Thousands of professional and amateur skiers participate in some of the world’s most challenging ski races in Visma Ski Classics every year. Visma joined as title sponsor of the long-distance ski championship in 2015. Since then, we have engaged both employees and audiences through seven seasons of prestigious ski races such as Maricalonga, Vasaloppet and Birkebeinerrennet.
Overall, the sponsorship has tied our organisation even closer together. Visma Ski Classics is a venture that goes beyond the office and daily business and transcends Visma’s companies and countries. The sponsorship is a common journey our employees are a part of and share.
Bringing together employees and audiences in sports
During the last seven seasons of Visma Ski Classics, millions of viewers worldwide have seen the Visma logo in live events on their TV screens. But the sponsorship goes far beyond having the Visma logo exposed on banners and television broadcasts. It has allowed us to engage both our employees and our audiences in activities that support fellowship and promote a healthy lifestyle.
The championship differs from other sporting events in that amateurs and professional skiers compete together. Anyone can challenge the greatest long-distance skiers in the world in the Visma Ski Classics races. This means that many of our employees also get engaged by participating in races and hosting events to meet and greet the skiers.
At selected races like Birkebeineren, Vasaloppet and Ylläs-Levi, we host camp Visma. In this event, skiers can come into the Visma Ski Classics trailer to relax, have a hot drink and recuperate after crossing the finish line.
The Visma trailer holds three decks, a veranda and a roof terrace and is decorated with Visma Ski Classics logos. The trailer’s big TV monitors make it the perfect meeting place for people who want to follow the times and broadcasts during the races.
Visma Ski Classics 4Kids
But it is not only the adults who get to participate in the fun. We are also hosting fun and family-oriented ski events in several countries. We give our employees’ children the opportunity to feel like real ski racers for a day. We want children to get to know the great atmosphere before the start line, the ongoing support during the race, and the good feeling of having completed a ski race.
Ski app promoting outdoor activity
The ongoing covid restrictions have made it harder to host in-person events. So we had to think a little differently. With limited organised sports and social activities, many young people spend their time indoors. So we decided to develop a Visma Ski Classics 4Kids app that puts children’s health and well-being in the front seat and offers motivating tasks and diplomas to make skiing even more fun and enjoyable.
Our motivation behind the app is to inspire children and youth to spend more time outdoors and make skiing fun. This way, we hope to contribute to their general health and wellbeing. The app was developed with an emphasis on user-friendliness and security and is available in both Norway and Sweden.
Engaging employees from home
The last two seasons as title sponsors of Visma Ski Classics have proved a little different from previous years.
When you can’t travel to ski races, host events or do joint activities, we put our creative minds together to find ways of engaging our employees from their homes. The result is initiatives that raise the activity level and create a social bond online.
Visma Active Digital Ski Tour
Last year we launched the Visma Active Digital Ski Tour – a competition based on physical activity. The original Visma Ski Classics consist of nine long-distance ski races adding up to almost 600 kilometres. In our digital ski tour, employees used their smartphones or watches to track their activities to reach the same length measured in steps.
The progression was visualised in a map where each milestone is a Visma Ski Classics race. Here, employees could follow their progress and have fun by comparing themselves to their colleagues.
Lectures and ski sessions
Athletes are known for following a strict health and training regime. For the rest of us, exercise also requires attention to our total well-being. We have organised a series of online lectures with top health experts in Finland. The sessions cover nutrition, training and exercise; body care and recovery; and rest and sleep.
In Lahti, Finland, we have also hosted ski sessions for our employees with former pro skier Jari Isometsä as the coach. Our employees attend the sessions in small groups of five – keeping in line with social distancing restrictions, of course.
The sessions have allowed our employees to brush up on their cross-country skiing skills and get outdoors with their colleagues, a welcome break from home office life.
The importance of a healthy and engaged workforce
Having a healthy and engaged workforce is important to us in Visma. Encouraging employees to stay active enables them to thrive and helps to drive productivity and motivation. We also know that job seekers are looking for an employer that offers a healthy work environment where physical activity is encouraged and facilitated.
The Visma Ski Classics sponsorship continues to be a fun and great experience for both our company and our employees. These are just some of the activities and events we have hosted over the years. We certainly look forward to continuing with more fun activities.
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