The Growth and Expansion of the IAAF
The rapid growth of the IAAF is largely due to the increase in television broadcasting. The IAAF World Championships, like all major international athletic events, was very popular before TV broadcasting was perfected. The problem was that interest was limited only to countries such Europe and North America, where the populations were raised with the sports.
It was the mid-1980s when the television coverage of athletics events began to take flight. As the broadcasting range grew the IAAF experienced unexpected growth and support from the African and Asian countries.
In terms of viewership the number of TV viewers had increased from just 1.4 billion during the 1st IAAF World Championships to just over 3 billion viewers during the Championships held in the 90s. The IAAF felt good about these numbers, but then the 21st century came, viewership for the IAAF World Championships nearly doubled from the 1990s 3 billion to 5.5-6 billion viewers. In other words, almost everyone on Earth was watching the event through the relayed broadcast.
The Organization of the IAAF
In 1912 the IAAF was created with the support of 17 of Europe’s member federations. In just under a century this number has increased to 213 Member Federations, each of which belonging to one of six Area Associations corresponding to their continent (excluding Antarctica).
Over the years, the IAAF Headquarters had been located in Sweden (1912~1946) and England (1946~1993). The IAAF then announced its location during the 39th IAAF Congress in Stuttgart, Germany. The IAAF officially moved into its final and permanent location in Monaco on 10 June 1994.
Currently over 70 full-time professional staff members from 13 Member Federations are working in headquarters managing events such as the like IAAF World Championships, communicating with the member federations, and maintaining relationships with official partners.
Since its creation the IAAF has only seen five presidents, the first being Sigfrid Edström (1912 to 1946), who was succeeded by Lord Burghley (1946 to 1976), then Adriaan Paulen (1976~1981), and Primo Nebiolo (1981~1999). On 8 November 1999, the IAAF welcomed the current President, Mr. Lamine Diack as the first non-European president. Mr. Diack was also an athlete in his earlier years, competing in the Men’s Long Jump, holding the French/West African Record from 1957~1960.
Competitions organized by the IAAF
The IAAF organizes many Championship level events, among them the IAAF World Championships in Athletics is the largest and most popular event. In addition to the various Championships, the IAAF also hosts a series of One-day events in the Samsung Diamond League and the IAAF World Challenge. For more information about the IAAF’s events please check them out at http://www.iaaf.org/.