The second day of the three-day European Athletics Communication Managers Seminar in Berlin today focused on the first edition of the European Championships scheduled for 2-12 August 2018 in Glasgow and Berlin.
Fifty-eight communications experts from sports organisations around Europe were given an introduction to the Championships, a major new multisport event to take place every four years, as well as the international communication strategy for the event. The European Championships will aggregate the existing senior continental championships of Athletics (European Athletics), Aquatics (LEN), Cycling (UEC), Gymnastics (UEG), Rowing (FISA), Triathlon (ETU), with a new Golf Team Championships (ET & LET) – all unified under a common brand.
Six sports will take place in Glasgow, with athletics being held in Berlin. “For spectators and athletes alike, we will deliver a new top sport event that brings a new dimension to sporting legacy,” said Marc Jorg, European Championships Management Director and one of the people credited with setting up the new event.
“By creating the grandest of stages on which to crown the accomplishments of European champions, we reach beyond the dedicated fan to a much broader audience by creating the most captivating event possible.”
Some 4,500 athletes will compete for 184 medals in 13 venues in front of an estimated 1.7 million spectators. The European Championships will last 11 days and be staffed by 5,200 volunteers.
One of the main goals of the new event is to raise the profile of the seven sports involved. It is estimated that by combining the European Championships of the sports, a potential audience of 1 billion TV viewers can be reached. This compares to the approximately 322 million people the championships of the seven sports drew individually in 2014.
Particular emphasis was placed on the communications strategies and media operations for Berlin 2018. Frank Kowalski, Berlin 2018 CEO, provided an overview of all the exiting projects being planned inside and outside of the competition venues in Berlin. This includes the creation of a fan zone in the heart of Berlin at the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, where all medals from the competitions will be presented to the athletes each evening along with a wide range of entertainment options.
“We don’t want to be just another big sporting event,” said Berlin 2018 Communications Director Claus Frömming, “We want Berlin 2018 to be a live entertainment experience.”
Day 2 ended with interactive discussions and workshops led by LiveWire Sport's Andy McKenzie and Mike Lawrence aimed at generating and sharing content and best practices over a range of digital platforms, including Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat.
The talks began with how to set and improve communications objectives, before moving on to content creation, engaging with your audience, algorithms and analytics.
The 2018 European Athletics Communication Managers Seminar will run until 16 March. Day 3 will feature workshops on branding, new business development and Member Federation communications on the development programme.