Staging the 2010 IIHF World Championship Opening Game in the Veltins-Arena football stadium, Infront broke a world record, whilst proving a capacity for industry innovation.
Generating benefits for sponsors and sport
In 2010, Infront, operating jointly with the German Ice Hockey Association (DEB), held the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Germany. In total, 16 teams competed in the tournament of 56 games from 7 – 23 May, in the venues of Gelsenkirchen, Cologne and Mannheim. As part of its role handling the sponsorship, marketing and media sales of the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, Infront drove the innovative idea to locate the opening game of the Championship in the Veltins-Arena football stadium. Furthermore, Infront had to ensure the perfect conditions for the teams, the media and host broadcast operation as well as all commercial partners and create an attractive entertainment programme for visitors to cover the entire day. The project involved five years of planning to convert the football stadium into a world-class ice hockey arena, installing an ice rink of 60 x 30 metres on the surface below the pitch and erecting 16,000 extra seats.
Elevating ice-hockey to a completely new level of public interest in Germany
The opening game had an overall seating capacity of over 76,000 and was a sell-out at 77,803. It delivered strong global exposure on television, a world record in audience on site, entertaining sponsor activities, a thrilling game and significantly raised the attractiveness of the tournament as an efficient communication platform for international top brands. The positive start to the tournament also inspired a high level of attendance thereafter, with close to 550,000 spectators attending the games throughout the Championship. Infront, as one of the key drivers of the project, created a unique and innovative platform for ice hockey’s future success in Germany.
The 2010 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship opening game topped the world record for ‘most spectators at an ice hockey game’.
The tournament attracted a record cumulative television audience of more than 700 million watching 2,000 hours of broadcast coverage.
Infront, together with the Organising Committee of the 2010 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, won the Sports Innovation Award at the International Sports Event Management (ISEM) Conference in London.