Full speed ahead in all channels

#tkgoesPyeongChang | Engineering | People at thyssenkrupp | thyssenkrupp has been collaborating with luge world champions Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken since 2014. The goal is clear: Gold in South Korea. This time in our series about the team behind the world champions we introduce Carola Borovnik.

Monday morning, 8.00 a.m.: When I enter my office in the Components Technology Communications department at thyssenkrupp in Essen, Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken greet me with a smile – as they do every day. On the wall behind my desk you can see us laughing together in photos from video shoots and employee events in Winterberg, Altenberg and Königssee. The boxes in the corner filled with fan articles such as caps, scarves and noisemakers are also full of stories from these events. Since 2014 they’ve been in regular use when we cheer Toni and Sascha on during their races. Over the last four years I’ve also become a passionate luge fan.

In at the deep end with the luge project

It all began in 2011 with my integrated study course at thyssenkrupp. The work of the Group’s communications departments fascinated me most. So I was really pleased to be taken on by the Communications department at Components Technology after completing my apprenticeship. I’d only been at the new department for six months when my boss asked me to “take a look at the luge project”. The prospect of supporting the two elite athletes with professional PR and communications in the future excited me straightaway. Although I had no experience of sponsorship activities and had never had anything to do with winter sports, I quickly became fond of the luge project and the colleagues involved, especially after the first video shoot at Königssee – even though I had to leave my grandmother’s Boxing Day party early to be there.

Photos, films and friendship

We spent two days at Königssee in Bavaria filming the athletes during training, in the workshop and then in January at the race. It was exciting to assume direct responsibility for the development cooperation and take on my first big project at thyssenkrupp. But I quickly got the feeling that I was on the same wavelength as Toni and Sascha. And their down-to-earth, friendly and approachable attitude made it easy for me. Ultimately this successful launch at Königssee formed the basis for the good collaboration and friendship that has developed over the years. Since then I have supported the two athletes in all communications matters: From support for their website and social media channels and sled branding to reports in the local press and on TV.

Digital communications for thyssenkrupp

Even though the work in the pit stop crew is my favorite project, I am also involved in driving lots of other fascinating topics. In a cutting-edge project I am currently developing a digital signage strategy to improve internal communications at thyssenkrupp’s plants. Important news will soon be broadcasted on screens in the plants so we can reach all our production employees in just a few minutes when we have important information for them – whether in Essen, Shanghai or Puebla. It takes much longer via other communications channels such as noticeboards.

Years of work paying off

Today however the luge project is top of the agenda. I’m currently investing a great deal of energy and time in communications about the games. There are a lot of rules and regulations we need to observe. I am also analyzing the footage from the last World Cup race in Lillehammer. When I follow the races on TV at the weekends it’s great to see that our work is bearing fruit and that we are now consciously perceived and mentioned as technical partner to the two luge racers.

The big trip and the big goal

It’s fantastic that I’m going to be in PyeongChang with Alex Meier, our “Head of Sled Construction”. I will be reporting from South Korea about the country, our activities there and of course the luge races. I will be there for Toni and Sascha as their communications contact as usual, but they’ll have to manage the last stage on the way to gold on the ice track on their own. The two sportsmen are first class and their big goal is within their grasp.

The thyssenkrupp pit stop crew

thyssenkrupp has been collaborating with luge world champions Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken since 2014. Three engineers from the Group are contributing their expertise to make the sled quicker and better every year. The carbon shell has been enhanced, the chassis optimized and the heart of the sled – the runners – have been made even quicker. Two communications experts are also supporting the sportsmen in their work. The goal is clear: Gold in South Korea.

You can find out more about the longstanding collaboration between the luge pair and thyssenkrupp here – along with a profile of our “Head of Sled Construction”. In the article “The steel man” we introduce our expert for the heart of the sled. And you can learn about what carbon has to do with sled construction in the article “Taking the light route to the top”.

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