The Finnish sportswear brand Karhu will be the official supplier of the Roma 2024 European Athletics Championships, scheduled for June 7-12 next year. This agreement represents a connection with a glorious past, thanks to the full involvement of Franco Arese, who has led the Karhu company for ten years. Arese is a former athlete and he won the gold medal in the 1,500-meter race at the European Championships in Helsinki in 1971. Later he started a new chapter of his life as an entrepreneur and a sports politician, Arese was the president of the Italian Athletics Federation from 2005 to 2012, and now he decided to participate in the Rome 2024 European Championships project, which will bring Italy and the capital Rome back to the center of the international athletics scene.
“Karhu was the sponsor of the 1971 European Championships in Helsinki and more than 50 years later will return to Rome. This is a perfect link between the most important success of my career as an athlete, the gold in the 1500 meters in Helsinki, and Italy, my country. Now there is a new challenge as an entrepreneur alongside my sons and our staff, a story that continues and gives me great energy and enthusiasm,” explains Franco Arese, Chairman of Karhu.
Karhu will be responsible for the production and supply of clothing for the officials, members of the organizing committee staff and volunteers who will contribute to the success of the Rome 2024 European Athletics Championships. In addition, the Finnish company will produce the official merchandising material for the event, which will go on sale starting in the coming months and will also be available in the stores of the Commercial Village set up outside the Olympic Stadium during the sporting event.
“When we met, I caught in the eyes of Karhu’s managers, first and foremost Franco Arese, the desire to approach this challenge in a special way. Karhu will provide us with a beautiful collection of clothing, which will help make the experience of the competition judges and all the staff who will participate in the organization of the European Athletics Championships exceptional,” said Paolo Carito, general manager of the EuroRoma 2024 Foundation.
Karhu, that means “bear” in Finnish, is a leading brand that has been making and supplying technical running and outdoor clothing for a century. The company is linked to athletics by a long history that is a valuable legacy for keeping up with the times, and has a deep connection with outdoor activity and the natural environment. Indeed, Karhu follows the Finnish principles of simplicity of design and purity of running. Karhu shoes have been worn by Finland’s greatest athletes, including champion Paavo Nurmi, 12 Olympic medalists, 9 of them gold, as well as five Boston Marathon winners. Karhu shoes and clothing are sold worldwide at running and lifestyle retailers.