Cumulative TV audience of over 1.6 billion for tournament
Zug, Switzerland – Infront, a Wanda Sports Group company and the exclusive media and marketing partner of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), broke new records at the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, reaching a cumulative audience of over 1.6 billion, according to data provided by X Media Sports Consulting GmbH. It marked the fourth year in a row the tournament has surpassed one billion viewers.
Over 470,000 fans attended games in Bratislava and Košice with Finland's 3-1 victory over Canada in the final attended by almost 10,000 spectators.
Reaching fans through broadcast and digital
Infront secured broadcast agreements across more than 155 territories, with Infront Productions providing over 200 hours of footage across the whole tournament.
An on-site production team of more than 130 delivered the best moments of the tournament through a 30-camera setup to bring fans to the heart of the action. Broadcast technology for the final weekend included two 4G cameras as well as ultra-slow motion, ref and cable cameras. Linking broadcasters to production operations, a dedicated broadcaster servicing team was on-site at both venues to coordinate activities.
The production was supported through digital activations including behind the scene videos and a new daily podcast, The Totally Ice Hockey Show, which gave over 120,000 listeners an even more in-depth analysis and review from the rink.
In addition, more than 2,500 video clips were published on the IIHF's social media channels delivered by a dedicated digital crew as well as automatically, resulting in over 88m views — an increase of 118 per cent on the previous edition.
Likewise, a partnership with YouTube ensured fans online could easily find the best IIHF content and moments. This was amplified with the newly formed content creator network, which utilised social media influencers from various backgrounds and competing countries who delivered daily content for IIHF platforms.
Creating the best platform for sponsorship activation
The tournament offered the 13 Official Sponsors an ideal platform through which to engage ice hockey fans.
This included ŠKODA –the Guinness World Record holder for longest sponsorship of a world championship through their continued agreement with the IIHF – taking advantage of the tournament to unveil their KAMIQ small-size SUV vehicle.
Sponsors also benefitted from a unique hospitality space, planned and coordinated by Infront. Over 5,000 VIPs enjoyed the exclusive space, gourmet food and service before, during and after games.
Infront Senior Vice President of ProSports Bruno Marty said: "The aim with the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship is the same every year – build and improve on what we have done previously and set a new standard. The 2019 edition was no exception and we have added another layer to the full-service we provide for our long-term partner the IIHF. I look forward to doing the same in 2020 in Switzerland."
The 2020 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship will take place in Zurich and Lausanne, Switzerland from 8-24 May.
The IIHF, founded on 15 May 1908 in Paris, France, is the governing body of international ice hockey. The IIHF features 76 member associations, each of which is the national governing body of the sport in its nation. Besides controlling the international rulebook, processing international player transfers, and dictating officiating guidelines, the IIHF runs numerous development programmes designed to bring hockey to a broader population. The IIHF also presides over ice hockey in the Olympic Games, and over the IIHF World Championships at all levels, men, women, juniors under-20, juniors under-18 and women under-18. Each season, the IIHF in collaboration with its local organising committees, runs around 25 different World Championships in the five different categories.
Besides the world championships, the IIHF also runs a set of European club competitions. In 2008, the IIHF was celebrating its 100-year anniversary, honouring it with a host of ambitious new projects, including naming the Century All Star Team, the 100 Top Stories of the Century, charity events, children's development programmes, and the launch of the Victoria Cup.