There are 99 ways to skin a cat, and some more to brand a nation. Sports is just another one and this article brings an example. A specific country, in this case, Denmark, is including sports and sports events within its nation branding agenda.
“Sports events today are much more than a sports competition. They are an experience for the athletes and participate – and for the tv-viewers at home. They are a tool to attract visitors to a country. They are a catalyst for social development and communication of values”, says Lars Lundov, photographed above. Mr. Lundov is the CEO of Sport Event Denmark, the Danish organisation providing support for the organization of sport events in the country. Sport Event Denmark pays approx. 50% of all costs of the sport events being organized in Denmark, while the other half is paid by the host city and the national federation organising the event.
Sport Event Denmark and its activities are not an independent endeavour. All the contrary: it is funded within a Denmark’s nation branding action plan. Through this strategic approach, Denmark showcases itself not only as an ideal sport host, but more importantly as a creative nation, a tourist destination, a study destination and an investment location.
“We believe that sports events can have a great impact on the success of the national plan and have therefore developed a campaign called “Inviting the World of Sport” where we focus on branding different Danish values through sport events taking place in Denmark. This whole area of sports events and nation branding – or perhaps we should call it place branding – is something we think will become increasingly important in the future,” says Lundov.
In 2009 more than 50 major international sports events are taking place all over Denmark, including the IOC Olympic Session and the Olympic Congress. The World Taekwondo Championships, the UEFA Congress, the World Wrestling Championships and the LEN Congress are also among the many events taking place in Denmark.