STAWAG and CHIO Aachen: Striving for more sustainability at the World Equestrian Festival for 25 years

STAWAG has had close ties to the equestrian sport in Aachen since the 1980s already – the traditional company sponsored the silver medal at the 1986 World Championships via the City of Aachen. The first cooperation agreement for the CHIO Aachen followed in the year 1999.

Floodlit classes, photovoltaic systems and CHIO-STAWAG-TV are just some of the aspects that shape the partnership between the energy service provider and the CHIO Aachen. Dr. Christian Becker and Wilfried Ullrich, who form the Executive Board of STAWAG, talked about the developments over the past 25 years.


A quarter of a century of sponsoring – a long time, over the course of which a lot has happened. Tell me your thoughts about the development of the partnership and also that of the CHIO Aachen?
Dr. Christian Becker: In my opinion the development of the partnership was always very harmonious. We have a really professional partner in the whole ART and ALRV team. The CHIO Aachen is a very significant event for the region, which also brings our company an absolutely positive advertising effect every time.
Wilfried Ullrich: My first point of contact with the CHIO Aachen was in 2004, watching the four-in-hand driving in the Forest of Aachen with my children back then. For me, as somebody from the region, it was indeed a radical change, when everything was centralised at the Soers in 2006. It was a positive step for the show, which increased the presence of the event even further.
2006 is a good cue, regarding the infrastructure. Since then we have enjoyed that special evening atmosphere with world-famous classes like the Mercedes-Benz Nations’ Cup as floodlit events, also thanks to STAWAG.
Becker: These classes in that unique atmosphere have become an integral part of the event. They have established themselves to such an extent that I can hardly believe that the floodlights have only been there for just under 20 years. Incidentally, for my friends from the equestrian scene the Mercedes-Benz Nations’ Cup is THE event of all events. The tickets for this pageant are, alongside the Rolex Grand Prix, the most coveted among our clientele. Which is why it is great that further floodlit competitions are meanwhile staged on the Wednesday and the Saturday. Riding simply connects people and the CHIO Aachen is a fantastic platform for activating and keeping business contacts alive.
In the meantime your company shows its commitment in many ways. With the STAWAG Stand, the STAWAG Opening Jumping Competition and the STAWAG-Prize on Thursday, but also with the STAWAG obstacle in the cross country and CHIO-STAWAG-TV in the Main Stadium. How important is it to you as a company that you are visible as a regional firm in the scope of the worldwide famous CHIO Aachen?
Becker: Extremely important! Above all the screens in the Main Stadium offer us added value. We are namely not especially dependent on being present on TV all the time, our target group is indeed regional, and they are also here in the stadium on-site. So, here the screens with the CHIO-STAWAG-TV and of course also our stand are very beneficial because we need a huge amount of presence. We are very grateful that we can tread these paths together.
Ullrich: It also fits in very well with the step we are now taking in the region with our corporate development and the merger with enwor. The CHIO Aachen is not only relevant for the city and the entire district of Aachen, but also beyond and attracts a huge audience.
STAWAG and the CHIO Aachen share significant values, namely themes like social responsibility and sustainability in the environmental sector. How is this reflected in the partnership?
Becker: As a company we stand for sustainability. Charging stations, the provision of green electricity, regenerative own power generation on the grounds – the partnership becomes even closer through such themes, because it is even more perceivable then.
Ullrich: The theme Youth is also firmly anchored in our DNA. School projects and cooperations on energy topics belong to this just as much as sponsoring shirts in the field of sports. That is why the CHIO Aachen Children’s Day, which is staged on our stand, serves as a perfect building block. This increases the event’s reach and underlines its folk festival character.
What other themes are on the agenda in future for the partnership between STAWAG and CHIO Aachen?
Becker: We will continue to accompany the development that the ALRV has laid out for itself with our expertise in the future. This entails for instance photovoltaic systems on the roofs, the expansion of the Sportpark Soers, but also the CHIO Aachen CAMPUS. This fits into our focus on the promotion of youth and of mass sports. We intend to provide continued support on the theme of sustainability as well, to ensure the show has a long-term perspective. But I am not worried about that at all!

The photo shows the two board members of STAWAG, Dr. Christian Becker and Wilfried Ullrich, together with the winner of the STAWAG-Prize at the CHIO Aachen 2023 and ALRV Supervisory Board member Dr. Thomas Förl. Photo: CHIO Aachen/Michael Strauch

The photo shows the two board members of STAWAG, Dr. Christian Becker and Wilfried Ullrich, together with the winner of the STAWAG-Prize at the CHIO Aachen 2023 and ALRV Supervisory Board member Dr. Thomas Förl. Photo: CHIO Aachen/Michael Strauch