Athletes as a brand – the immense power of sports in branding the country

How many times have you had a conversation with a foreigner where the very mention of the word ‘Croatia’ gets you the name of at least one of our top athletes in response? Often, right?

Ivan Kljaković Gašpić

Croatia is known around the world for its sun, sea and beautiful Adriatic coast; but a major boost to the country’s recognition around the world is its Olympic, World and European Champions. Croatia’s celebrated athletes and their victories are the pride and joy of the entire nation. Their successes at the pinnacle of global sports are often covered by foreign media, thus helping to “put Croatia on the map of well-known countries.”

Dubravko Šimenc

Athletes have grown into a brand that contributes to the recognition and positioning of Croatia as a sports superpower. The immense branding power of sports—which we sometimes take for granted—is the theme of the Athletes as a Brand panel. Learn first hand from some of our esteemed athletes, such as three-time European Champion skier Ivica Kostelić, Olympic sailor and ACI Sail project manager Ivan Kljaković Gašpić, and multiple winner of Olympic, world and European medals in water polo, Dubravko Šimenc. These sports legends will answer important questions about how much sport contributes to the promotion of Croatia, how skillfully it is used for branding and how much influence the organization of major sports competitions and events such as the Snow Queen Trophy, World Rally Championship and ACI Sail has on the country’s brand.