European Championships Heading For Success
In ten months and six days the starting gun will be fired for the European Championships in Munich on 06. August 2002. And the interest in the most important athletics meeting of next year is – despite all the gloomy predictions – absolutely enormous. A European Championship at home is still something special, both for the athletes and the fans."This is clear above all from the advance sales of tickets. In times where the fans decide, on a very short-term basis, whether to visit an event or not, it is very positive that now, ten months before the event, a surprising number of athletics fans have bough tickets" says a delighted Olympic Park boss Wilfrid Spronk. The brisk demand for tickets reflects also the great interest in the promotion actions for the championships. The Olympic Park GmbH promotion team and the Organisation Committee for the championships have noticed this in the many meeting events in recent months. The good resonance level has also impacted on the merchandising sales, for instance. A first series of championship mugs, T-shirts and mascots was practically sold out one year before the championships take place. A further surprise success, which shows the mood for the championships is much better than sometimes it is described as being, was the choice of two Championship ambassadors in the media. Nationwide 13 newspapers and an internet link took part in the action and over 12 million participated. In some editorial offices the fax lines virtually collapsed. Finally the current world champion Lars Riedel and silver medallist Ingo Schulz reinforced the 10-man championship ambassador team.
Although a traditionally quiet time commences for track-and-field sports in the autumn and winter months, in Munich, however, work on making the championships a success continues. For example, a large-scale Christmas action for athletics clubs starts in October; they can obtain interesting discounts by making group orders. A further focal point will be the ticket sales by prominent personalities who then donate their championship tickets to a charity organisation. But the promotion team will not be hibernating either but sets its main emphasis on the neighbouring countries of Austria and Switzerland, for at the end of the winter, the indoor European championships take place in Vienna "And then the hectic phase starts at the end of which the 18th European Championships in Athletics should take place in a full Olympic Stadium in a unique atmosphere. We wish to experience the championships as a big festival event that includes a fun supporting programme in the whole Olympic Park," said Wilfrid Spronk.