The 26th edition SPAR European Cross Country Championships saw the participation of over 600 athletes across seven competitions, including U20, U23 and senior races both for men and women, and a mixed relay race, running 49,350km in total. The electric energy was palpable and there was plenty of action to enjoy, with some serious competition for the coveted title of European Champion.
As principal sponsor, SPAR had a strong brand presence at the event with the SPAR logo visible on all athletes’ number bibs and with dedicated course signage in addition to the overall event branding. Media interest was again high, following the strong coverage of athletics during the course of the year, which brought the buzz and activity live to fans at home both on television and through the live streaming platform. This continues the strong brand visibility generated not only through television broadcasting, but also with livestreaming, sportscasters, sports publications and social media coverage of the athletics events.
The initial TV broadcast data showed the audience for Sunday afternoon highlights in the UK was 515,600 – up by almost 4 times on 2018. Spain’s programme audience reach of 210,000 viewing hours was impressive whilst the Netherlands highlights coverage received 584,000 views.
One of the event highlights was Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen winning his fourth successive individual title in the U20 competition with an unprecedented margin of 38 seconds. Italy’s Nadia Battocletti faced a field including four European U20 champions in the women’s U20 race but she beat them all to take the title. In the men’s U23 race, France’s Jimmy Gressier completed hat-tricks in both the individual and team races to bring his tally up to eight gold medals from the SPAR European Cross Country Championships. Denmark’s Anna Emilie Moller also retained her title in the women’s U23 race. Great Britain & Northern Ireland finished on top of the medal table, winning five gold medals, including their victory in the mixed relay.
SPAR Portugal capitalised on their host nation status, organising entertaining activities for all spectators, raising awareness of the SPAR Brand in connection with both sport sponsorship and healthy nutrition. The SPAR Fanzone included a wheel of fortune which delighted spectators who won a discount on their next purchase of that product in their local SPAR Supermarket. To qualify to spin the wheel, visitors had to take a selfie with the SPAR photo frame and post it on the SPAR Portugal Facebook site, generating many fun moments while increasing traffic to their page. A popular coffee corner developed in partnership with the local coffee supplier in the SPAR Fanzone attracted many visitors whilst other products available to win emphasised the depth of the range of quality SPAR Own Brands available at all SPAR supermarkets in Portugal. In support of the 300 volunteers present at the event and for the children’s activities organised onsite, SPAR Portugal provided 900 event branded kit bags.
Source : SPAR International