Ljubljana, 17. 12. 2021 - On Friday, 17 December 2021, the winners of the SPORTO Award for the best examples of good practice in the field of sponsorships, (digital) communication and sports marketing in Slovenia and the wider Adriatic area were announced. A special award by the international SPORTO jury was presented to the SIJ Group.

The best marketing projects in the world of sports and sponsorships are selected at the international SPORTO conference. The chair of this year’s international jury was the President of the European Sponsorship Association (ESA), Andy Westlake. The seven-person jury also included: Tina Cipot (Head of Corporate Communications, Lidl Slovenia), Uroš Stanić (Marketing Consultant at HNK Rijeka), Matjaž Germ (Creative Director at Agencija 101), Lea Lipovšek (Partner Marketing Advisor at Microsoft, representative of the Slovenian Marketing Association), Urban Kramberger (Brand Manager at Pivovarna Laško Union) and Olivera Nikodijević (Marketing Director at Apatin Brewery).

“I’m not missing anything” (Lidl Slovenia and Slovenian Paraolympic Committee), “Pogačar can also overcome hunger” (Engrotuš), “Slovenian Torch - We've got an Olympic Dream” (Olympic Committee of Slovenia – Association of Sports Federations), “Argeta takes over Planica 2021” (Atlantic Droga Kolinska – Argeta) and “We've got this. We've got Tokyo!” (Olympic Committee of Slovenia – Association of Sports Federations) are the winners in the four categories and one subcategory of the SPORTO Awards 2021 as the best examples of good practice in the field of sponsorships and the best sports marketing projects in the Adriatic area.

A special award by the international jury, chaired by the President of the European Sponsorship Association (ESA), Andy Westlake, was granted to the SIJ – Slovenian Steel Group for the Slovenian Torch as part of the Mind of Steel project, which received the special award by the SPORTO jury in 2019.

SPORTO Awards are given to examples of best practice in the field of sponsorships and sports marketing. The SPORTO Awards can be entered by projects, campaigns and events containing a combination of a sports theme and communication with a target audience. They are presented in partnership with the European Sponsorship Association, while the national partner in Slovenia is the Slovenian Marketing Association.


The Slovenian Torch as a bow to the Olympic spirit and the mind of steel

SIJ – Slovenian Steel Group activates its sports sponsorships through the Mind of Steel project. Carrying the Slovenian Torch, featuring a crown and Olympic rings both made of recycled steel, we set out on a 7,118-kilometre-long journey around Slovenia that took 82 days. We brought together the durability and usability of steel, 400 years of steel-making and the Olympic spirit. With Petra Majdič, the Mind of Steel Ambassador, we brought the mind of steel to all 212 Slovenian municipalities, Slovenians abroad, vulnerable groups, employees, potential employees, local communities, the general public and Olympic athletes. 9,330 torchbearers received our mind of steel bracelet, which cyclist Primož Roglič wore when he won an Olympic gold medal.



SIJ Group is the largest vertically integrated metallurgical group in Slovenia. Its products occupy top positions in European and global niche steel markets. It is among the ten largest corporate groups, among the largest exporters, and one of the most important employers in Slovenia.


Additional information:

SIJ – Slovenska industrija jekla, d.d.

Katja Krumpak, Head of Corporate Communications

Corporate Communications

Telephone: +386 1 242 98 59

Mobile: +386 1 41 814 041

Email: katja.krumpak@sij.si