European Athletics hails DNA U20 Clubs media success as more than 150 sign up for 'Team Athletics' conference

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  • European Athletics hails DNA U20 Clubs media success as more than 150 sign up for 'Team Athletics' conference

With more than 150 participants already registered for the free of charge, online conference entitled 'Team Athletics: The Sport’s Newest Offer', leaders of European Athletics’ Dynamic New Athletics (DNA) project have welcomed preliminary figures for social media activity related to last month’s European DNA U20 Clubs event in Castellón, Spain as proof of the concept’s potential.

Conference Register

The head of the project steering group, European Athletics Vice President and conference panellist Libor Varhanik, revealed that content related to the event was viewed over 1.3 million times through European Athletics and DNA social media channels during the two-week window of 14-28 September, and probably several hundred thousand more on other, untracked, channels.

“Our communications team put a lot of effort into an innovative, low-cost strategy to promote the live stream of the event through the social media accounts of the clubs and the young athletes taking part in Castellón and we have been very pleasantly surprised with volume of interaction that has been created,” he said.

“It clearly shows that DNA offers ways to reach the families, friends and followers of club-level participants, which gives us valuable tools beyond our major events and the star power of elite athletes that we will need to grow the athletics community in the future.”

Digital marketer Mike Lawrence, who will also be a panellist in the conference, reported that the live stream from the Castellón event attracted over 32,000 views, more than matching the figure for February’s indoor DNA showcase event in Glasgow, Scotland, which featured elite senior athletes representing six national teams.

“After the positive experience in Glasgow, we set up DNA Instagram and TikTok accounts over the summer to appeal to Generation Y and Generation Z, the key targets for the DNA project – both as audience and participants,” commented Lawrence.

“The numbers on growth, viewership and engagement have been really impressive, especially amongst the 13 to 24-year age groups. It demonstrates that bringing younger audiences to the sport is very doable with the right event format and the right use of social and digital.”

In addition to the communications aspects of the DNA project, next week’s conference, co-hosted by European Athletics and the Royal Spanish Athletics Federation (RFEA), will examine the motivation for creating DNA and how the new format can expand the existing competition structure of the sport by taking advantage of the under-utilised team dimension of our sport to attract and retain younger athletes and fans.

Day 1 will be devoted to a case study of how the RFEA introduced DNA to the elite, top club and school levels in the country through its EU-funded “Jungle Athletics” project while Day 2 will cover the international aspects of DNA and the roadmap for rolling out the concept across Europe in the future.

In addition to Varhanik, the various speaker panels will include European Athletics Vice President Cherry Alexander and RFEA president Raul Chapado, both members of the DNA steering group, as well as various project team members, organisers who have helped to deliver DNA events, participating athletes and coaches, and social media influencers.

According to Chapado, a key aspect of the conference will be the audience questions submitted through the online platform.

“When we were in the early stages, people told us they were interested in DNA and expected European Athletics to take the lead. Now we have a fairly complete product, something that is more than just an idea. It has been tested at all levels and the feedback has been nothing but positive,” he explained.

“This conference will be a chance for everyone in the athletics community to learn more about what has been done, become part of our team and help guide us on what the next steps should be.”

The conference programme will comprise the following two sessions:

  • Thursday 13 October (14:00-16:00 CET) – The Jungle Athletics Project & National DNA Programmes
  • Friday 14 October (14:00-16:00 CET) – The DNA Project: Roadmap for the future

You can still book your place by registering at the following link and ticking all the boxes to receive relevant information about the conference and other European Athletics activities:

Conference Register

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