Let's wake up and maybe experience the WRC in Croatia

The biggest car and motorcycle spectacle has ended, as well as one of the sports events in the history of Croatia - Croatia Rally. It was the third stage of the World Rally Championship (WRC), ie sports ...

The biggest car and motorcycle spectacle, as well as one of the sporting events in the history of Croatia, has ended. Croatia Rally.

It was the third stage of the World Rally Championship (WRC), ie a top-level sports spectacle that put Croatia on the automotive map of the world. The numbers speak for themselves, but more on that later.

Such TOP global events are certainly great motive for arrival to Croatia. It’s about millions of octane sports enthusiasts, as well as a large number of visitors following Formula 1 or sporting events or the Ultra Festival around the world. The motive of arrival which, in addition to the race itself, gives us the opportunity to impress tourists and give them an additional motive to return, this time in the role of a real tourist. So, we can certainly say that such global spectacles are in a kind of role of the media, a medium that is much more than the race itself.

They also generate large tourist consumption, which is dispensed to many industries, from the diversity of the technical organization itself, accommodation, catering facilities, transportation, etc.… Although this year due to covid19 there were no foreign tourists and spectators, at least officially because tickets were not sold. When we look at the positive impact of the WRC in the destination, we can compare 2019 as a reference. Thus, in 2019, the WRC races were watched by 836 million spectators with 4.3 million spectators along the tracks. Studies show that the direct consumption of followers, organizations and teams during the 2019 Rally in Portugal. exceeded 73 million. 

I have already mentioned in the last article, that there are always those who are frustrated with everything and who do not look at the bigger picture, such as negative comments due to the closure of the road in Zagreb and the frustration of people at traffic jams. If only they would close the city more often due to various manifestations and sporting events, especially this type that have a global media reach. And that is why I am asking the organizers of the Croatia Rally to close at least half of the city of Zagreb in the second year, because that would mean even better promotion of Lijepa naša as well as higher tourist spending that would remain in the local economy.

First of all, getting one such organization is not a "joke". Apologies in the dictionary, but I have to emphasize that because people are not aware of how successful it is and how much it means for the whole of Croatia. It is a top organization and production according to world standards, which means that we have the competence to organize such a mega spectacle. And that is a great recognition.

This requires human resources, top companies that can deliver everything to high standards and of course a budget that can keep up. But this is more important first, than the budget itself. This is about the reputation and brand of the WRC, which has great value, if not the greatest. Because as we know, developing a brand is a marathon, a complex and expensive process, and everything can collapse like a tower of cards with just one wrong move.

Croatia Rally 2021 / Author Uroš Modlic

And so despite perhaps once greater financial gain, the confidence that such an event can be organized has the greatest value. It is a thing that always gives that "kilo" more when weighing, ie making a decision about the household. As in the business world in general. 

The WRC is the most watched octane sport in the world after Formula 1

WRC only on the first or surface has a great positive impact. From media global visibility, Croatian branding, to economic indicators. But that is only a direct benefit. It is an opportunity that opens doors, many more doors, from tourism to arranging new jobs, presenting our innovations and encouraging the export of our minds. And crucially, it puts us on the global map of excellence. As in the chaos theory that says, “If a butterfly flutters its wings in Beijing, it could cause a hurricane in Florida“. This does not mean that the wind created by waving butterfly wings causes a hurricane, but that waving butterfly wings can also change the sequence of events that would have occurred if the butterfly had not waved its wings. Put it in the context of business opportunities and everything is clear to you.

It is a confirmation of our excellence that we are able to organize and host such an event, from organization, production to promotion. And that is why the arrival of the WRC is extremely significant and a much broader story than the race itself. An opportunity we must not miss. Imagine you have a reference in your business CV that you were part of the team that organized the WRC. A reference that opens the door.

The fight against ignorance, populism, negativity, destroying the status quo, but also spreading the worldview based on facts can sometimes be very frustrating, but also an inspiring and fun way to spend life.

Finally, global events have a global media reach and directly affect the branding of Croatia throughout the world. Prior to the race, analyzes showed that only the value of global media visibility for Croatia was from the Croatia Rally over 40 million euros.

The WRC was broadcast live from Croatia to more than 150 countries around the world, and over 800 million people watch WRC races every year.  

