JYSK and Parasport Denmark celebrates 30 years of cooperation
Author: Laura Sulbæk, Communications & Sponsorship Consultant
Since 1989, JYSK has been main sponsor of Parasport Denmark. A cooperation which is built on common values, mutual respect and confidence in one’s own abilities.
This year it has been 30 years since JYSK and Parasport Denmark first signed a sponsorship contract. This makes it one of the longest lasting sports sponsorships in Denmark.
“In JYSK we believe in the decisions we make. We believe in our employees, strong cooperation and determination. We have employees, who have celebrated their 40th anniversary in JYSK, just as we can celebrate 30th anniversary for our cooperation with Parasport Denmark. We are proud of this, as this is an important value in JYSK,” says Rune Jungberg Pedersen, CSR Director in JYSK.
In Parasport Denmark, they are also pleased with the long-lasting support from JYSK.
“It has provided many great experiences for all concerned through the years. Beside the regular support, JYSK has helped us with a lot of extra initiatives, which have provided us with extra resources, and that is a fantastic support,” says John Petersson, President of Parasport Denmark.
Built on the same values
Originally, it was JYSK-founder Lars Larsen’s wife, Kris, who got the idea of the sponsorship, after the Paralympics in Seoul in South Korea in 1988, as the athletes were in severe lack of funding for the preparation towards the next Paralympic event.
“Lars Larsen and Kris saw an unfulfilled potential in Para sport. They saw a group of people, who as role models showed that you can achieve a lot when you put your mind to it and work hard. In that way there are a lot of similarities between Lars Larsen’s foundation of JYSK and the values, which characterizes the Para athletes such as dedication, willpower and can-do spirit,” says Rune Jungberg Pedersen.
President of Parasport Denmark, John Petersson, agrees on that perception.
“We were, and still are, very proud, that JYSK, Lars Larsen and Kris could see the values in what we stand for, and do not support us because of commiseration(...)"
- John Petersson | President of Parasport Danmark.
“We were, and still are, very proud, that JYSK, Lars Larsen and Kris could see the values in what we stand for, and do not support us because of commiseration. Both parties focus on possibilities instead of limitations, and we also dare to take a chance sometimes, just as Lars Larsen has done in the past. All of our athletes have a unique story and in my opinion that is characteristic for both parties,” says John Petersson, who is better known as “the whisk” in Denmark from his career as swimmer.
A sponsor that watches from the sidelines
According to John Petersson, who was active as an athlete himself when JYSK stepped in as sponsor, the support meant that even more Danish athletes qualified for the Paralympics in Barcelona in 1992. The economic support meant that even more athletes could go on training camps and participate in competitions.
“In 92’ it was big for us to have a main sponsor going with us to the Paralympics, who also supported us from the sidelines. We were not at all used to having one million Danish kroner a year for preparations, and in no way used to having a sponsor who followed us so closely,” says John Petersson, who has won 15 Paralympic medals from 1984-2000.
JYSK has supported the athletes and Parasport Denmark in their preparations towards seven Paralympic Games, and when it begins in Tokyo in 2020 the total number will be eight.
“There is a great mutual respect between both parties. We have had an understanding of the conditions on which the cooperation is built. If we did not have that, I am pretty sure that Lars Larsen would have said stop a long time ago,” says John Petersson.
More focus on the sport
In the past 30 years a lot has happened in the Parasport Denmark organisation, but also in Para sport in general, according to John Petersson.
“There has been a big progress in the comprehension of the idea of Para sport. Now there is a lot more focus on the sport compared to previously, where you supported disabled who do sport. Now you support the sport performed by people with physical or mental disabilities,” he says.
This is also the experience in JYSK, who is happy to have followed the development in the Para sport closely.
“It has been a pleasure to observe the development in Para sport in the 30 years we have supported. The athletes in a number of countries have achieved a lot of attention on their sport, results and personal stories. This is also expressed in the general interest of the Para sport, where especially the media have opened their eyes for the athletes and their accomplishments,” says Rune Jungberg Pedersen, CSR Director in JYSK.
A long with the expansion of JYSK to more and more countries, the support of the Para sport has also expanded.
“Through the years we have expanded our support to include other Para sport organisations in Europe as well, and we look forward to being among the most important supporters of Para sport in Europe,” says Rune Jungberg Pedersen.
JYSK & Parasport
- JYSK started sponsoring the Danish Sports Organisation for the disabled in 1989
- Today, JYSK is also sponsoring Parasport organisations in Norway, Sweden, Romania, Finland, The Czech Republic and Slovakia.
- JYSK Franchise sponsors Para sport in Canada, Iceland and the Faroe Islands.