Vlad Marinescu has been synonymous with the judo family for more years than most of us can remember. His shared vision with the IJF President Mr Marius Vizer has facilitated growth and evolution. Professionalism has flourished. A strategy, a dedicated workforce and the courage to lead from the front have painted the outlines for an organisation which has taken huge steps in recent years.
Vlad Marinescu

Just one part of Mr Marinescu’s remit is IT and Marketing, an area which affects all others. At the 2023 IJF Congress he delivered a run-down of some of the biggest achievements in the last two years, activities in place since the 2021 Congress in Budapest.

“The development of growth within the judo family relies on a bigger funnel; this is imperative. All the work that we have undertaken has been to grow our base.

With this in mind, we have launched Judo TV as our own proprietary platform to watch all the live events and the full archive of historical events. It can be viewed via free access or with premium gold access and all information and coverage is loaded on to our IT system, owned by the IJF and shared with the continental unions and national federations. Judo is moving into the list of top sports for viewing. The New Technologies and High Performance Commission has helped to innovate and make this all possible.

There are now 600,000 members with IJF accounts and we expect substantial growth from this point, during the remainder of 2023. There are 196 clubs involved in the No Borders programme, with clubs offering free judo to refugees around the world. This successful programme allows us to share our values with those in need.

At the base of the pyramid we are sharing our values with children and inviting them to participate in judo. With presidents Uemura and Yamashita we were able to establish the Minecraft game with 2.5 million individual users accessing the first incarnation. The second edition, the Mystery of the Kodokan, has 500,000 users already, inviting children to understand our values and then join our family. We also produced the Judo Legends comic book; 5000 copies have been distributed, giving anecdotes and moral lessons from our judo heroes.

Our media team continues to work to spread all the values and news through a year plan and strategy of workflow. This included a first judo media session which took place with 81 delegates present, aimed at unifying our approach and supporting smaller nations in the media arena.

More than 1000 articles have been written and published in this period. There are 2.9 million followers across all platforms with 10 million being logged during the Tashkent World Championships. Consistent hard work to always send the message of judo around the world is proving to be successful.

At the World Judo Tour events, the Golden Score show has gone live, bringing new content and discussion with and around our athletes. 3D TV graphics have been introduced and there is now a live referee supervisor feed with explanations of refereeing decisions in real time, offering full transparency. This all aligns with creating more and more heroes to drive growth.

The Olympic Games always provides a platform for increased promotion and this Paris cycle is no different and is being promoted heavily.

With one year to go we are promoting each weight category among other projects but at the same time we continue to look forward to the subsequent Games, to LA2028 and beyond.

The formula is simple: national federations + judoka + IJF staff = mutual success.”

The integration of judo concepts with societal norms such as live-streaming, the Minecraft genre and other projects is keeping judo relevant, exciting and is future-proofing the ability to transmit judo values from sport to society.

See also