Sport on holiday? While for some this amounts at most to a game of beach tennis or a couple of lengths of the hotel pool, for a growing number of people sport is the focal point of their annual holidays. From skiing to hiking, cycle touring to canoe trips – there are many...
Fifth SPONSORs SportsVenue Summit in Munich‘s Allianz Arena
From 31 August to 1 September 2011, the Allianz Arena in Munich played host to the 5th SPONSORs Sports Venue Summit which was embellished by the presence of its patron, Franz Beckenbauer.
Mario Klewenhagen, Executive Editor-in-Chief and co-publisher of SPONSORs, commenced his opening address on the main stage with a brief retrospective of the past four years. Together with Philipp Klotz (Head of Events & Business Development at SPONSORs) and Dieter Nickles (football commentator at Sky TV), he drew attention to the essential role that partnership plays in the formation of forums, the extraordinary concentration of specialist knowledge that can generate new ideas and the valuable help provided by the loyal supporters Allianz and SportFive and the promotional sponsors Franz Beckenbauer and Thomas Bach (DOSB). Another important topic was the upcoming 2012 UEFA Champions League Final in Munich, with the benefits in the form of enhanced revenue that the city and sport associations will enjoy. Andreas Jung (Board of FC Bayern Munich), Michael Kirchner (Head of Organisation & Event Management at DFB) and Michael Heselschwerdt (Head of Club Competitions at UEFA) spoke on ticketing potential, club income and UEFA, and the related promotional options.
The first forums on various topics – sustainability, catering & hospitality and sponsoring & naming rights – then commenced in the event boxes in the Allianz Arena. The subject of sustainability is still attracting considerable interest. Dr. Wolfgang Keßling (Transsolar Energietechnik GmbH) spoke on the problems associated with the climate in Qatar, where the 2022 football World Cup is to be staged, outlining sustainable concepts in connection with the provision of air-conditioning and shade. Dr. Keßling summarised the stop-play guidelines of FIFA and pointed out the extensive cooling potential of grassed areas in comparison with those of hard ground and concrete. The presentation given by Peter Eilers (Imtech Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG) had as its title “Demolition versus renovation”, and looked at when it is appropriate to demolish and when preferable to renovate. Taking Warsaw’s National Stadium as an example, he explained that it is not only important to cost-optimise the building process, but also to ensure that this is energy-efficient. The figures show that the energy consumption of the stadium is very high (heating alone consumes 15,000 kW), and that many factors are in favour of a refurbishment of the energy aspect (reduced costs, image and environment). Unfortunately, such a modification of energy concepts all too frequently loses out to short term economic needs and the approach itself is not suitable for meeting EU targets for environmental protection. Stefanie Koch (DFB) portrayed “GreenGoal”, the environmental programme adopted by the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, while Alexander Koch (Corporate Communications Manager FIFA) spoke on sustainability in the case of major events (with the outlook for the 2014 World Cup). The presentations were rounded off by a subsequent short discussion of the question of why the aspect of sustainability is becoming increasingly important for clubs.
Following two further presentations on developments in stadium construction (Hubert Nienhoff) and what Europe can learn from the example of the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, all participants, speakers and sponsors had the opportunity for networking during a get-together on the first evening.
An extensive agenda of presentations was also on offer to participants on the second day of the event in the various event boxes: they could choose to attend interesting talks on international sports venue construction, business and content models for sports venues, recent construction projects and a consideration of the factors of ticketing and payment. One particularly fascinating presentation in the section “recent construction projects” was given by Cornel Marculescu (Executive Director, Federation Internationale de Natation [FINA]), who reviewed the important factors that need to be considered in the case of a sports venue in which major sports events are to be staged. These commence with the amenities provided for spectators and the sanitary facilities through to the commercial elements, including merchandising. In the case of the venue, the question always arises of whether one should rebuild or leave things as they are and renovate. Of course, the facts that considerable upfront investment is required and that any benefits of use would only subsequently be apparent represent the main arguments against reconstruction. However, this approach does make it possible to integrate new features and meet all requirements. Although costs of refurbishment can be lower, renovation can leave little impression on an older venue, providing little flexibility when it comes to use. Towards the end of the summit, three speakers gave presentations on three different projects to illustrate the current building boom in Germany. Stephan Lemke (Managing Director of Braunschweig’s Stadthalle Congress Centre and Stadium) spoke on the reconstruction of the Eintracht Stadium in the city that had been decided on the basis of a referendum and is to be completed in 2013. Dr. Michael Welling (Director of Rot-Weiss Essen) and Andreas Hillebrand (Director of GVE Essen) both outlined the new “Essen Stadium” construction project that is also to be completed in 2013.
We look forward to a similarly successful summit conference next year!