The sports spectacle and recordings from Croatia toured 150 countries around the world, and more than 200 foreign journalists and cameramen visited Croatia, which is the largest number of world media that were present live at a sporting event in Croatia. Despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Photo: Croatia Rally / Glagolitic cups / Photo: Marjan Radović

Journalists who came to Zagreb came from a number of countries, including Slovenia, Belgium, France, Italy, Austria, Germany, Great Britain, Russia, Hungary, Brazil, Bulgaria, Spain, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Poland, Australia, Bulgaria. , Japan, Argentina, Sweden, Portugal, Estonia, the Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cipa, China and others. The pictures and their reports from Croatia went to all continents of the world.

Among the journalists in Zagreb was also Markus Stier, from the German Sportaut, who has been following the rally and the WRC for years. "I was very surprised by the ease of coming to Croatia. I was driving from Germany and as I had to cross three borders I didn’t know what to expect, but I passed very simply, without any problems. At the border I showed a negative PCR test and documents and they said - welcome. There were no problems, everything went relaxed and professionally at the border" said Stier. When asked about the impressions of the race in Croatia, Stier added: "Very, very positive. To be honest, before the rally there were some rumors that the tracks were nothing special and that they were a bit boring, but what I saw was spectacular. The trails were very challenging and interesting, the organizers prepared very different speed exams and I really enjoyed it" said Stier.

His colleague Ahim Mortl, a journalist from the Austrian portal Racecom.at and a former rally driver, said that he enjoyed the natural beauties of Žumberak and that he wanted to return in a private, tourist arrangement. "I want to take a bike and go through all those trails and spend my vacation here, I’m sure I’ll tell my friends and colleagues to come with me" Mortl concluded.

More than interesting answers, which reveal two more things. Positive experiences of crossing the border, and it is about a German journalist (we know that Germany is our main broadcasting market) and positive feedback from a Mortl journalist who will return to Croatia as a tourist. These are just some of the positive reactions, which are not directly related to the race. How to break some stereotypes? Exactly like this, regardless of a possible negative campaign from a market. As we know, the best marketing has always been and will be the word of mouth.

Mediatoolkit: Croatia mentioned in more than 70% of the world's countries, and more than 43 million impressions

company Mediatoolkit, provided us with a media analysis of posts on social networks and global news portals of the Croatia Relly race. The analysis shows that Croatia was mentioned in more than 70% of the world's countries, and more than 43 million impressions. Impressive!

In a period of time from 28.03 27.04.2021 to (The race took place from April 22 to April 25, 2021.) The total number of impressions of the WRC CROATIA keyword is 43.1 million.

Interestingly, how are the drivers from over ten countries, of course, and how their national media follow the race with special attention. It is also important to point out that car brands such as Hyundai, Ford, Toyota, Škoda, Citroen and Volkswagen participate in the race, of course as they also communicate the race through their channels, which only further promotes the race, including Croatia.

Also when we look at the analysis below we can see where the most impressions from the social network Facebook come from. These are Ford, Citroen and Hyundai, which confirms the above conclusion. When we look at impressions from the internet, then we can see how most impressions are from dailymotiona.com.

Namely, this is a video that shows how the seven-time world rally champion caused the accident in Zagreb. Which only further raised the global reach of the race. Among the global portals there are the BBC, Reuters and many others.

We know from many years of media monitoring experience that such events will always resonate with a wider world audience, but it is always interesting to calculate the exact numbers, he points out. Nedeljko Lužija from the company Mediatoolkit and adds that WRC Croatia is a specific event where the country of the event is in its name, so that all announcements that mention this year's race also mention the word "Croatia".

In this case, we see that with over 4000 mentions, as many as 41,6 million impressions were achieved through the term "WRC Croatia", and thus Croatia is mentioned in more than 70% of the world's countries. Mentioning Croatia, some of the world's largest portals wrote about this race, thus ensuring a leap in mentioning Croatia at the world level and achieving an enviable free campaign for our country.”States Nedeljko Lužija from the company Mediatoolkit.

Let's use our trump cards and potentials - Glagolitic cups, Jean Todt visited Rimac cars, a dose of our top gastronomy

HAKS leaders hosted the world's most important sports officials during the four days of the WRC. They also visited Plešivica, Krašić, Sljeme, Jastrebarsko, Kumrovec and the WRC 2021 headquarters in Zagreb.

"This kind of world event is a great opportunity to extend the tourist season and a fantastic promotion of Croatia around the world. I hope that everyone will recognize this, from institutions to the corporate sector and help us organize the race in Croatia in the coming years. We got a chance, it would be crazy to lose it and miss it. ", points out the president of the Organizing Committee of Croatia Rally Daniel Shashkin and adds how to further promote Croatia the best drivers received special cups made by a prominent Croatian sculptor of the younger generation, Mate Turić with Glagolitic symbols.

