Sport and activities

Good health and good eating habits go together. ICA therefore wants to encourage physical activity. ICA wants to be seen as leading the way in health and wellbeing, and therefore supports selected exercise activities. These events also give ICA an opportunity to spread information on healthy nutrition and how to eat to perform better. All of these events in Sweden took as their theme fruits and vegetables, breakfast and snacks.

Work on the new sponsorship strategy in Sweden continued with implementation of the “Join in and feel good” concept. The concept was launched to ICA customers in conjunction with a breakfast campaign in February in partnership with the Swedish Ski Association. The campaign also highlighted the large amount of local sponsorship that takes place in ICA stores. In 2014 the focus will continue to be on local sponsorship, as ICA Sweden produces more tools to simplify local sponsorship for the stores.

During the year sponsorship in Sweden has focused on health, food and exercise. Sponsored national teams, such as the Swedish national alpine ski team and the national women’s football team, were invited to learn how to prepare good food with ICA chefs. One major initiative took place with the Elite Sports School of the Swedish Sports Organisation for the Disabled, with ICA collaborating on a number of occasions both to give lectures on food and exercise and to inspire the athletes with food cooked by ICA chefs.

The partnership with the Swedish Ski Association and the “Everyone on the snow” project has been developed further in 2013. It is expected that 24 (14) municipalities will join in during the 2013–2014 season. The focus of the project from ICA’s perspective is to teach children to eat good food in order to have the energy they need for both school and leisure. 

A further example of activities ICA supports is the KortVasan ski race, which takes place between Oxberg and Mora and was started in 1996 by ICA. In 2013 over 9,700 persons took part, of which around 300 were ICA employees. ICA also sponsored other ski events during the year, such as the TjejVasan women’s race and the UngdomsVasan race for 9–16 year olds, in which more than 18,000 (15,000) took part. ICA has also extended its partnership with Vasaloppet to include the Children’s Vasalopp. A number of ICA stores organised races close to the stores. The Children’s Vasalopp is organised all over Sweden and during the 2012/2013 ski season around 46,000 children participated. In August the CykelVasan cycling event took place, with ICA Sweden as a sponsor. This year 14,811 cyclists started the race, which is a new record.

During the year an exercise race called Blodomloppet took place at 14 locations around Sweden. ICA Sweden is the main sponsor of the race and more than 107,000 (100,000) people took part in total.

Along with the stores and the Swedish Football Association, ICA Sweden enabled many children and young people to go and watch Sweden’s matches when the women’s Euro football championship was held in Sweden. Year 5 students throughout Sweden also had opportunity to compete in the ICA Mini All-Sweden Championships in bandy, a game similar to ice hockey, culminating in a final at the Friends Arena in conjunction with the final of the Swedish Championship.

Many ICA retailers in Sweden and stores in Norway also support children’s and youth athletics through local sponsorships.

Health-related activities were also sponsored in Estonia. Among other things, Rimi employees took part in the SEB Tallinn Marathon. Rimi Baltic in Estonia and the Estonian Football Association gave six children who participated in the Association’s summer camps a scholarship of EUR 300 each for football training for the whole year. In Lithuania, Rimi was the main sponsor of the Vilnius Marathon for the second consecutive year.

In Latvia, Rimi supported the Nordea Riga Marathon, which took place in May and attracts more than 20,000 runners from all over the world. Rimi distributed more than six tonnes of fruit during the race and also organised the Rimi Marathon for Kids.