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Europamarathon Görlitz 2019: BIRKENSTOCK serving as main sponsor of largest sports event in Upper Lusatia


Germany’s largest footwear manufacturer is supporting its running enthusiast employees as well as recreational sport in the region which is home to its largest production plants: High temperatures didn’t prevent the 16th Europamarathon Görlitz-Zgorzelec on June 2 from achieving a new record number of entrants. 2,695 runners lined up to compete in 18 disciplines on the cross-border route. The increasing popularity of the biggest running event in Görlitz was demonstrated above all by a sharp increase in the number of people from the region entering the beginners’ distance of 5 km. According to the event organizers, this included not only a large number of schoolchildren, but also entire families who jointly made the most of this attractive sports event offered by the Europamarathon organization.

Many sports enthusiasts from further afield now likewise seize this annual opportunity in June to participate in an array of disciplines, traveling from all over Germany as well as from abroad to additionally discover the delights of the Upper Lusatia region. The fun run therefore not only boasts an international field of entrants, but has also become a firm fixture in the annual planning of many runners, walkers, skaters, and hand cyclists. The Europamarathon is incredibly popular in particular thanks to its attractive but also demanding route through Germany and Poland, with the Old Town Bridge that links to the two countries serving as the event highlight. The wide array of entry options is also greatly appreciated, featuring everything from the ultimate discipline of a marathon to smaller distances and the BIRKENSTOCK 2 km kids’ run.

With around 150 runners, BIRKENSTOCK employees from Görlitz, Markersdorf, Bernstadt, and a number of other sites located further afield easily constituted the largest group of entrants representing regional companies. Tomasz Tomczak, who traveled to Görlitz especially from the Polish sales office, crossed the finishing line 3:30:00 after the starting signal was given by the Minister-President of Saxony, Michael Kretschmer. This impressive finishing time put him in tenth place overall and made him the top performer among the company’s enthusiastic sports representatives.

BIRKENSTOCK made it possible for anyone within the workforce who was interested to take part in the largest German-Polish running event by covering the entry fees and providing them with suitable sportswear. To specifically promote young people’s sport, BIRKENSTOCK was additionally the sponsor of the kids’ run. The 2 km route for young runners aged between seven and 13 bore the name of the family-owned enterprise. Managing Director Hilmar Knoll, who is responsible for the largest BIRKENSTOCK site in Upper Lusatia, gave the starting signal for this discipline.

BIRKENSTOCK presented an array of its popular sandals to the spectators and participants at an info stand at the start/finish area and showcased itself as one of the biggest private employers in the region. The long-standing company’s quality products, which are in high demand around the world, are made for the global market in Upper Lusatia, with their production involving a great deal of handcraftsmanship. Just under half of the company’s approximately 4,300 employees work at the sites in Saxony.


BIRKENSTOCK is a global lifestyle brand with a heritage in iconic footwear, rooted in the creation of the BIRKENSTOCK footbed that can be traced as far as 1774. The notion of quality and function guides the brand in all its actions and across categories. The concept of all-round wellbeing is developed into footwear, sleeping systems and Natural Cosmetics, increasingly translating the lifestyle vision of the brand heritage. With more than 4,300 employees worldwide, this traditional, sixth-generation family-run business is also one of the German footwear industry’s biggest employers. BIRKENSTOCK was already using the term “footbed” in the 1910s, giving it the meaning which is commonly understood by consumers all over the world to this day – as a synonym for outstanding comfort when walking and standing. By the early 1970s, BIRKENSTOCK had become a global player. Manufactured in Germany, the sandals are now sold in more than 100 countries on all continents. BIRKENSTOCK also has a growing range of closed shoes, children’s shoes, and occupational footwear, as well as specialist products for orthopedic retailers, socks, bags, and belts. In 2017, BIRKENSTOCK added sleep systems and natural cosmetics (BIRKENSTOCK NATURAL SKIN CARE) to its portfolio of products. The company is headquartered in Neustadt (Wied). BIRKENSTOCK has 13 sites in Germany, in the states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse, Bavaria, and Saxony. The long-standing family-owned enterprise also operates its own sales offices in the United States and Canada as well as in Brazil, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Denmark, Spain, the United Kingdom and Dubai.

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