The promoters of the 2014 European Athletics Championships, which will be held in Zurich, revealed their logo last week:
A crown of lights mirroring the 31 light poles of Letzigrund Stadium will serve as official logo for the European Athletics Championships in Zurich to be held from 12 to 17 August 2014. At a media conference, the Zurich promoters presented the corporate visual identity for the event during which about 1 400 athletes from 50 nations will be hunting titles and medals. Two and a half years before the first starting gun will be going off, UBS, who is also a sponsor of the national athletics team, has signed on as a main partner for the mega event. Alain Blondel, former European decathlon champion will join the promoters’ team as a Technical Director. And about 360 million TV viewers will be able to be part of the championship action thanks to what will be the largest TV production in the history of Host Broadcaster SRG SSR.
Coralie Wipf and Stephanie Rossi, both students at the Zurich University of the Arts, designed the championship crown of lights logo, integrating the characteristic 31 light poles of Letzigrund Stadium. “The visual identity for ZuÌˆrich 2014 called for a touch of festiveness. Zurich will be presenting itself to the world with its beautiful stadium, its magnificent location on Lake Zurich, and its people who pair professionalism with warmth and affability. The crown of lights encompasses all of these notions,” the two young designers explained.
Their interpretation did not only convince the championship promoters. Athletics fans liked their idea, as well: 2 768 users participated in a vote on the website of the national federation Swiss Athletics. The crown of lights clearly beat two drafts submitted by fellow students of the Zurich University of the Arts.
Preparations Well on Course
The visual identity of the championships is but one aspect of an event steadily taking shape. Thus, HansjoÌˆrg Wirz, President of European Athletics, and Patrick K. Magyar, CEO of Leichtathletik EM 2014 AG, have been very pleased with the way preparations are progressing. A reinforced team and partnership agreements are part of the solid foundation that has been laid for a most successful event.
Former European Champion Alain Blondel Appointed Technical Director
The management quartet heading the LOC includes Patrick K. Magyar (CEO), Tobias Wihler (Logistics and Services Director), Christoph Joho (Marketing Director), and Alain Blondel (Technical Director). While Magyar, Wihler, and Joho have been on board from the outset, Alain Blondel will join the team as of 1 May 2012.
Blondel had claimed the European decathlon title for France at the championships in Helsinki in 1994. After completing his career as an athlete, he made a name for himself as a coach, a technical leader of athletics events, and as a TV and radio commentator. “Alain is a renowned athletics expert. With his comprehensive experience and his excellent language skills, he will be an extremely valuable asset to our team,” CEO Magyar said.
Reinforcing the team is vital, particularly because Weltklasse ZuÌˆrich 2014 will be held 10 days following the European Athletics Championships. “Dual roles will make sense in certain areas. But there are tasks for the championships that we have to separate from the meeting preparations,” Magyar pointed out. Whereas he will maintain his position as Weltklasse ZuÌˆrich Meeting Director, Andreas Hediger, who has been in charge for technical matters related to the European Championships, will concentrate on Weltklasse ZuÌˆrich in the future. “Andreas has done a tremendous job for the championships. It is also thanks to him that our preparations are very far advanced two and a half years prior to the event,” Magyar said.
UBS an International Partner of the European Championships 2014
With the status of an International Partner, UBS has become one of the main sponsors of the European Athletics Championships in Zurich. “The championships represent an excellent opportunity to add to our long-term commitment to athletics, and to help inspire people with this wonderful sport,” Thomas Ackermann, Head of Marketing UBS Switzerland, commented. “We are proud to be part of this journey to ZuÌˆrich 2014.”
In addition to the main event held at Letzigrund Stadium, UBS will support a variety of activities related to the European Championships, and will put a special focus on promoting youth sports. The UBS Kids Cup, successfully launched this year, will serve as a prime platform to integrate and activate kids and young people.
UBS will also be partner of the Swiss national athletics team, and will be present on official competition uniforms. “Local athletes are important ambassadors of the championships. As a sponsor we would like to support our national team, so that they will be able to shine at ZuÌˆrich 2014,” Ackermann stressed. The strong ties of UBS with national athletics also underline the bank’s closeness to its home market Switzerland.
Four additional International Partners have already been signed: SPAR, the two Swiss companies Omega and Le GruyeÌ€re, as well as Eurovision. They all are long-term partners of European Athletics, and will support the European Athletics Championships 2014 as event sponsors.
SRG SSR to Produce World Feed
ZuÌˆrich 2014 Host Broadcaster SRG SSR will be producing the world feed and will be providing all services to international broadcasters (commentator and interview positions, studios, etc.). SRG will produce at least eight TV signals of the competitions and distribute them to interested TV stations. The SRG channels SRF, RTS, and RSI will focus on Swiss athletes, and will be part of the event in the run-up to and during the championships with TV and radio coverage, as well as with multi-media platforms. The production will represent the largest, most comprehensive host broadcasting project in the SRG history.
Urs Leutert, Head of Sports Programme SRG, is looking forward to the project: “SRG is proud to support the European Athletics Championships 2014 with our approved technical and production know-how as a broadcaster. We will do our utmost to provide viewers with powerful competition images that convey the fascination of the sport, as well as to showcase Zurich as a venue and Switzerland as host country.”
Swiss Authorities: Support and Pleasant Anticipation
Ever since the candidacy for the championships was submitted, the Canton and the City of Zurich have backed the championship project. Governing Councillor Mario Fehr stressed the importance of the event in view of location marketing aspects for the Zurich region and for the entire country. “We regularly demonstrate our skills in hosting international sports events. Weltklasse ZuÌˆrich sets an impressive example each year. And after acting as a venue for the UEFA EURO 2008, we will prove ourselves again during the European Athletics Championships.”
City Councillor Gerold Lauber is looking forward to see Zurich in the spotlight of the European Athletics Championships: “We will have the opportunity to present our dynamic metropolis, our high-level infrastructure, and our outstanding know-how with regards to sports events. In addition, a number of attractive activities prior and during the championships will add to the multifaceted cale
ndar of events to be enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.”
Great Interest among Residents
Surveys have shown that residents take a lively interest in the European Athletics Championships. 75 per cent of all those polled stated that they had a favourable or very favourable opinion of the championships being held in Switzerland, as opposed to a mere 3 per cent who were against the event. Promoters have been even more pleased to note that a large number of people are planning to attend the European Championships. “Prices for stadium tickets will not reflect that fact that we are staging European Championships in a very small stadium in comparison,” Patrick K. Magyar, CEO of the Leichtathletik EM 2014 AG promised. Tickets will be on sale as of the end of 2013.