With two months to go until the Roma 2024 European Athletics Championships (tickets on sale here) European Athletics hosted a Communication Managers Seminar in the Italian capital. 37 Member Federations were represented at the biennial gathering.

The three days included an overview from European Athletics leaders on continent-wide communications plans, updates from the Roma 2024 Local Organising Committee (EuroRoma 2024 Foundation), presentations from external experts and networking opportunities for communications colleagues to share best practice in the modern media environment.

European Athletics Vice President and Development Commission Chair Karin Grute Movin opened the conference. 

She welcomed all the delegates, articulated the European Athletics Strategic Roadmap 2024-2027 and delivered a presentation on ‘Growing the Athletics Community,’ including the role of communications within Member Federations.

European Athletics team members Biljana Danicic (Head of Communications), Peter Sanderson (Television, Digital and Creative Consultant) and Marko Vasic (Running Unit Director) delivered presentations on European Athletics communication priorities, the ‘Road to Rome’ campaign and the ‘European Running Strategy’ respectively.

Fabio Guadagnini, Director of Communications led a team from the LOC proving an in-depth presentation on the Roma 2024 European Athletics Championships spanning communication, promotion, ticketing, venue, village and medal plaza, TV, broadcast, volunteer programme and merchandising. 

The LOC also hosted a tour of the competition venue including the historic Stadio Olimpico and the marble Stadio dei Marmi which will be used as a warm-up track and form part of the race walk course.

Delegates also learned from keynote speaker Lazar Dzamic, a creative strategist and former Google ZOO Head of Brand Planning for North and Central Europe (NACE). Who introduced the digital content pillars of ‘hero’, ‘help’ and ‘hub’ for delegates planning their national communications strategies for athletics.

European Athletics strategic partner European Broadcast Union (EBU) were represented by Andreas Aristodemou, Head of Summer Sports. He presented the new direct to consumer streaming platform Eurovision Sport, its coverage of athletics in the coming year and how Membership Federations can engage audiences through the platform’s content across multiple channels.

“The EBU and European Athletics have a long standing and excellent relationship which started more than 40 years ago and it’s going from strength to strength,” said Aristodemou. “We have seen that athletics remains the number one Olympic sport. 

“The ongoing and future discussions are always interesting looking for innovations, strengthening the audiences and the development of the sport of athletics.” 

There was also a presentation by Michelle Sammet of World Athletics providing insight and analysis of social media across Member Federations across the year.

Karin Grute Movin said: “The European Athletics Strategic Roadmap 2024-27 is built around three key priorities of Competition, Digitalisation & Innovation and Community. So, communication has a fundamental role in delivering on our priorities and for Member Federations to deliver on their national objectives in an ever-evolving media landscape.

“Within the European Athletics Development Commission, our current priorities are around leadership, health & wellbeing and sustainability, and it was a valuable experience to share work with a receptive audience who can really help programmes come to life through communication in their territories.”

“It was a really fruitful gathering of expertise from inside and outside our sport to share best practice, enhance collaboration between Member Federations and meet the collective challenges around reaching and engaging all aspects of our wonderful sport to existing and new audiences,” said European Athletics Head of Communications Biljana Danicic.

“Thanks to the LOC for hosting the Communication Managers Seminar with typically warm Italian hospitality and we look forward to our whole community of communication professionals collaborating to help make Roma 2024 the big success we all know it can be.”