BMW becomes Main Sponsor of major IBU biathlon events

Infront signs a sponsorship agreement with German car giant for IBU World Cup and IBU World Championships Biathlon

Munich, Germany / Vienna, Austria – BMW strengthens its commitment to winter sport. The international sports marketing agency Infront Sports & Media has – through its Infront Austria subsidiary - signed a contract with the German car brand as official main sponsor of the IBU World Cup and the IBU World Championships Biathlon. The company will benefit from strategic product placement and branding in prime locations at the various event venues. Beyond that, BMW will also become the official car partner of the IBU.

Biathlon - One of the most popular winter sports

The e.on Ruhrgas IBU World Cup Biathlon runs throughout the winter season and consists of a series of nine events regularly staged in the strong winter sports markets of Europe and North America. As one of the most popular winter sports in Europe, biathlon achieves excellent television viewing figures especially in Austria, Finland, Germany, Norway, Russia and Sweden. The IBU World Championships are held annually, except during the year of the winter Olympics.

"Biathlon epitomises endurance and precision - two attributes that suit the BMW brand brilliantly," said Karsten Engel, BMW’s Vice President Sales Germany. "We want to allow our customers to experience this fascinating sport directly. The Biathlon World Cup and Biathlon World Championships provide outstanding platforms for this purpose."

Excellent brand exposure for BMW

As main sponsor of the IBU Biathlon events BMW will benefit from several efficient communication platforms in prime locations of the biathlon stadiums and courses. Sponsorship rights include exclusive product placement in camera view, additional venue advertising, branding of athletes bibs and the possibility of on-site promotions.

Bruno Marty, Executive Director Winter Sports at Infront, commented: “The Infront Group already has a track record in providing services in motor sports to BMW. We are really excited that we are now able to get the brand involved in winter sports and hope that this will develop into another long-term partnership for an Infront-promoted sport.”

Dr Stefan Seykora, Managing Director Infront Austria, said: “We have once again demonstrated that we are able to target the right commercial partners for biathlon. To add BMW to the already impressive list of international brands in the IBU World Cup and the World Championships is a great achievement for all involved. Biathlon’s and BMW’s image work well together and I’m expecting excellent results all round, in particular as biathlon will continue to receive much enhanced television exposure at an impressive level of 1,400 programme hours per annum.”

As the IBU World Cup Main Sponsor BMW will join title sponsor e.on Ruhrgas (energy), as well as presenting sponsors Viessmann (heating systems), DKB (banking), Erdinger (beer), Bauhaus (DIY retail), Ehrmann (diary products) and adidas (sports apparel).

IBU event schedule 2010/11

29.11. - 05.12.2010 Östersund, Sweden (e.on Ruhrgas IBU World Cup)

06.12. - 12.12.2010 Hochfilzen, Austria (e.on Ruhrgas IBU World Cup)

13.12. - 19.12.2010 Pokljuka, Slovenia (e.on Ruhrgas IBU World Cup)

03.01. - 09.01.2011 Oberhof, Germany (e.on Ruhrgas IBU World Cup)

10.01. - 16.01.2011 Ruhpolding, Germany (e.on Ruhrgas IBU World Cup)

17.01. - 23.01.2011 Antholz-Anterselva; Italy (e.on Ruhrgas IBU World Cup)

31.01. - 06.02.2011 Presque Isle, USA (e.on Ruhrgas IBU World Cup)

14.02. - 20.02.2011 Fort Kent, USA (e.on Ruhrgas IBU World Cup)

03.03. - 13.03.2011 Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia (IBU World Championships)

14.03. - 20.03.2011 Holmenkollen, Norway (e.on Ruhrgas IBU World Cup)

About BMW

The BMW Group is one of the most successful manufacturers of automobiles and motorcycles in the world with its BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands. As a global company, the BMW Group operates 24 production facilities in 13 countries and has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.

The success of the BMW Group has always been built on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy. As a result of its efforts, the BMW Group has been ranked industry leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes for the last five years.

Infront and Winter Sports

Infront Sports & Media, based in Zug, Switzerland, is the strongest, most experienced marketing agency in  winter sports. It has focused strongly on developing its role in recent years, to the point that it now represents six of the seven Olympic winter sport federations at international level. This includes a long-term partnership with the IIHF in world ice hockey and a major role in international skiing, where it manages more than 90% of the media and/or marketing rights to FIS World Cup events. Partnerships with the FIBT for bobsleigh and skeleton, FIL for luge, the IBU for biathlon and the WCF for curling complete Infront’s winter sports portfolio. As a result Infront is able to offer the very best winter sports opportunities from one central source.

Infront and the IBU – a marketing success

Infront Austria has shared a close sponsor marketing cooperation with the International Biathlon Union (IBU) since the early 90’s. It is responsible for all tour- and event-sponsoring rights of the IBU relating to the IBU World Cup and World Championships Biathlon up to and including 2013/2014. In addition, Infront Austria has also acquired the respective rights of numerous national federations and organisers. This has resulted in Infront being able to offer sponsors highly efficient “one-stop” services around both the World Cup and World Championships, presenting Biathlon as an attractive international communication platform.