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Harjun kenttä ilmasta kuvattuna ja taustalla Jyväskylä. Image Suomen ilmakuva Oy
The City of Jyväskylä has launched a project funded by the European Union to generate growth opportunities for sporting events in Jyväskylä and in the region. The project promotes growth by means of digital development, service design, and marketing. A key element of the project is to increase mutual knowledge through increased collaboration between sporting associations, businesses, actors within the events business, as well as educational institutions and the city. This network of cooperation will work to shape new operational and service models to facilitate events.

Photo: City of Jyväskylä / Suomen Ilmakuva Oy

–  Jyväskylä’s sporting event scene has every chance of reaching greater heights. The city is home to a number of capable associations with nationally recognized expertise in event organization. In addition, we have a robust base of research and educational know-how in sports, exercise, and well-being, with a potential to add value to competitions in various disciplines. Through marketing and new service innovations, we can make our events more attractive and increase revenue in service businesses during those events, says Taija Lappeteläinen, manager of the International Sport Events project at the City of Jyväskylä. 

The project will be launched with a questionnaire to explore the current status of as wide a selection of tourism and events businesses, sporting associations, and educational institutions as possible,  and find out what they hope from the project. 

New energy for the events and tourism business 

The coronavirus pandemic has put a damper on the entire events and tourism business. The current project does its part in promoting recovery and increased revenue in the field. 

– Whether the sporting event is for children, youth, or adults, every competition brings a troupe of supporters, coaches, and support personnel. We have many fascinating things to offer them besides the event itself. We can offer various service packages, or point out other concurrent events, in fields such as culture. The goal is to identify the customer journeys of various target groups and provide them with the products and services they need most at various stages, says Lappeteläinen. 

Some of the most important goals of the project are the new service models being developed around various events. This work will take place in collaboration with events and tourism businesses while taking into account consumption trends including digitalization and sustainability. Making use of the knowledge present in sporting associations and educational institutions is also very important to the innovation process. The City of Jyväskylä Sports Services and Visit Jyväskylä Region are integral parts of the collaborative effort, and collaboration on content also takes place with Business Jyväskylä. 

The Capital of Sport is also a marketer of sporting events 

Jyväskylä’s success as Finland’s Capital of Sport is widely recognized. This edifice is made up of elements such as a robust spirit of cooperation, an internationally prominent hub of research, education, and coaching expertise, and excellent premises for both indoor and outdoor exercise and competition. 

The Capital of Sport is home to more than 200 sporting associations and there is virtually no sport that cannot be practiced somewhere in the city. The City of Jyväskylä Sports Services provide opportunities for sporting activity for all ages free of charge. 

Jyväskylä, the Capital of Sport, is also a robust brand for marketing national and international sporting events, something the project seeks to further promote. 
The project will be presented to Jyväskylä’s sporting associations at a city-organized association forum in December.

If you are interested in the future events and workshops the project will encompass, please contact project manager Taija Lappeteläinen.

International Sport Events project – Vitality for events and tourism in the ecosystem of sporting events is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and is a REACT-EU project funded as part of the European Union's efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The project period is 1 November 2021-31 August 2023.

More information

Taija Lappeteläinen, Project Manager, International Sport Events project, City of Jyväskylä, tel. +358 40 523 9321, taija.lappetelainen[at]