With some three months to go, the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018 promotion campaign continues to gain momentum.
Attracting crowds into the stands is one of key aspects for any successful event. The official hashtag, “BeThere” (in Czech #BuduUToho), was developed by the LOC and on Friday (1), marking 99 days to go to the start of the two-day event on 8-9 September, organisers released a video that spreads a clear message to the world: athletics addresses everyone.
The video stars the hugely popular and multi-talented actor, singer, song-writer and dancer Ben Cristovao, who takes on the role of a driver picking up and taking fans to Ostrava's Městský Stadium.
A cook. A receptionist. A fireman. A surgeon. An athletic judge. A physiotherapist. And a class of teenage students. People of varying backgrounds, with different roles, gender or age. All --except for the judge, of course-- put fan colours on their faces, jump into a car driven by Cristovao, or simply run to the stadium to see, to cheer, and to enjoy the most important global athletic event of the year 2018. To "be there".
The 30-year-old Cristovao, whose mother is Czech and father from Angola, is the perfect role model for a major sporting event connecting different cultures, and, with 530,000 Instagram followers and nearly 470,000 on Facebook --massive numbers for a public figure from a country of 10 million-- a celebrity well-suited to capture a young audience's attention.
Cristovao is also a standout athlete. As a teenager he was a successful snowboarder, winning a national cup 4x4 series, before switching to Brazilian jiu-jitsu. In 2016, he took bronze at the Open Asian Championships and won the prestigious international Madrid Open.
The video also depicts how every fan heading to the “Battle of the champions” --an LOC slogan for the Continental Cup-- is decorated with fighting colours on his or her cheeks, where the upper one links to a specific continental team: blue for Europe, violet for Asia-Pacific, yellow for Africa, and red for Americas.
Looking ahead, the LOC has a busy schedule this first week of June. The opening of the IAAF Heritage – World / Continental Cup 1977-2018 Exhibition in Ostrava's Forum Nová Karolina shopping center will take place on Tuesday (5). The following day a test event will take place at the Městský Stadium where specific rule applications for the September event will be examined while four teams of young athletes from the region compete.
Ostrava 2018 LOC for the IAAF