Play with Messi: Digital Initiatives in Sports

The theme of digital sports solutions was one of the notable first day themes of the 11th Gaidar Forum. Members of the panel “Russia’s Potential in Global Digital Sports Initiatives Development” provided successful regional cases examples and discussed the opportunities for creating digital systems for international sports events.

The speakers focused on issues of the implementation of digital system solutions for intersectional coordination both in Russia and within the CIS and the EAEU. The experts also touched on the potential of Russia as a trend-setter of global digital initiatives in sports.

All the work in this field is regulated by the Presidential decree on National Goals and Strategic Objectives, issued to implement both rapid science and technological progress and social economic development in Russia. "In particular, we need to ensure that by 2024 the target goals for physical education and sports are achieved, including raising the number of citizens maintaining healthy lifestyle and the number of citizens engaged in sports on a regular basis up to 55%," Sergey Nikitin, Head of the Department of the Presidential Directorate for Supporting Activities of the State Council of the Russian Federation, noted.

Nadezhda Yerastova, State Secretary, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Sport of the Russian Federation, notes that the priorities include increasing the level of informatization, creating unified informational outline for all physical education and sports facilities and reviewing the big data working model. She also noted the lack of staff resources in IT, who not only have the necessary knowledge and competence, but also are interested in the sports itself.

"As a part of the federal experimental forum, a program complex was created to ensure children predisposition to various sports. On a global scale we have a goal of creating the sportsman of the future model and providing the conditions that together with digitalization process could lengthen the sports life of athletes,"noted Nadezhda Yerastova.

The first Regional Control Center in Russia was established in Moscow Region in order to overview the sports centers and sports grounds as well as managing staff. "The main work principle is Know Everything, Solve Anything,"noted Roman Teryushkov, Minister of Physical Training and Sports of the Moscow Region."Digitalization of the fieldis like a living organism, new challenges just keep arising, so we add something new everyday in a process of constant development."

"Today the areas of VR sports are being actively developed. Big IT companies come up with projects where you can, for example, play soccer with Messi," told the Head of Project and Scientific Research Department and Vice-Rector of the Innopolis University, Iskander Bariev.

The participants discussed the importance of global digitalization projects, potential introduction of them to the international market and the methods of obtaining the government support. "We need to keep moving forward. If we don't generate these initiatives, they will be generated by someone else,"noted Sergey Nikitin.

Participants also discussed educational topics, in particular, the education system renewal based on digital trends. On January 15, in his message to the Federal Assembly, Vladimir Putin, the President of the Russian Federation, stated that the higher education system should react quickly to the labor market changing conditions. Therefore, second year students should have the opportunity to change the education program.

"It is impossible to manage sports school or to be a public authority manager without being engaged in digital technologies," said Roman Teryushkov. "If we don't do that, we will not be able to keep up with people and the times, will not be able to give them what they want, we will simply fall behind.


The 11th Gaidar Forum “Russia and the World: Challenges of the New Decade” is being held at the Presidential Academy on January 15 and 16, 2020. The forum is focused on the goals of national and global development and the search for practical answers to the most pressing challenges of our time. The forum is attended by ministers of the Government of the Russian Federation, members of the Federal Assembly, governors of the Russian regions, prominent international experts, and representatives of foreign states.

The organizers of the 11th Gaidar Forum are the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, the Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy, and the Association of Innovative Regions of Russia.

The title partners of the Gaidar Forum are Gazprom PJSC and Gazprombank JSC. The strategic partners are Coca-Cola, Mastercard, Russian Railways, Pharmstandard group of companies, Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi, Novartis group of companies, MSD, AKIG group of companies, EF Education First. Partners are Prosveshchenie group of companies, EY, Huawei, RVC JSC, Russian Agricultural Bank JSC.

The title information partners of the Gaidar Forum are the Russia-24 TV channel, TASS, RBC, Business FM. The strategic information partners are Kommersant Publishing House, Interfax, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Invest Foresight magazine, Federal Press Agency. The main information partners are Anews.com, Gazeta.Ru, Lenta.Ru, News.ru, Profile. International partners are RT, ThomsonReuters, Sputnik, EFE, Cision, Pan Pacific Agency. Information partners are Snob media project, AEI PRIME, RNS, Expert magazine, Parlamentskaya Gazeta, Polit.ru, Ekho Moskvy radio station, PRO Business TV channel, FINAM.RU information and analytical agency, Davydov.Index, Strategiya magazine, Ekonomika i Zhizn newspaper, Econs portal, Gosudarstvennaya Sluzhba magazine, TV BRICS.