House of Switzerland

Showcasing Switzerland at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo

The Federal Council announced today that a House of Switzerland will showcase the country at the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo. The objective is to position Switzerland as an attractive and innovative country to a wide Japanese and international audience and to promote Swiss interests.

The Summer Olympic Games will be held in Tokyo from 24 July to 9 August 2020 and the Summer Paralympic Games from 25 August to 6 September 2020. With its decision today, the Federal Council has given a mandate to Presence Switzerland (PRS), a unit of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), to leverage these major sporting events as a platform for promoting the country internationally. The House of Switzerland (HoS) will portray a positive picture of the country and its diversity. It is one of the elements of the Federal Council’s communication strategy abroad. The Federal Council has earmarked a budget of CHF 4.4 million for this purpose. Over one third of this amount will come from sponsors.

Switzerland has been setting up an HoS at the Olympic Games since 2004 to serve as a platform for Swiss sport and for Switzerland’s communication activities abroad. During Olympic Games, the HoS is used for medal ceremonies, press conferences, receptions, networking and for promoting Swiss industry and Switzerland as an investment destination. It also allows the Federal Administration and its partners from industry, science and culture to showcase Switzerland to Japanese and international audiences as a country that is cosmopolitan, sports-loving, an attractive tourist destination, innovative and yet mindful of tradition.

Major sporting events such as the Olympics have tremendous emotional appeal and are consequently highly effective platforms for achieving visibility and media impact, as they draw widespread attention both in the host country and across the world. They are thus especially suited for reaching out to wider audiences – directly as well as via traditional and new media. At the same time, such major events also provide a context for organising special events to connect with more specific target audiences, such as opinion leaders in politics, business, media, sport and culture.

Switzerland’s experience with having an HoS at the Olympic Games in London (2012), Sochi (2014) and Rio de Janeiro (2016) was very positive. The presence of an HoS during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio was a huge success both in terms of the number of visitors and the media coverage generated. The targeted use of Brand Switzerland allows the Federal Administration and its partners to leverage this interest to showcase Switzerland and its strengths, representing Swiss interests on the global stage and building relationship networks.

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