The President of the ACI Management Board, Kristijan Pavić, shared his views on the potential for strengthening the recognition of Croatia through sports at the “SPORT AS A BRAND” conference.
On Monday, December 5, 2022, the conference “SPORT AS A BRAND” was held in Opatija, which brought together famous Croatian athletes and key representatives of the domestic sports and tourism sector, with the aim of discussing the role of sports in strengthening the global recognition of the Republic of Croatia. Among the topics, which really were not lacking, the one about the secret of the fascinating success of Croatian athletes at the Olympic level and other major world competitions, considering the size of the country and the number of inhabitants, stood out in particular. The speakers also presented their considerations on strategic solutions that can further establish sport as the national brand of the Republic of Croatia. In the end, one of the main conclusions was that sports and tourism, as the two strongest assets of Croatia’s recognition in the world, are best combined by nautical sports.
Always in great company
When certain local events involve the participation of famous athletes, an exciting discussion with a handful of great anecdotes and examples is guaranteed. This was also the case at the “SPORT AS A BRAND” conference, where, in addition to the president of the ACI Management Board, Kristijan Pavić, Josip Pavić, special advisor for sports at the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, and former water polo player, Dubravko Šimenc, OLY specialist and coordinator in the Department for Special Marketing Activities of the Croatian Tourist Board, Ivica Kostelić, the most decorated Croatian skier and sailor, and Đurđica Orepić, Croatian Ironwoman, also shared their experiences and visions. The debate was held under the moderatorship of Ida Prester.
There are few of us, but we are there
In addition to sharing his experiences with the Route du Rhum, one of the most demanding solo sailing races in the world, the best Croatian skier of all times and today a celebrated sailor, Ivica Kostelić also emphasized how proud he has always been of his origins in the sport. At the same time, he testified to the fact that it was the athletes who, during all these years, helped to destroy prejudices about Croatia and strongly branded our country as a geographically and numerically small, but sporting superpower in many sports.
Nautics as a point of contact for the best that adorns Croatia
Apart from sports, the recognition of the Republic of Croatia is certainly also contributed by the unique natural beauty, and the tourist offer. At the same time, nautical sports stands out as a perfect combination of both worlds, one of the fundamental pillars of all domestic tourism and a trump card that has absolutely all the prerequisites to become the strongest national brand of the Republic of Croatia. The largest chain of marinas in the Mediterranean, ACI, is responsible for a good part of the above, which connects the best of the Adriatic Sea and the indented Croatian coast with as many as 22 superbly equipped and organized marinas throughout the Adriatic, as well as the unique project of nautical excellence ACI Sail, which represents the very top domestic sailing industry.
“ACI’s sports story first of all begins with its own active practice of sports, that is, sailing at the highest world level within the framework of the ACI Sail project. As part of the ACI Sail project, this year we hosted the ClubSwan36 European Championship for the first time in Croatia, more precisely in Split. We cooperate with numerous athletes, starting from Ivica Kostelić, whose sailboat in the Route du Rhum race bore the ACI’s name, through current European water polo Croatians and the WRC spectacle followed around the world, to young sailing hopes like Palma Čargo. What unites us is excellence, and I think that we all have something to be proud of when we talk about our sporting successes,” concluded the president of the ACI Management Board, Kristijan Pavić.
Photo: Vedran Karuza, Novi list