by helping Australian businesses, education institutions, tourism operators, governments and citizens as they:

  • develop international markets
  • win productive foreign direct investment
  • promote international education
  • strengthen Australia's tourism industry
  • seek consular and passport services.

Working in partnership with Australian state and territory governments, Austrade provides information and advice that can help Australian companies reduce the time, cost and risk of exporting. We also administer the Export Market Development Grant Scheme and offer a range of services to Australian exporters in growth and emerging markets.