Case Study: Sport Event Denmark

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Sport Event Denmark was established in 1994 by the Danish government and the National Danish Sports Organisations with the main objective of attracting and organising major international sports events and sports congresses in the country.

During the event process, Sport Event Denmark operates in close cooperation with the event rights holder, the local organising committee and the host city. This means an active involvement all the way from the vital bidding process, to the careful event planning and marketing until the event is successfully delivered. Denmarks event hosting strategy is a three–cornered relationship between Sport Event Denmark, the host city and the national federation that will run the competition – all three of which are publicly–funded to a greater or lesser degree. The international federation or property owner that distributes the event hosting rights sits in the middle of this sport event triangle working with all three partners. The national federation enables the competition, the host city enables the physical staging of the event and Sport Event Denmark effectively enables the enablers by coordinating their activities at a strategic level, particularly during the bidding phase. For Sport Event Denmark chief executive Lars Lundov, the three–cornered approach to event delivery adopted by the organisation and its partner cities and governing bodies when working with international federations and property owners is vital: We believe this sport event triangle is very important, he said. It is very good for the event organisers because some of the Danish sports federations are quite small and so they can get help and additional resources through the other members of the triangle. The role of the municipality in the process is key, he added: In my opinion, many international federations prefer their event is organised not only by the national federation but also by the host city. National sports federations are very good at organising the basic elements of the competition but perhaps do not have much time or resource to promote the event in the city and the surrounding region. Therefore it is very good if you also have a proactive host city that can take that responsibility. As far as promotion is concerned, elements to be considered should extend beyond just the sporting culture of the host community. Copenhagens status as the UCIs (Union Cycliste International) first Bike City was enabled not just by its facilities and interest in cycling as a sport but by the strength of its cycling culture within mainstream life and the focus on environmental issues in the city created by its hosting of the 2009 Global Climate Summit. Copenhagen achieved Bike City status by offering several world class cycling events between 2008 and 2011. These included:• UCI Track Cycling World Cup 2009 • UCI BMX Supercross World Cup 2009 • CSC Copenhagen Cycling 2009 • UCI Track Cycling World Championships 2010 • UCI BMX Supercross World Cup 2010 • Copenhagen Cycling 2010 • UCI BMX World Championships 2011 • UCI Road World Championships 2011The UCI Track World Championships 2010 ended on Sunday 28 March that year at the Ballerup Super Arena in Copenhagen. The World Championships were a great success for the sport, the spectators and the organisers. Indeed, showing the sports world and international federations that Denmark can be perfect for their world championships is one of the main aims of Denmarks hosting strategy according to Lundov. Other experienced hosts recognise their events as opportunities to impress and network with future partners, in exactly the same way as their sponsors use their status to connect with potential business customers. Thinking outside the box is also key to attracting the attention of governing bodies. Copenhagen is a good example of a city whose supportive public authorities open up innovative new settings for events for example. The city took the 2009 Archery World Cup Final onto the waterways of the citys historic Nyhavn district, creating a stunning and memorable backdrop. TSE Consultings Lars Haue–Pedersen said of that move: Public sector organisations tend to be good for sports in being able to move events beyond the arena to play in the city centre. We have seen beach volleyball in the middle of Berlin, and we have worked with the Archery World Cup to have competitors shooting across the famous canal in Copenhagen. The event was packed with people. If it had taken place on a windy archery field outside the city, who would have gone to see that? Considering the legacies of local spectators is part of Sport Event Denmarks strategy for hosting major sports events. Birgitte Schultz, senior analytical advisor at the company explained: We really want to know about social legacies: will the welfare of the local population rise due to the fact the region hosts events? Is it right that events can act as leverage for increased membership in local clubs? Everyone is talking about that but we cant prove it yet. We need to look at these effects and look at what else could cause them. I think we will be looking at that still for three to five years. Economic impact assessment based on participant and visitor surveys has long been a principal driver of decisions to invest public money in spectator sports facilities, particularly in the US. The credibility of such surveys may have taken a knock in recent years, but the need for them remains, as Schultz underlined with one recent example from her organisations experience. She said: Lately, we were approached by a public authority in the south of Denmark whose speedway venue has had a hard time to attract major international speedway events in recent years because of fierce competition from eastern European cities with more modern facilities. They know what the cost of upgrading their venue will be, but they do not know what hosting a speedway event is worth to their region. They need to know that so they can say, for example, three international events annually would bring in enough money to justify paying for the upgrade. In Denmark, the participant and visitor surveys that form the backbone of Sport Event Denmarks impact analyses have changed significantly in character in recent years but are still essential. Schultz explained: The qualitative part of the survey is now the biggest part. In the beginning it was all about tourism turnover and public revenue. Now it is more about the environment and motivating volunteers. We often run a volunteer survey alongside the main survey for spectators and participants.

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