On behalf of the whole team behind the 2015 European Open, we can stand up proud and say the event was a success. While there were many goals set to measure this success, one that we consider our top priority is media exposure. We want to consider the tournament as a media in itself, a canvas filled with images and messages about the sport we love. When the best players of our sport come to town, all the people inside the sport already know that they can expect one big show of athletic skill, tactic and oftentimes also drama.
Speaking those people following the event on-site, we have reason to believe that the 2015 European Open broke all records for on-site spectators in modern disc golf. The disc golf crazed Finns traveled far and wide to see the superstars of the sports doing what they do best. And it was not only the Finns who came by busloads to witness the event. Among the 15 nations represented in the playing field, we also saw many new and familiar friends from all over Europe and beyond following the action at Nokia. Let's take a closer look to the numbers of spectators:
In addition to the people who followed the tournament on-site at Nokia, the European Open 2015 witnessed a huge online audience, hungry for scores, videos, photos and stories from the biggest week in European disc golf to date. Our tournament media staff worked relentlessly night and day to bring the people a massive amount of online content, many cases in real time as they happened on the field. Let's take a look at the numbers measuring the online exposure:
While these numbers are impressive, it's always important to remember that a lot of the exposure in social media comes from the people inside the sport. To truly create an impact, one must never forget the importance of traditional media, as the newspapers and TV stations reach the audience the event instagram account will never find. Handling the relations with the press is one of the top priorities for the EO2015 team and again this year we were able to bring disc golf into the mainstream consciousness thru numerous articles and news stories in some of the biggest publications in Finland. Here are some examples of how the event was noticed in media:
Finally, since outside the course the sport of disc golf is best experienced through video, we considered it essential to be highly visible on the both YouTube & Finnish national television. This was probably the first time ever a disc golf event was advertised on TV and the YLE TV2 live broadcast was a great continuum to the partnership we started with Yleisradio (Finnish Public Broadcasting company) 2 years ago. The numbers speak for themselves: During the live TV broadcast on Sunday afternoon, an astounding 26% of all TV viewers in Finland were tuned in to professional disc golf, live from Nokia.
Additionally The Spin TV really stepped up with the crew working hard around the clock to bring the online audience a total of 21 high quality videos, including 5 live studio web stream episodes on YouTube every night from Wednesday to Sunday. In these "The Insider Show" episodes we saw great insider interviews of the players, carefully curated high quality footage from the course and unprecedented stats and analysis by the host Jamie Thomas & PDGA International Director Brian Hoeniger. You can find all of the official event videos here. Check out also the original TV broadcast in Finnish here or in English here! And if you'd like to see a full version of the infographics above, check it out here!
While some of the event videos and photos are still slowly dropping out and it's early to speculate what the impact of the event was as a whole, it's already safe to say the big push was definitely worth the trouble. During the EO week we were able to reach more potential new players, sponsors and representatives of the media than ever before and already we've received some very interesting proposals for the future. The hours put in by the 90+ person team of staff and volunteers definitely paid off and we want everyone involved in this event to feel proud of themselves for making one of the best, if not the best, disc golf events in the history of the sport happen.
Over and out,
-The EO2015 Staff