0Zug, Switzerland – InfrontRingier Sports & Entertainment Switzerland is set to launch this year’s Tour de Suisse – acting as the new event organiser and marketing partner as part of a major partnership with Swiss Cycling. Starting on 13 June through till 21 June, this year’s Tour de Suisse is the first time that InfrontRingier will handle full event operations. Approximately 300 people will be working on the ground across the nine stages of the event to ensure its success and appeal to an anticipated 1 million spectators, as well as to TV viewers in approximately 100 countries and territories.
The challenging Tour de Suisse course, which runs right across Switzerland and takes a detour into Austria, is stretched over nine stages. Introducing a new hub format, the start and finishing weekends will be centered around one region each, increasing awareness and appeal amongst spectators. The individual stages at both weekends will be carried out as circuits within the respective hub regions of Zug and Berne.
Converging professional and leisure cycling
In order to increase the accessibility of professional cycling and the engagement opportunities on site, spectators of all ages will be offered versatile entertainment and activities in addition to the top sport. Side events include the new TdS Challenge (an opportunity for amateur riders to compete in a race on the actual route), a dedicated Kids World (with fun courses, halfpipe and workshop) and a Bike Expo (displaying the latest cycling technology) – all conceptualised to bring pro and leisure cyclists closer together and make the Tour de Suisse an event for everyone.
The broad activation program around the series is also beneficial to the sponsors involved – providing extended engagement opportunities and broadening target groups. InfrontRingier has also streamlined the sponsorship platform to create greater impact and visibility for key partners – including long-term Presenter Vaudoise, and new brands like Official Partners traser (watches – as Timekeeper) and Sölden (tourist area) as well as Co-Partners Assos (apparel) and Hirslanden (private hospital group).
Coverage on five continents
Exposure is further boosted by broadcast coverage into approximately 100 countries and territories on five continents, including China (LeTV), Australia (Fox), Brazil (ESPN) and the USA (Universal). The media rights have been marketed by Infront Sports & Media, the international sports marketing company and joint venture partner for InfrontRingier. The TV signal is produced by Swiss public service broadcaster SRG SSR with the operation featuring several mobile cameras on motorbikes and helicopters. In Switzerland, the channel will provide 90 minutes of live coverage each day.
Olivier Senn, General Director of the Tour de Suisse, comments: “The Tour de Suisse has both improved its standing as a top series in the international cycling scene and at the same time managed to enhance its accessibility for spectators. Furthermore, through a number of side events and activities, the event opens up to new target groups – integrating professional, youth and leisure sport in an attractive and down-to-earth format. As such, the Tour de Suisse will strongly contribute to our overall target of empowering the profile and popularity of cycling in Switzerland as well as beyond.”
Brand features the series’ key characteristics
This is also underlined by the new visual appearance and logo for the 2015 Tour de Suisse. Supported by Infront designers, a new brand identity was created, emphasizing the series’ standing as an international premium race and combining the graphical elements of the sport of cycling as well as the home country Switzerland.
Finally, as an additional novelty under the umbrella of the new Tour de Suisse brand, “The Hour Glass” trophy has been introduced for 2015 – an impressive and weighty new trophy with symbolic meaning. An actual hour glass has been integrated into the center of the award to emphasise the importance of time to the event – a factor that every rider is subjected to over the nine tough TdS stages.
InfrontRingier Sports & Entertainment Switzerland AG, based in Zug, Switzerland, is a 50/50 joint venture between the international sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media and the largest Swiss media group Ringier. It unifies the competencies and experiences of both mother companies and has developed into the leading sports marketing company in Switzerland throughout the last three years. InfrontRingier supports organisers of sports events as well as top athletes as a marketing, consulting and service partner. The high-level national portfolio includes, besides others, the Raiffeisen Super League, the Swiss Ice Hockey Cup, the Basel Swiss Indoors and the Tour de Suisse.