Oberhofen / Zug / Wollerau, Switzerland – The International Ski Federation (FIS) has today announced the establishment of a new company called FIS Marketing AG, together with its marketing partners Tridem Sports and Infront Sports & Media.
The strategic joint venture has the objective of enhancing the value of FIS marketing rights and developing sponsorship projects as well as providing improved service to FIS partners. FIS will be the majority shareholder of FIS Marketing AG with Tridem Sports and Infront Sports & Media holding the remaining shares as equal partners.
The new company will be based in Switzerland, incorporated under Swiss law and headed by Christian Pirzer, CEO of Tridem Sports. FIS Marketing AG will be structured as an independent and separately staffed entity tasked with the sales and handling of FIS controlled marketing rights. Both agency partners will contribute their substantial knowledge and expertise in winter sport and serve as the preferred providers to the new company with event and marketing services and consultancy.
Single point of access for top FIS World Cup rights
The rights portfolio of the new company is being established and will include FIS World Cup title sponsorships and the data/timing packages across the disciplines. Marketing rights to the specific FIS World Cup events are held by the respective National Ski Associations. FIS Marketing AG's services will also be available to other organizations in the ski world, including National Ski Associations and ski clubs.
FIS President Gian Franco Kasper said: “This is a milestone in the history of FIS. It represents the realization of a long-standing intention to strengthen our marketing expertise and resources, in order to exploit the commercial rights to our flagship events to the full benefit of the sport.” He added: “This is a win-win proposition for all parties involved. Equally importantly, it will deliver tangible benefits for the commercial partners of skiing. FIS remains in full control of its rights while taking advantage of external, specialist know-how from tried and trusted partners.”
Christian Pirzer, CEO of Tridem Sports, said: “This is a big and exciting step forward for our relatively young agency and we are committed to making the joint venture a success. We know that our small but highly experienced team will make a considerable contribution to the new company. Personally, I am very proud to be heading the operation.”
Philippe Blatter, President & CEO, Infront Sports & Media, said: “This business confirms Infront’s leading position in winter sports for the long-term and also takes our partnership with FIS to a new level. Infront is not only receptive to, but also a driving force for innovative partnership concepts in sports. We know from experience that they can work out very well in practice. This development further broadens our involvement in top level skiing and demonstrates that we are a sought after partner.”
Founded in 1924 during the first Olympic Winter Games in Chamonix, France, the International Ski Federation (FIS) aims to promote the sport of skiing and snowboarding and directs the development of all ski and snowboarding activities world-wide. It administers the Olympic disciplines of Alpine Skiing, Cross-Country Skiing, Ski Jumping, Nordic Combined, Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding, including setting the international competition rules. With the help of its 110 member nations (one currently suspended), FIS stages more than 6’000 ski and snowboard competitions annually. FIS also makes recommendations for recreational skiing and snowboarding in the interest of all and promotes play in the snow as a healthy leisure activity for children and the youth.
About Infront Sports & Media
Infront Sports & Media, based in Zug, Switzerland, is a top global full service sports marketing companies with a capacity for innovation that is helping to transform the industry. In the winter sports arena, it is the strongest, most experienced agency, representing six out of seven Olympic winter sport federations at international level. This includes exclusive partnerships with the international federations responsible for biathlon (IBU), curling (WCF), ice hockey (IIHF), luge (FIL), skeleton and bob (FIBT) as well as skiing (FIS).
Infront’s involvement in skiing is comprehensive. It markets the majority of the races in FIS World Cup series (media and marketing rights) on a collective basis, through agreements with several National Ski Associations and Local Organizing Committees. Currently, Infront also distributes the title and presenting sponsorships of all FIS World Cup events in the Nordic disciplines. Just recently the company has introduced a new, streamlined sponsorship platform for the FIS Alpine World Cup and also completed a separate ‘optimization’ project with FIS, designed to fine-tune the FIS Alpine World Cup’s promotional activities and further increase the standard of event organization. Infront has 500 employees across 23 offices in 10 countries.
About Tridem Sports
Swiss-based sports marketing agency Tridem Sports was founded in 2008 by Christian Pirzer, the former European head of sports and entertainment at IMG. The company handles the exploitation of the commercial rights of the FIS Alpine and Nordic World Ski Championships in 2011 and 2013 on behalf of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). Tridem is based in Wollerau, Switzerland and currently employs five staff.