International Esports movement leader Vlad Marinescu received an Honorary Doctorate from the United States Sports Academy during a recent virtual presentation that was livestreamed to a global audience.

Click here to watch the full presentation video

Each year as part of its Awards of Sport program, the Academy presents its Honorary Doctorate to a person who has made outstanding contributions to sport and to society. Marinescu is the President of both the International Esports Federation (IESF) and the United States Esports Federation. He also serves as the chief media and marketing officer for the International Judo Federation. He previously served as the Director General of SportAccord, which would later become the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), the umbrella organization for all international sports federations.

The presentation was held virtually – Marinescu was in Budapest while the Academy Board of Trustees, President Dr. T.J. Rosandich and Provost Dr. Tomi Wahlstrom were in Daphne, Ala. – due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

“It is an honor to receive this Honorary Doctorate from the Academy,” Marinescu said. “It is unfortunate that we are unable to do this in person because of the global situation. Luckily, by using technology we are able to connect from opposite sides of the globe to hold this virtually.

“I have dedicated my entire life to sports, starting as a young athlete and a sports administrator in judo. I was fortunate to spend some years in Switzerland as director general of GAISF, where I had the pleasure to work with all of the international sports federations, which are in my opinion the engine of sports.

“As president of the International Esports Federation, my mission is not to get more people to play Esports. Instead, it is to help gamers learn to play responsibly. My drive is to influence a positive change in society and I believe that sports, and Esports, have the power to develop the strong leaders of tomorrow.

“Education is a vital component of the success of sports and Esports. As the world becomes more globalized, borderless, and professional and competitive from a business point of view, it is vital that we arm passionate sports people with theoretical knowledge and practical experience. The United States Sports Academy, founded in 1972, was not just the first of its kind but is currently a major player in educating sports professionals. Education is the only way we can move forward together and further develop sports.”

Born in Romania and raised in the United States, Marinescu has worked in leadership roles in international sport for more than 15 years. Marinescu was involved in the International Judo Federation’s recent modernization efforts in event organization, sponsorship, marketing, TV production and rights distribution. He also previously served as the Director General of SportAccord.

The Academy’s Awards of Sport honor those who have made significant contributions to sport in categories as diverse as the artist and the athlete. The Academy’s American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) annually recognizes these men and women through its Sport Artist of the Year, Honorary Doctorates, Medallion Series, Athletes of the Year and Alumni of the Year awards.