A Visit to the EcoSport Challenge Kick-Off in Düsseldorf

Exactly a week ago I traveled to Düsseldorf’s assigned by Ford to join the kick-off event of the EcoSport Challenge. I have never been to Düsseldorf before, so I was glad for the opportunity to get to know another German big city. Especially the area of the Media Harbor where the event took place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel was quite interesting with lots of interesting pieces of architecture, the three buildings by star architect Gehry being the most amazing ones.

At the event all the 8 teams that will compete against each other in the coming weeks were introduced and I also got to meet the two hosts Alina from Frida Gold and Jan from VIVA. Both of them sat down with me to talk about Berlin, which is were they both live, as well as challenges and their upcoming projects. A little review and my interview after the jump.

During the day of the kick-off all teams were briefed for the contest and prepared for the challenges. They had to go through several steps which included being interviewed by Jan Köppen, being consulted by some social media experts and getting introduced to their new gadgets such as smartphone, camera and of course the new Ford EcoSport. Of course there were complimentary drinks and an amazing buffet to keep us all fit for the day. In the end of the event everyone got into their car and took off one by one into the exciting weeks that are ahead of them.

On Wednesday the first challenge started: The Banana Roadtrip. You can follow the ongoings and documentation of the teams over at the EcoSport Challenge website.

While the contestants were busy I took Alina and Jan to the side and asked them a few questions. Both of them live in Berlin, Jan for a long time and Alina moved here only recently.

What is the biggest challenge of coming to live in Berlin?

Alina: Coming here and not getting caught up in the negative sides of all the fuzz going on here is somewhat a challenge that I was faced. But I think I came pretty much prepared for that and already in a state of mind that prevented me from a lot of things. I live pretty much far away from all of it and don’t get too involved.

Jan: The biggest challenge of coming to Berlin is actually arriving here. It took me a really long time to feel like I actually did, especially since Berlin is a city that’s not really the type of place where you would settle down for good. And the fact that Berlin is always changing makes it also almost impossible to feel like you have finally arrived.

What are your favorite places in Berlin?

Alina: My favorite place in Berlin is my beautiful apartment in Charlottenburg. I never thought I would be able to have such a grown-up place already and it feels almost unreal that I do. It’s also our new Frida Gold headquarters because we built our studio in there as well. I also enjoy the nearby Grunewald a lot.

Jan: My favorite place is not really a place, but a time: Summer in Berlin. For some reason the feeling in this city in Spring and Summer is a different one than anywhere else in the world and that makes it really special.

Jan, what challenge would you like to give to Alina?

I would like for her to storm into the studio of the Tagesschau news show dressed in a monkey costume and with a sign that reads: “Free Angelina Jolie!”

Alina, which challenge would be the most horrible for you?

One thing that I am really sensitive about is food. Having to eat some weird, disgusting things, or even just bad food would gross me out so much. I could never do that.

What is next in line for you? Any exciting projects coming up?

Alina: We are about to release our new single “6 Billionen” which is a very special song to me and I can’t wait to get this baby out. We’re going to shoot the video in the coming weeks and I’m really excited about it. It’s going to be the final single release of our second album and I’m glad we got to do this one. In the summer we’ll be doing some gigs and than it’s back into the studio.

Jan: I’m currently hosting the TV show YPS on RTLnitro based on the popular magazine of the same name. The 8th episode that’s airing the week after next has an 80s theme and I wrote and performed an 80s-style song for it. We also shot a video for that which is going to be quite hilarious I think. I’m looking forward for that to come out.

Thanks for your time!


We hope all the contributions of the contestants of the EcoSport Challenge are  going to be as hilarious as Jan’s 80s music video. Stay tuned for more and keep track of the challenges here.

Thanks to Ford to the support!

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<a href="https://www.iheartberlin.de/author/admin/" target="_self">Frank</a>



Frank is the founder and editor-in-chief of iHeartBerlin. He takes photos, makes videos, and writes texts mostly about what's going on in Berlin. His vision and interests have shaped iHeartBerlin since its conception back in 2007 - and he hopes to continue bringing you the best of Berlin for many years to come.