IBU World Championships Biathlon Oberhof 2023 generates record engagement

The BMW IBU World Championships Biathlon Oberhof 2023 has been lauded for delivering two-weeks of spectacular excitement and record engagement among millions of fans around the world.  

A total of 1.8 million people engaged with IBU content on their social media channels during the World Championships with posts across all IBU platforms reaching 18 million people. IBU videos were viewed 7.8 million times on IBU social media platforms. More than 550,000 unique active users visited the IBU website and App generating 3.7 million sessions and reaching over 26 million views.

In Oberhof, more than 150,000 spectators cheered on from the stands and tracks, creating an unforgettable atmosphere for the world’s best athletes. The electricity of the atmosphere was felt across the world with an average audience of 8 million across the 12 competitions. The highest TV ratings were recorded in Germany where 5 million tuned in to watch the women’s mass start, while Sweden and Norway recorded a staggering 85% market share for the men’s mass start and Norway managed 89% market share for the men’s relay.

IBU President Olle Dahlin said:

“The BMW IBU World Championships Biathlon Oberhof 2023 were a great success and demonstrated the global appeal of our sport. The excitement of the competitions combined with our advanced new digital ecosystem made Oberhof 2023 the most digitally engaging World Championships of all time. We saw millions tune in on TV and many hundreds of thousands attend in person. All of this was accomplished in the most sustainable way possible as Oberhof set a sustainable benchmark for future event hosts. We are grateful to the organisers, our amazing athletes and all our passionate fans for making the event one of our best ever.”

The IBU Executive Board (EB) met on the side-lines of the World Championships and expressed their continued solidarity with the athletes and National Federation of Ukraine and thanked their National Federations for providing support and training opportunities. The EB also discussed a number of other key matters:

The EB decided to allocate €1.6 million in additional support to the National Federations (NFs) and Organising Committees (OCs). The one-time additional support grant was offered given the prevailing economic challenges.

The EB approved the concept for the future Summer Biathlon structure with a focus on developing and strengthening the IBU Summer Biathlon World Championships from 2023 onwards. This includes a fixed date to assure proper planning possibilities for teams as well as several incentives and support to ensure high-level participation. Measures will include adjusted travel and accommodation support, prize money increases and a selected choice of attractive venues for fans and participants.

Following the pilot event in the summer of 2022, the proposal foresees the existing City Events to be considered under a Regional Events structure.

The EB approved the Dual Career Strategy, which aims to promote and support athletes' preparation for their life after the biathlon career in terms of education and/or work. The goal is to raise awareness and to create opportunities for athletes to combine elite sport and education/work flexibly without compromising either objective. The Dual Career project is one of the focus areas of the IBU Academy.

The EB also appointed the Development Commission members, whose responsibilities are to provide expert opinions on the IBU’s long-term development strategy and its implementation.

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