Sport Event Denmark's CEO Gears Up for a 'Game Changing' Event

20.02.2014

Last year, SportAccord Convention Gold Partner, Sport Event Denmark, had a Game Changer when it successfully campaigned to open the IAAF/AL-Bank World Half Marathon Championships to the general public. On 29 March 2014, 300 elite runners will be joined by thousands of recreational runners in a gigantic running festival. We spoke to Lars Lundov, CEO of Sport Event Denmark, about the campaign.

1. How did you bring the 2014 IAAF/AL-Bank World Half Marathon Championships to Copenhagen?

Back in November 2011, Sport Event Denmark, the Danish Athletic Association and the City of Copenhagen went to Monte-Carlo to present the Danish bid to the IAAF Council. We were competing against 2-3 other strong candidates, so it was definitely not a 'walk-over'. As always when Denmark is bidding on a major event we were well prepared and presented a professional bid file with strong messages and on-site presentation as well. So in the end, we could celebrate one more major event in Denmark over a drink in Monte-Carlo the same evening. 

2. In your opinion, how important was it to allow the general public to participate in the race?

Allowing the public to participate has really emphasised running in Denmark. However, our focus is not only on the runners, but on spectators too. Along the course more than 15 bands will play and spectators will be invited to join in in the festivities. It will be a celebration for everyone!

3. What positive impact would you like to see from hosting the race?

The event has sold out and actually very fast, with over 30,000 starting numbers handed out across 72 different nations. We're really trying to create an international running festival, open to all, enjoyed by all! Outside of Danish competitors, Sweden has the largest number of participating runners, making up a third of foreign participants. Norwegian runners represent about one-fifth, while Britain and Germany make up about a tenth. The race also includes runners from: the United States; Australia; Brazil; Iraq; Mexico; Barbados and The Dominican Republic.

4. How did Sport Event Denmark use SportAccord Convention 2013 to highlight the race as a Game Changer?

Leading up to the Convention, we launched the #YourGameChanger social media campaign. The campaign's aim was to get individuals from all areas of sport to share their 'Event Game Changers.' 

Our exhibition stand reflected this theme as we used the space to interview key people about their 'Game Changers'. Their responses were then displayed in our booth, shared via our social media channels and SportAccord Convention's The Daily.* 

Following the success of the #YourGameChanger campaign, we have developed a new theme for SportAccord Convention 2014. This year delegates will be asked: "What can be added to events to enhance the visitor experience?" This could be anything from the welcome activities in the airport to the side events that engage spectators and visitors. 

Further information on the new campaign will be released closer to the event at 
www.sporteventdenmark.com

*You can view a selection of these interviews, including Lord Sebastian Coe's, on SportAccord Convention's YouTube channel.