KLINGER Westad sponsors rising biathlon star Ida Lien
Biathlon seems to run in KLINGER Westad's DNA: Several employees are biathletes themselves. In 2020/21 Ida Lien started in the Norwegian national team
At age 23, biathlete Ida Lien has just entered the Norwegian national team. Success seems to run in her DNA: She grew up in a community with a rich culture of winter sports and has been supported by KLINGER Westad for many years.
KLINGER's Norwegian subsidiary, KLINGER Westad, is traditionally strong in sports and community involvement:
„In addition to our support of Ida Lien, we also sponsor local sports clubs in the area,“
says Jørn-Inge Throndsen, Managing Director at KLINGER Westad.
Sponsoring highlights Corporate Social Responsibility
As one of the biggest companies in the municipality, Throndsen regards it as KLINGER Westad's “duty towards society to support sports activities as well as other clubs, in order to create safe spaces for kids and teenagers.” But the commitment to Ida Lien was even more special to the company as some of KLINGER Westad's employees used to train as biathletes themselves. No wonder the whole team was enthusiastic when this promising young athlete approached them for a sponsoring contract.
November 2020: Ida Lien at target practice in Kontiolathi, Finland, where she was competing for the Norwegian National Team.
Competitiveness runs in the DNA
Biathlon seems to run in KLINGER Westad's DNA, the same as it runs in Ida’s family: “My interest in biathlon was always there. I started training at age nine,” says Ida. “My father was doing biathlon until he was 25 and my mother competed in cross-country skiing. And of course: Ole Einar Bjørndalen, the biathlete who ranks all-time second in the Winter Olympics medal-charts, grew up in my hometown, Simonstranda.” Bjørndalen is a great inspiration to Ida, who made her own international debut at the IBU-Cup in 2019.
“As one of the biggest companies in the municipality, it is part of our duty towards society to support sports activities as well as other clubs, in order to create safe spaces for kids and teenagers.”
Jørn-Inge Throndsen, Managing Director at KLINGER Westad
Identifying with KLINGER Westad
KLINGER at that time was already supporting her: “Being an athlete is now my job,” says Ida. “So it’s important for me to have the best skis and equipment available. KLINGER helps me with that. But this sponsorship means more than just money: KLINGER Westad is only five minutes from where my family lives, so it actually feels like my hometown is supporting me.” This is why Ida put the company's logo on her car for everyone to see when she’s driving home after training. In summertime, when she is speeding through the countryside on her roller skis, she regularly passes by the building of KLINGER Westad in Geithus. During winter, she proudly sports the KLINGER logo on her race suit.
Biathlete Ida Lien has been to Austria, KLINGER'S home base, to ski and compete at the IBU-Cup in Obertilliach (Tyrol) and recently at the Biathlon World Cup in Hochfilzen. Conversely, KLINGER'S CEO Christoph Klinger-Lohr took skiing lessons in Norway when he was a boy of six. Now, he loves skiing, but is even more successful in the business world. Seems, like this Norwegian-Austrian connection was meant to be.
Strengthening the Corporate Identity
But personal preferences aside, this sponsorship deal is also an important signal to the public. In January 2021, Westad Industri rebranded to KLINGER Westad. Jørn-Inge Throndsen explains: “With 125 years of history, the roots of Westad are cemented in the local community. Going forward, we want everybody to also know the new brand. So, this is strengthening our reputation and proves the commitment from our Austrian owners.”
2020/21 is the first full season in the Norwegian National Biathlon team for the 23-year-old athlete. The previous season, Ida participated in a couple of races in the World Cup, including one relay race that Norway won. Ida is coached by Patrick Oberegger (from South Tyrol) and Sverre Kaas. Our video interview with her took place while she was at the Biathlon World Cup in Kontiolahti, Finland, just two days before the final race. If you want to know more about Ida, you can follow her on Instagram.
Appealing to future employees
And Throndsen adds: “The additional visibility plays an important role in our employer branding. In a highly competitive niche market, we want the best young people from the local community to seriously consider returning to their home town after university to pursue a career with KLINGER Westad.” Making the brand visible locally is part of that long-term strategy.
What industries does KLINGER WESTAD supply? KLINGER Westad is a leading supplier for the oil, gas and marine industry. Westad designs and manufactures high-performance double- and triple-offset butterfly valves in preferred materials for LNG, LPG, chemicals and other critical applications.
Specific applications in the Marine industry include:
» LNG tankers
» LPG and LEG tanker systems
» Chemical and product tankers
Land-based and Off-Shore applications are:
» LNG liquifaction, handling and storage facilities
» Critical sea-water systems on oil- and gas-producing platforms
» Corrosive service in mining installations
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