MMK develops Magnitogorsk’s city brand
"Our company, while remaining one of the leaders in the steel market, is working on the perception of Magnitogorsk – the city of "iron people", as it was perceived during the Soviet era, is becoming a city of new ideas, new opportunities and modern trends," stressed Vladimir Ruga, speaking on the ‘Role of business in the development of city branding’ panel. At the same time, he noted that updating Magnitogorsk’s brand doesn't mean rejecting the city’s historical heritage. The ambitious projects implemented in the city by MMK and personally Victor Rashnikov, Chairman of MMK’s Board of Directors, are helping to develop Magnitogorsk and MMK's brand recognition and attractiveness.
The most ambitious initiative is Attraction, Victor Rashnikov's outstanding privately funded project. Its implementation will help to create a unique urban environment in Magnitogorsk. The Attraction Park will open in 2025. The 400-hectare site, owned by MMK, will house a museum and educational complex, a medical centre, a sports centre, a large children's playground zone and other important facilities. Total investment in the project will amount to RUB 25 billion, and the first facilities will be operational as early as next year.
As Vladimir Ruga noted, Attraction will allow Magnitogorsk to become a city of new opportunities and to increase the city’s appeal – for both residents and tourists: "People need new centres of attraction in Magnitogorsk, new ‘magnets’ which can keep people in their hometown and attract new creative forces, skilled workers, visitors and tourists. Attraction will become such a magnet".
Another aspect of MMK's activities that directly develops Magnitogorsk’s brand is its work to diversify the use of the company-owned resorts on Lake Bannoye and in Abzakovo. The combination of unique nature and modern infrastructure attracts more than 200,000 tourists to MMK's resorts every year. The resorts host sports competitions, including international ones, as well as cyber-security and robotics conferences and presentation forums. Experts from all of Russia as well as from abroad take part in these events. Through the synergy of MMK's corporate and affiliate brands, these events help external audiences to learn about Magnitogorsk as a centre for science and sports and a welcoming city which produces new opportunities year by year.
The ‘Steel Route: Excursions to MMK’ project has been running since 2017 and also played a significant role in strengthening Magnitogorsk’s brand. Within this project, the company is developing industrial tourism: during last 3.5 years, more than 16,000 tourists have visited the plant. Many of them came to Magnitogorsk specifically for this reason.
Vladimir Ruga noted that aside from the visual and material component, Magnitogorsk’s brand needs a strong communication component, and that MMK as a city-forming enterprise is doing a lot to shape and promote a renewed brand for the city.
Baltic Weekend is Europe's largest international communications forum, a platform for open dialogue between companies, agencies, the public sector and academics. The 2021 Forum takes place on 9-10 September in St Petersburg.