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The UEFA EURO 2008 in retrospect

July 8, 2008

Austria and Switzerland as charming host countries

The UEFA EURO 2008 was the event for Austria this June. With the help of the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest Inc., the Swiss-American Business Council (SABC) as well as the Austrian Trade Commission of Chicago, the soccer euphoria also crossed over the Atlantic ocean right into the city center of Chicago. On June 16th lots of soccer fans, including the Austrian Consul General Robert Zischg, President of the German American Chamber of Commerce Simone Pohl, and Austrian Trade Commissioner Franz Rössler all came together in a local pub and watched the game Austria vs. Germany. Austria finally lost against Germany but the country still had reasons to celebrate the UEFA EURO 2008.

Throughout Austria over 2.4 million people watched the games in the official public viewing areas. In Vienna alone, about 1.5 million people took advantage of the opportunity to watch the games together with other EURO 2008 addicts. Also big sponsors like Telekom Austria, Coca-Cola and Mc Donald’s registered high profits in June of this year and also indicated that they believed they had successfully increased brand recognition in the Austrian market as a result of their sponsoring the EURO2008. The gastronomy sector, both inside and outside of the public viewing areas, as well as the tourism industry are still undecided if this event really brought them additional profits or if it only shifted revenue towards other months. In general, however, the feedback from both sides has been very positive.

In the end, Spain, one of Austria’s Top 10 trading partners, managed to win the competition and became the European soccer champion of the EURO 2008. Furthermore, according to Heinz Palme, EM-chief coordinator of the national government, and Walter Koren, Head of the Austrian Trade Commissions worldwide, Austria has proven its ability in hosting a large, important event and is certainly prepared to host more of them in the future.