FILA, the international wrestling federation, looks set to be renamed United World Wrestling after the ruling FILA Bureau approved the new name on Friday.
The bureau also approved a new logo and steps to improve the ‘brand consistency’ of top wrestling events around the world. The United World Wrestling logo is to be unveiled “at a later date,” FILA said.
Explaining the reasoning behind the changes, FILA said: “In approving the changes the FILA Bureau accepted that international wrestling needed to create a globally recognized brand that represents the core values of wrestling as well as the new energy behind an organization that only a year before was battling for its spot on the Olympic Programme.”
Nenad Lalovic, the federation’s president, added: “I think in order for us to move forward, we needed to identify the shortcomings of the past and work hard to improve them. I think that with a new visual identity that is both distinct and represents the values of wrestling, we all have another reason to be excited for the future of our sport.”
The sport of wrestling has been through a series of convulsions, including the election of Lalovic as president, after the International Olympic Committee executive board’s shock decision to nominate the sport for exclusion from the programme of the 2020 Olympic Games early last year, only for it to be voted back onto the programme by the full IOC membership later in the year.
The federation said: “FILA has been working for the past several months with the branding agency Olive Grove to help develop the new name and visual identity. The plans include a strategy for creating visual consistency among the wrestling organization’s several World and Continental Championships.
“The new name and logo will be proposed to the FILA Congress at their meeting which will take place in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on September 7, just prior to the 2014 FILA World Championships.
“Once approved, United World Wrestling will immediately become the new name for the international governing body of wrestling.”
The bureau is keen to get the name change enacted this year so that it can be used fully in the build-up to the 2016 Olympics in Rio, with the next congress not due until those games.
Lalovic recently told Sportcal that there was an acceptance within FILA that its abbreviation was not easily recognisable – it derived from wrestling’s French name, Fédération Internationale des Luttes Associées – to those outside the sport.
A new name, it is hoped, will appeal to prospective sponsors as it will be more easily understood worldwide. Sportcal