Also, Jean Todt, the leading man of the International Automobile Federation (FIA), was present at the race, and the organizers arranged his visit to Rimac Automobili. Of course how impressed Todt was, who wouldn't, and that he had the opportunity to drive in a Concept Two car. “During the visit, I saw the enthusiasm of the founders and the vision he had when he started the electric hypercar program ten years ago. He took me on a little drive through the complex and I was fascinated by the acceleration of the car, and I see a lot of potential. " said Todt after visiting Rimac cars.

These are the small but big details that make a difference and add value. Let’s harness our potentials, authenticity, innovation, way of life and culture. We ourselves must be the best ambassadors of our tourism, economy… We must be proud of what we are, because we have something to brag about.

Photo: HAKS

Croatia delighted with the organization and received a contract to host the race for the next two years?

The first sent a congratulatory message Jean Todt, president of the FIA who was a guest of HAKS during the three days of the rally. Among other things, he writes to the president of HAKS, Davorin Štetner: "I want to thank you for your warm welcome and hospitality in Zagreb, your support and special attention you have paid to me have contributed to the fact that I can call my visit a real success! Congratulations on a well-organized race and a gala dinner to celebrate 115 years of motoring in Croatia. I will cherish the fond memories of this visit! "

Co-owner of WRC Promoter and one of the most influential people in the WRC Thomas Krohne, wrote to the president of HAKS: "I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the excellent hospitality, careful and caring treatment, the fantastic program you organized and above all the great effort to organize a great race in your wonderful country."

Malcom Wilson, team owner M-Sport Ford stated: "Many thanks to you and the team for a great event in such a short time. You can be proud of everything, and I especially want to thank you for the invitation to the gala dinner where I had the opportunity to see the fascinating history of HAKS! "

Andrea Adamo, general manager Hyundai Sport: "Croatia deserves a place in the WRC calendar, this is my opinion, and you know that I always say what I honestly think!".

Congratulations to HAKS were also sent by the Greek Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Sports and Culture the leading man of Greek sport Lefteris Avgenakis. Among other things, it says:"I warmly congratulate you on the successful organization of the Croatia Rally, which was a successful competition, but also as a whole event. Thank you for the hospitality in your beautiful country that we will visit again! ”

In the end, we not only met the expectations of the main organizers, but even exceeded, says the fact that the decision of the WRC Promoter and the FIA ​​to extend is expected soon fixed contract for at least another two years in which Croatia Rally would be included in the calendar of the World Rally Championship. 

The Croatian Auto and Karting Association (HAKS) points out that as the holder of the WRC project in Croatia, it expects official favorable evaluations from FIA delegates in the coming weeks. “Only after these assessments, the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC), as the highest executive body of the FIA, will make a decision on whether Croatia will be included in the WRC calendar again in 2022. ” stated in HAKS.

Let's go back to the beginning of the story. The WRC is a great global promotion of our beautiful country, generating a motive for coming and great tourist spending. So, once again, I ask the organizers to close at least half of Zagreb in the coming years.

As this year, Croatia, in addition to the WRC, in mid-November for the first time hosted the prestigious European automobile series of races NASCAR, for which we received a contract next three years + two years households, maybe in the coming years we can hope for a household and Formula 1?

As Davorin Štetner, the current president of the Croatian Auto and Karting Association, became the world's youngest private F29 rights holder in the world at the age of 1, with two more than excellent households (Nascar and WRC), why not wake up dreaming of Formula 1 cars driving in Croatian in the future "Streets". After all, who a couple of years ago could have even thought we were going to host Nascar and the WRC? Of course except the organizers.

I have no doubt at all in our abilities, and the proof of that is precisely this story. We have everything - the ability to organize, produce, technical performance, natural and cultural strengths… we just have to connect the dots (connect the dots), pack them nicely and always give 20% more effort and "spice" to jump out of the crowd.

One of my best quotes is: “In the world of marketing, the thing is simple: you have to be special, different, special. You have to have what others don’t have. You have to know how to inspire, and you will only be able to do that if you inspire yourself. Something that especially deserves to be talked about, to be noticed. That is something extraordinary. New. Interesting. It's a blue cow. Boring is invisible. Boring is a brown cow"Wrote Seth Godin, marketing guru and author of the world bestseller Blue Cow.

One plus one can be three. Maybe not in physics and chemistry, but in business and real life I certainly can. Let's be the Blue Cow, let's wake up, think loudly, use our advantages and potentials and always think about how to be one step ahead of others.

Because ideas that spread are winning, Godin would conclude.

Cover photo: Croatia Rally 2021 / Author Uroš Modlić

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