Eindhoven’s DLL Marathon will become the most innovative in Europe within 3 years. This is the promise made by both the council and the organiser, Golazo Sports SX. An innovation work group will assist in the process to make this a reality.
The goal is to use new, innovative products and services every year during and around the time of the Marathon. This year’s début comes from Ato-gear: the “runalyser” smart trainers. The company emerged from RunRight, the winner of the SPRINT Hackathon organised by Sports & Technology. The idea is to give the winner of the annual innovation competition the chance to put their developed product to the test during the Marathon. In addition, several collaborations with institutions such as the High Tech Campus Eindhoven and the Holst Centre will try out their technology during and around the time of the Marathon.
The ultimate aim is to implement technology and innovation to optimise the experience for the participants and the spectators. That means ensuring safe, responsible and pleasant conditions for runners so that they can achieve their best possible performance. Innovations for spectators could increase the level of participation and improve the experience.
Golazo Sports SX took over the Eindhoven Marathon from the Stichting Marathon Eindhoven (SME) last year, which means they have acquired the licensing rights, the operations and the legal ownership of the Marathon.
Councillor Bianca van Kaathoven (SP, sport): “Every year we see how important an event the Eindhoven Marathon is for the city and its visitors. Many visitors and participants come from across the country and the rest of the world, ensuring a positive image of Eindhoven. Professional organisers see this too.” Golazo, the new organiser, will work together with the city to make the event even more about Eindhoven. “Golazo and the council will collaborate by investing in innovation and the image of the event above all else.”
“The Marathon is an important event for Eindhoven,” writes Van Kaathoven to the council. “It encourages sports and exercise, which leads to a healthier lifestyle. Furthermore, this large recreational sports event attracts many participants and visitors, with 23,000 participants and 200,000 visitors expected for the 2015 edition. The economic spin-off of the Marathon on the city is huge, notably for the local hospitality and retail sectors.”
The new arrangement is also even cheaper for the council. While there used to be a subsidy of around 275,000 Euros for the Marathon, 170,000 Euros of that will now come from sponsors.
To achieve this innovation goal, Golazo must uphold the commitments in the sponsorship agreement. These commitments involve carrying out as many tests and innovative introductions as possible at running events in Eindhoven, and communicating them in the media. Golazo’s creation of an innovation work group with all of the urban stakeholders in the area should help with that. The work group is tasked with transforming the Marathon into the most innovative marathon in Europe. How that will come to pass is currently being fleshed out by the group.
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