International sport events as a mean in the international branding strategy of Aarhus

Jan Bruun

Student thesis: Master thesis


Branding is no longer limited to products, as anything and everyone can be branded. People, products, nations and cities all over the world use branding today to create or maintain their image. This present thesis is about city branding. The city Aarhus has a branding strategy and this branding strategy help create and shape the brand that the city wants. The strategy has existed for several years and focus on branding the positive associations about Aarhus. One of the associations the city desires to communicate is the city’s beat. Meaning all the activities and initiatives that are made in Aarhus, signaling that this is a happening place. To support the overall brand of Aarhus, the city uses international sport events as a mean. The goal is to attract more tourists, potential citizens, and companies, satisfy the current citizens and increase the economic turnover. Some of the branding of Aarhus, through international sport events, has been successful. Some of the emotions about the city is, that it is perceived as friendly, happy and with a high quality standard of hosting international sport events. The city is unique and different compared to other sport event cities in the world. It is small, but yet contains a large selection of shops, cafés, restaurants and it is located close to both beach and forest. Aarhus has been very successful in attracting more and larger international sport events the latest years, but the branding potential has not been exploited to its fullest from hosting these international sport events. Behind this fact lie two separate organizations. These are the main operatives of the international sport events: Sport Aarhus Events and VisitAarhus. The first is only involved in attracting and arranging the international, whereas the latter is responsible for the branding of these. A more combined and transparent cooperation between these two organizations is, amongst other things, seen as a mean to maximizing the potential of city branding Aarhus through international sport events.

EducationsMSc in International Marketing and Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2009
Number of pages85