FIA WEC, 24 Hours of Le Mans and Infront agree three-year renewal of exclusive media rights partnership
World's leading motorsports endurance series extends agreement as Super Season continues
Paris, Zug / France, Switzerland – The FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC), which includes the world-renowned 24 Hours of Le Mans, has extended its exclusive media rights deal with Infront by another three years.
The partnership extension means Infront will market all global media rights for the 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons. The agreement includes all WEC races and the next three editions of the classic 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Infront has been marketing media rights for the FIA WEC since 2015, ensuring wider coverage than ever before.
The first three races of this season reached a cumulative audience of over 200m with worldwide coverage of the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2018 in almost 200 countries.
New format focuses on season finale fireworks
This year saw the introduction of a new calendar format for the WEC, moving from a traditional annual race calendar to a cross-year format with the 24 Hours of Le Mans as the final round. To make the transition, the first season has been dubbed a 'Super Season', lasting 14 months and featuring eight different races including two editions of Le Mans.
So far, the season has featured the TOTAL 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans, 6 Hours of Silverstone and 6 Hours of Fuji.
Teams were in action last weekend in Japan and will now move on to the 6 Hours of Shanghai. The remainder of the Super Season will be held in 2019, with the 1000 Miles of Sebring, the 2019 edition of the TOTAL 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps before concluding at the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The 2018/19 season has benefitted from the presence of 2005 and 2006 Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso – who claimed victory at the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans this June with Toyota Gazoo Racing alongside Kazuki Nakajima and Sébastien Buemi – as well as 2009 Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button.
The 2019/20 season will begin with the 4 Hours of Silverstone on 1 September 2019 and conclude at the 24 Hours of Le Mans from 13-14 June 2020. The calendar sees a return for the WEC to two popular venues, the 8 Hours of Bahrain on 14 December 2019, and the 6 Hours of São Paulo on 1 February 2020 – with the season also set to visit Asia, Europe, and North America.
Stephan Herth, Infront Senior Vice-President said: "This season's FIA WEC has already been a huge success thanks to the new format as well as its ability to attract world class drivers – and we are only halfway through. For us, that is a clear sign that this series remains a huge draw for motorsport fans and we are pleased to be able to add our expertise within the world of media rights to help bring the races to an ever-expanding audience."
Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO): “As founder of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and promoter of the FIA WEC, we at the ACO are delighted to continue this partnership with Infront. They have done an excellent job in ensuring that Le Mans, one of the biggest and best-known motorsport events in the world, can be viewed on a worldwide basis. That can only be good for endurance racing across the globe.”
Gérard Neveu, CEO FIA WEC: “Working with Infront is a great pleasure, and we are very happy they have embraced our Super Season format with such enthusiasm. That energy in marketing our media rights, together with the excellent quality of competitors we have in the WEC this year, has seen an increase in TV viewing figures for the first three races of this year. This is very rewarding for everyone concerned, and we are confident that our visibility will continue to grow in the seasons to come.”
Infront is a leading sports marketing company managing a comprehensive portfolio of top properties. Infront covers all aspects of successful sporting events, including the distribution of media rights, sponsorship, media production, event operation and digital solutions. Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, Infront has a team of more than 1,000 staff working from 39 offices across more than 14 countries, delivering 4,100 event days of top class sport around the world every year. In 2015, Infront was integrated into Wanda Sports Group, part of Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group.
About FIA WEC
The WEC is the most successful and fan-followed international sportscar championship in the world, offering motor manufacturers a real-world relevance to advances in road car design and crossover technology, performance and safety. Strong, stable regulations allow for complex yet beautiful sports prototypes, with technology from the latest in hybrid technology to sophisticated, independent chassis competing at the highest levels, and the world’s leading luxury car marques going head-to-head in the GT categories. Over 34 cars are on track at the same time, leading to action, excitement, endless passing and entertainment for fans worldwide.
The WEC offers teams, drivers, partners and stakeholders a unique stage on which to compete, at premier race circuits around the world. Ranked alongside the Olympics, the Super Bowl and the soccer World Cup, the cornerstone of the WEC remains one of the world’s greatest sporting events, the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June each year. The championship regularly contests an 8-round calendar across Europe, the Americas, Asia and the Middle East – a true World Championship.