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How iLOQ used the CHL's unique competition and digital enhanced sponsorship platform to unlock growth

Fungai Alexander Mapondera
2 min read

Leading digital and mobile locking brand iLOQ has unlocked a wealth of opportunities for growth through an innovative partnership with the Champions Hockey League (CHL), says the company’s Chief Marketing Officer Joni Lampinen.

Working with Infront since 2018, iLOQ partnered with Europe’s premier ice hockey tournament to open up sales and brand engagement potential through the CHL’s vibrant event ecosystem, which aligned perfectly with the Finnish company’s target markets and tech-driven strategy.

“The CHL is ready-made for iLOQ - we share a footprint across 12 of 14 participating territories. It’s the ideal platform for partnership, and has already unlocked several new contacts and sales leads,” says Lampinen. “It offers value way beyond traditional sponsorships, especially through its digital possibilities.”

Sports marketing expert and Fund Sport Business founder Rodrigo Garza has also singled out the CHL as a highly attractive platform for partners to grow their businesses because of its unique ecosystem and reach.

A digital match

With this in mind, Infront devised the tailor-made “Unlocked by iLOQ” activation, which matched iLOQ’s tech focus with the CHL’s popular digital assets to optimise visibility via the CHL app, highlights, player cards and live-streamed locker room footage. Fan favourites such as the “Unlocked by iLOQ” branded CHL app have notched up 400,000 starts, while iLOQ branded game highlights have attracted some 800,000 views. “Digital activation is at the heart of our partnership - the CHL’s innovative model was a big pull,” says Lampinen. “We’ve integrated messaging across their platforms - for example, as the official presenter of pioneering, live streamed pre-match locker room footage. That’s been a huge success, and has unlocked content for fans in an area that they did not have access to before.”

As a result, the creator of the world’s first self-powered digital and mobile access control systems has connected with almost one million fans in arenas around Europe and 1.2 million unique users. It features as one of four sponsors in the CHL mode of EA Sports’ popular NHL 20 video game.



Unlocking the ecosystem

The iLOQ brand took centre stage on the ice during the 2018/19 playoffs, alongside traditional activations throughout the each season such as board signage, big screen advertising, backdrops and hospitality.

But it hasn’t stopped there. As sports marketing expert Garza has explained, the CHL acts as a “powerful club of business opportunities”. As an example of this, the iLOQ partnership has taken the concept of sponsorship a step further by unlocking and harnessing the potential of stakeholder and client relationships, from “experiences that money can’t buy” for clients to high-level introductions throughout the CHL ecosystem, and assistance with travel and meetings.

“With Infront, for example, we invited a select group of customers to the CHL Final 2019 in Gothenburg with an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the Scandinavium, which included access to the broadcasting team in action, visits to the locker rooms, interactions with coaches and players, and high-VIP hospitality with the Infront and CHL teams, as well as the CHL champions Frölunda Indians,” says Lampinen.

“As a memento, our guests each received a customised CHL jersey - it was an incredible, unforgettable experience and a fantastic way to cement and deepen relationships with our clients. We’ll be doing it all again in 2020!”

Alongside catering for existing clients, the partnership has focused on connecting iLOQ with new potential business within the CHL family, and beyond.


Partners on and off the ice

In late 2018, an official letter from CHL CEO Martin Baumann was sent to the CEOs and general managers of all 32 competing teams to introduce iLOQ, with an in-depth overview of what the firm has to offer through its smart locking solutions.

With security a key concern for venues, Infront has presented the iLOQ brand and services to the management teams of arenas in the 12 participating CHL countries, with several operators showing an interest in meeting the leading digital access company.

“The CHL also organises a friendly game amongst sponsors, which nurtures opportunities for collaboration - it’s one big family working together, on and off the ice,” Lampinen says.