The Hempel Sailing World Championships Aarhus 2018 in Denmark delivered a significant direct economic and global media impact according to the Sportcal Global Sports Impact (GSI) Event Study published today.
Held from 30 July through to 12 August 2018, the event was the largest, most successful and sustainable Sailing World Championships in history with a cumulative attendance of 400,000 spectators of which 151,414 were unique. As a result of this, the event delivered a three-fold return in direct economic impact (DKK 149.83 million ($22.94m USD)) to the local economy.
According to Sportcal’s GSI ranking of World Championships in summer Olympic sports and disciplines, which looked at a total of 30 events from 2017 and 2018, the Hempel Sailing World Championships Aarhus 2018 ranked fourth out of 25 events in attendance and fourth out of 30 in the number of athletes competing.
Sportcal undertook detailed analysis across eight pillars of impact, as established by the GSI methodology. These comprise: Economic, Tourism, Media, Social Media, Sponsorship, Sporting, Social and Sustainability.
Sustainability was a key element of the Championships and Aarhus 2018 partnered with Worldperfect to deliver an integrated sustainability plan, based on World Sailing’s Sustainability Agenda 2030.
The Maritime Festival was an important touchpoint to showcase sustainability measures and 95% of the visitors stated that the waste sorting initiatives were positive. In total, 5 tonnes of food was converted into 7.5 tonnes of biogas and 52% of all waste from the event was recycled.
All trams and buses were free for all athletes, spectators and officials during the Championships period and the bikes provided by the city to personnel at the event cycled more than 15,000km in total.
Commenting on the sustainability measures during the event, IOC President Thomas Bach said, “I think it’s remarkable that World Sailing, Aarhus and Denmark have built programmes with regard to sustainability. This is a benchmark project for these kind of World Championships.”
Worldwide, 75 broadcasters showed live, delayed or highlights coverage of the event in 198 nations and territories. A unique audience of 15.67 million watched more than 7.55 million hours of television coverage worldwide. In Denmark alone, 30 hours of the event were broadcast live on the domestic broadcaster, DR.
The presentation of the championship across broadcast and digital properties was complemented by SAP’s Sailing Analytics. Live data and insights on each competitor, competition status and live weather information was publicly available on SAP’s platform and was seamlessly incorporated into the live broadcast to explain how races were won and lost throughout the competition. This, with the addition of drones and helicopters, ensured the broadcast presentation of the sport reached new heights.
In total, 1,247 sailors from 84 nations were represented across the ten Olympic Events as well as Men’s and Women’s Kiteboarding; the highest since the events inception in 2003.
The event was supported by 25 partners including three main sponsors, one of which was Hempel who were recently announced as World Sailing’s Official Coatings Partner as a result of the successful collaboration during Aarhus. In addition there were 15 official partners and seven institutional partners.
A significant legacy of the event is the International Sailing Centre and training of race officials and volunteers, with over 100 organisations involved in the planning and delivery of the event. The Sailing Centre will allow the city of Aarhus to host future major sailing and maritime events with skilled personnel available to deliver on the requirements. Furthermore, there has been a greater uptake in membership of maritime clubs and organisations in the city as a result of the championships.
Kim Andersen, President of World Sailing, said, “The Hempel Sailing World Championships Aarhus 2018 was the most successful to date. The results generated across the eight pillars of impact are truly encouraging and highlight that the investments of our valued partners - Hempel, Sport Event Denmark and Aarhus Events - has truly paid off.
“Spectator and athlete participation numbers were outstanding and the comparisons against other sports provided within the GSI Report show that sailing is a global leader within the sports community.”
Lars Lundov, CEO of Sport Event Denmark, commented, ”Denmark had high expectations for the Hempel Sailing World Championships last summer in Aarhus, the City of Sails. With the event study by Sportcal we can now add some great details to the event; sailors competed across all ten Olympic sailing events as well as kiteboarding representing 84 nations. Crowds of spectators gathered on the stands and the event got an impressive media coverage.”
Rabih Azad-Ahmad, Cultural Mayor, The City of Aarhus, added, “I am both very happy and proud that the Hempel Sailing World Championships Aarhus 2018 received such great feedback. From day one it was our goal to create a huge event which would be a game changer for the sport of sailing. We were determined to attract ordinary people with no previous interest in sailing and involve the city and the civil community while having focus on vital values such as sustainability.
“Obviously, the appraisal is a huge recognition of the great effort Aarhus and the Danish sailing community have put into the event and as a city, Aarhus will use the experiences in new major international events to come.”