Arctic Race of Norway generating values in the millions
January 19 th 2022 - 15:33
A spectator survey and analysis by Sponsor Insight shows that Arctic Race of Norway generated economic ripple effects totaling over NOK 50 million in Northern Norway in 2021. Out of these, the organiser accounted for NOK 17 million, whilst spectators contributed the most with its NOK 34 million in direct economic impact.
An important event for Northern Norway
Managing Partner in Sponsor Insight, Vegard Arntsen, believes the report shows that Arctic Race of Norway has become an important event for Northern Norway.
"Even in a year with a pandemic and restrictions, the event created major economic ripple effects, both directly and indirectly," Arntsen said.
In 2021, 50,000 spectators lined up at the start and finish, and along the route, despite limitations created by the pandemic. Most of the spectators were from the local community, but there were also a good number of visitors who came and left money at local businesses. Knut-Eirik Dybdal, CEO of Arctic Race of Norway, is pleased to see these figures.
“The atmosphere created by people along the route can't be bought. It has to be created by people who are engaged for real. Along the roads, several generations are in place with flags, posters, costumes and locally produced tastings. The entusiasm and creativity people show helps make the Arctic Race of Norway a ‘folkefest’. The fact that we with this report can confirm that the event also creates economic value is fantastic," says Dybdal.
Collaboration is key
Part of Arctic Race of Norway’s vision is to contribute to positive development and value creation in Northern Norway, and promote all of Norway internationally. In the audience surveys, it is revealed that 66 percent of the Norwegian population knows the Arctic Race of Norway, and 86 percent of the spectators believe the event makes Northern Norway more attractive, both to visit and live in. Furthermore, the survey shows that 81 percent of visitors want to return to Northern Norway, and as many as 93 percent would recommend Northern Norway to friends and family.
"We are realizing the vision of the Arctic Race of Norway all together because people, businesses and public entities throughout the region are working together towards one common goal, to showcase the best our region has to offer," says Dybdal.
In 2021, the race passed through old Troms County, but Dybdal emphasises that it is crucial that all of Northern Norway contributes and makes the event its own.
“Arctic Race of Norway is as much an event for Alta and Sandnessjøen as it is a Tromsø or Harstad event. Since the beginning we have moved the race around Northern Norway, and through good collaborations locally and between host municipalities, we build on each other's contributions so that everyone gets more in return for the work put in. It is the results of this that we see in this ripple effect analysis," says Dybdal.
“Arctic Race of Norway shows what impact sporting events can have. Fantastic surroundings and plenty of crowds along the route have thrilled riders and cycling fans around the world. The event has become an important brand for the North Norwegian region. In addition to generating excitement and building cycling interest, the event creates ripple effects far beyond the sport," says Minister of Culture, Anette Trettebergstuen.
County Council leader Bjørn Inge Mo believes that the Arctic Race of Norway not only gives people along the roads in Troms and Finnmark a long-awaited ‘folkefest’ but is also good advertising that will have major ripple effects for the county in the long run.
“Our political goal is a stronger north. There is a clear desire in the population for sustainable and forward-looking policies with stronger collaboration. Arctic Race of Norway contributes to increased attractiveness to live in the region, considerable sums for the business sector and construction of infrastructure," says Mo.
Tromsø Municipality has a strategy for using events to make the region more attractive to new residents, visitors and businesses. Mayor Gunnar Wilhelmsen believes that the analysis of the ripple effects which has been made public shows that this is important.
"This ripple effect analysis shows that Arctic Race of Norway is true to its own vision of being more than a cycling race. What the race does within environmental, economic and social sustainability is completely in line with Tromsø Municipality's goals. We want even more activity and value creation, and therefore think it is positive to be involved in organising the world's northernmost professional stage race by bike," says Mayor Gunnar Wilhelmsen.
“Increased value creation results in more money back to the municipality. The event requires a lot of us, and in Tromsø there was, among other things, a discussion about the use of money and road closures. Of course, we understand that this is a challenge for some, but all the more important that we can document that such events benefit the whole society," says Gunnar Wilhelmsen, Tromsø Municipality.
Important for business
Målfrid Baik, regional director for NHO Arctic, Linda Beate Randal, regional director for Innovation Norway Arctic, and the head of the Business Association in the Tromsø region, Trude Nilsen, were all in attendance when the report was presented.
"Arctic Race of Norway has become an important tool for the business sector in the north, and it was perhaps especially important in 2021 as the tourism industry has been so hard hit by the pandemic," says Baik.
Randal believes that Arctic Race of Norway has an important function as a collaborative project in North Norway.
"We often talk about how important it is that we gather forces in the north. Arctic Race of Norway is one of the few projects that all of Northern Norway supports. This has value in itself, but it is of course particularly gratifying to see that this also creates tangible values," says Randal.
Trude Nilsen, the head of the Business Association in the Tromsø region, is also pleased that the ripple effects are documented.
"We are working to create more jobs in the region, and to attract people who can fill these jobs with the right expertise. These types of events are an important contribution to this work," says Nilsen.
Great health benefits
Although it is not a direct economic effect of the race, the event has inspired 32%, or 16,000 of the spectators, to cycle more often. In a report from 2014, the Norwegian Directorate of Health estimated the potential welfare benefits of the population becoming more active. If these calculations are used as a basis, the figures from Arctic Race of Norway constitute a potential welfare benefit of NOK 9.4 billion.
"The health benefits for society by people being more active are great, and only a slight increase in the level of activity can result in substantial savings for the health service, so we hope that those who were inspired actually take out their bike and become more physically active," says Dybdal.
The most important findings in the anaylysis
• The total economic ripple effects of Arctic Race of Norway 2021 for Northern Norway were NOK 51.6 million. In addition to this, the organizer spent NOK 8.3 million on purchase of goods and services in Southern Norway.
• The organizer of the Arctic Race of Norway contributes NOK 17.3 million in direct and indirect effects in Northern Norway.
• The consumption of visiting audiences in the region in connection with Arctic Race results in NOK 34.3 million in direct and indirect effects in Northern Norway.
• 75,000 spectators (50,000 unique people) watched the race in 2021, either in the start and finish areas, or along the route.
• According to a national survey, Arctic Race of Norway makes Northern Norway more attractive to live in or visit.
• More visitors to the region will result in further long-term effects on the economy of the region. This is beyond the scope of this study.