The 16th SPORTO sports marketing and sponsorship conference presented the awards for the best regional examples of good practices in sports sponsorship and marketing, and the award for the sports brands of the year in Portorož on 21st November.

The international jury of experts, presided by the chairman of the European Sponsorship Association (ESA) Andy Westlake, awarded projects in various categories.

The SIJ Group's project Mind of Steel, with former champion cross-country skier Petra Majdič as its ambassador, received a special award from the jury. The project is also one of the three finalists in the category of best sponsorships.

At the award ceremony, Andy Westlake pointed out that the Mind of Steel projects represents “a high level of strategic planning and a carefully considered approach of the SIJ Group towards activating sponsorships, for which the Group deserves a special award”, adding that the jury would be following the development of the project closely.

“Nobody in life can guarantee you that you will become the best, or that you will ever even win, but you can always rely on your mind of steel, and work on becoming better every day,” is the Mind of Steel project's key message, and the words mag. Sara Wagner, the Head of Corporate Communication for the SIJ Group, used to express her gratitude for the award. The award was received by the women responsible for corporate communications, and who have been carefully planning and executing the project for the last year: Katja Krumpak of SIJ d.d., Polona Marzel Ahac of SIJ Ravne Systems, and Irena Kolenc Janović of SIJ Acroni. The activities also required the cooperation of Monika Žvikart of SIJ Metal Ravne, and Anja Potočnik of SIJ d.d.

SIJ Group awakens minds of steel

The SIJ Group is part of numerous sports partnerships in Jesenice and Ravne na Koroškem, where its companies operate. SIJ Acroni, SIJ Ravne Systems, and SIJ Metal Ravne sponsor several local sports clubs, and their support gains new dimensions by numerous activities designed to encourage minds of steel, which brings added value to all of the employees of the SIJ Group and the local communities. To raise general awareness on a healthy lifestyle and the significance of physical activity, and to inform the public of the important role of steel in everyday life, the SIJ Group is also a leading national partner of the Olympic Committee of Slovenia (OKS). Together, they work on erecting steel outdoor gyms in towns all across Slovenia and offer scholarships for young athletes who are children of their employees. By working this way and its strategy of corporate sponsorships, the SIJ Group follows its corporate vision of sustainable development, which goes well beyond social responsibility towards the environment and local communities.

Watch the video Mind of Steel Sponsorship Activation Project 2018/19 on SIJ Group Youtube channel.



The SIJ Group is the largest Slovenian vertically-integrated metallurgical group, and works according to the principles of circular economy, occupying leading market positions in European and global niche steel markets. The SIJ Group is one of Slovenia’s largest exporters and is considered a pillar of employment in Jesenice and Ravne na Koroškem.

According to unaudited business data, the SIJ Group created 417.2 million Euros in revenues in the first half of 2019, 84.4 percent of which came from foreign markets. The achieved EBITDA was 38 million Euros, and the EBITDA margin was 9.1 percent. In the first half of 2019, the SIJ Group created 81.2 million Euros of net profit.


Additional information:

SIJ – Slovenska industrija jekla, d.d.
Mag. Sara Wagner, Head of Corporate Communications
Telephone: +386 1 242 98 27
Mobile: +386 1 41 313 532
Email: sara.wagner@sij.si