The Bislett Oslo Meeting was first held in 1965. It is one of the grand daddy’s of the European circuit, and the ghost of the late Ron Clarke, among others, smiles on this fine meeting. Gobs of records have been set on this track. Yet, with all of that success, Oslo has battled to get the fans to return.
The Bislett Games lost the long time sponsor in Exxon Mobil, and rumors were, as rumors do, suggested that the meet would continue to have challenges. Last winter, the meet management put together a long term approach to building the meet. Telling the local stories, from Karoline Groval, The Ingebrigtsen brothers, Sondre Moen and, of course Karston Warholm.
Surprisingly, the promotions, with posters around the city (yes, they actually promoted the meet, which is something few meets around the world have any clue about), and built a super hero type them, and yes, it worked! SRO crowd, plus a crowd that was interested in the meet!
The orchestrating of fields, promoting local heroes and the best of the global stars, was how Meet Directors like Ian Stewart and Marathon impressario David Bedford did their events. Bring in a local story, build it up and promote some of the finest athletes in the world as well. In these days of further scrutiny on budgets, it just makes sense to build the local stories and promote the finest in the world as well. This mixture fascinates the fans and media as well.
We were sent this video from our friends in Oslo. It is a 360 view of the stadium, with a large, interested crowd in the stadium. This video should be plasted around all sports marketing proposals for track & field. Oslo got it right. Their athletic heroes, for the most part, did well, and they have the story from which to begin 2019 story telling.
In the end, all sports are about telling the stories, reaching and identifying with the audiences. Bislett Oslo did a fine job. Let’s hope that they build on this meeting and idea for next year.