The first results of the Lahti FIS Nordic World Championships impact study have been released in connection with the SportAccord Convention, a top international event in the sports world. Lahti increased its ranking by 17 places on the inter-city ranking list.
Sportcal, the world’s leading provider of sports market communications, publishes an annual list of different countries and cities and their rankings on the global sports market. Events are one of the evaluation criteria used in the comparison. London was once again ranked in the top spot for cities, while the United States was first in the country ranking.
“Thanks to the successful FIS Nordic World Championships, Lahti climbed 17 places and is now in the top 100 for the first time. It is now ranked 86th. Next year, Lahti will not host the World Championships, so in order to maintain our position, it is important for the city to host world-class events in the future, too. In the country rankings, Finland is number 21, meaning its ranking is unchanged from before,” says Mike Laflin, Chief Executive Officer of Sportcal, who is in charge of the study.
Sportcal is conducting an impact study on the Lahti 2017 championships in cooperation with the City of Lahti, Lahti Region, the Finnish Olympic Committee and the Ministry of Education and Culture. The work is part of Sportcal’s Global Sports Impact (GSI) project. The first results of the study were presented in Aarhus, and the whole study will be ready by this summer.
“This is the first time an impact study of this level has been conducted concerning an event organised in Finland. It is now clear that Lahti 2017 was a success in several areas. These include the economic impacts on the Lahti region, environmental programmes of the championships and social impact of the event, among others. Media visibility was also very extensive,” summarises Laflin.
“It is great that Sportcal has recognised our efforts related to the environmental programmes as well as the new tools and concepts we used in creating the championship experience. These are the areas for which we have received positive feedback ourselves. We are looking forward to seeing the part of the study examining the economic impact of the championships on the whole Lahti region, which will be ready in May,” continues Raija Forsman, CEO of Lahti Region Oy.
Measuring the impact of sports events is more significant than ever before. Candidate cities and sports associations now evaluate the impact of events already at the application stage. The impact study currently under way will act as a pilot for future Finnish events. The tools provided by Sportcal also offer a new foundation for measuring and evaluating the impact.
Event offering for the centenary year discussed at a sports industry meeting
The annual SportAccord Convention, an international meeting of the sports world, is taking place this year in Aarhus, Denmark, gathering together international sports associations, organisers of sporting events and host cities. The meeting included a presentation of the event offering for the 100th anniversary of Finland’s independence, a completely exceptional package of events.
“The year 2017 will, of course, be remembered for the celebration of 100 years of Finnish independence. Internationally, the year will feature several major sporting events, such as the world championships in skiing and figure skating, as well as the European basketball championships that will take place in August. In addition to these, we will host several smaller events that will bring their own contributions to this exceptional year of sports,” rejoices Hannu Tolonen, Senior Advisor at the Ministry of Education and Culture, who spoke at the SportAccord Convention.
The events organised in Finland have received praise from athletes, coaches and international bodies. Most recently, Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, gave positive feedback about the organisation of events after having participated in the world championships in figure skating in Helsinki.