Zug, Switzerland / Paris, France – The Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) and FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) have appointed Infront Sports & Media, the international sports marketing company, for the worldwide media rights distribution of the 2015, 2016 and 2017 World Endurance Championship seasons. The agreement, running for at least three years, covers all live/delayed, magazine and news rights across all platforms and on a global basis.
Broadcasters can rely on extensive HD programming and full race track coverage across all eight events staged across Europe, the Americas, Asia and the Middle East, with the championship’s cornerstone event, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, being a special highlight. Live coverage from qualifying and each race is complemented by appealing programming formats, featuring circuit presentations, race highlights, driver analysis, podium coverage and interviews. Besides magazine and news, a 52-minute season review will also be available.
Increasing reach and exposure worldwide
Pierre Fillon, President of the ACO, said of the new agreement: “The 24 Hours of Le Mans represents the highest level of sportscar racing in the world and we therefore are delighted to be working with Infront Sports & Media, a company itself at the highest level in media and TV distribution. The ACO looks forward to a very successful partnership with Infront, not only for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but also for the WEC.”
Gérard Neveu, CEO of the WEC, said: “Working with an experienced partner like Infront, we see great potential to further spread TV broadcasts but also to communicate more widely via second screen applications the fascination for the WEC and the unique characteristics of endurance racing. In the last three years we have tried to establish a very strong base, and Infront’s global network and strong sales power will undoubtedly allow us to build on this to the benefit of the Championship, our partners and competitors and – equally importantly – our fans.”
Stephan Herth, Executive Director Summer Sport at Infront, commented: “Motor sports are among the fastest-changing and most progressive segments of the sports industry, with the endurance discipline adding further suspense as it requires immense stamina from both man and machine. Keen to be part of such a promising sports product and sharing the governing body’s vision to further raise the profile and reach of its endurance championship, we will support the ACO and WEC with our media rights expertise and sales capacities. We will focus on maximum exposure both in established motor sports territories and emerging regions.”
Eight rounds in 2015
The World Endurance Championship, introduced in 2012, is organised by the Automobile club de l’Ouest (ACO) and sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). It features four categories competing in endurance races, including Sports Prototypes and Grand Touring cars. All races are six hours in duration, with the exception of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with the World Champion titles awarded to the top scoring manufacturers and drivers over the season. In 2015, the championship will visit eight venues including the legendary Nürburgring in Germany.
Overall, the 2015 race calendar features:
- 12 April / 6 Hours of Silverstone, UK
- 02 May / WEC 6 Hours of Spa Francorchamps, Belgium
- 13/14 June / 24 Hours of Le Mans, France
- 30 August / 6 Hours of Nürburgring, Germany
- 19 September / 6 Hours of Circuit of The Americas (Austin), USA
- 11 October / 6 Hours of Fuji, Japan
- 01 November / 6 Hours of Shanghai, China
- 21 November / 6 Hours of Bahrain
About Infront Sports & Media
Infront Sports & Media is the most respected sports marketing company in the world, managing a comprehensive portfolio of top properties. Led by President & CEO Philippe Blatter, Infront covers all aspects of successful sporting events – including distribution of media rights, sponsorship, media production and event operation – and has won a reputation for its high standards of delivery. As the number one player in winter sport and with a leading role in football and summer sports, Infront enjoys long-lasting partnerships with 160 rights-holders and hundreds of sponsors and media companies. Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, Infront has a team of experienced staff working from 25 offices across 13 countries, delivering 4,000 event days of top class sport around the world every year.
About FIA World Endurance Championships
In 2015, the fourth season of the WEC will see a full grid of cars across the four categories which race together for World Championship glory. Recognised by the world’s leading automobile manufacturers as the most relevant racing series available for technology transfer to production models of the future, Audi, Nissan, Porsche and Toyota will take to the tracks in high speed, high-tech, high performance hybrid-powered sports prototypes. Luxury car marques Aston Martin, Ferrari and Porsche battle it out in the Grand Touring classes in cars which thrill and excite competitors and spectators alike.
The jewel in the WEC crown, and of sports car racing globally, is the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the awarding of double championship points underlines the importance of this race on the calendar; this is the race every driver and team wants to win.
About the ACO
The Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) was founded in 1906. It is the creator and organiser of major motor sport events including the first grand prix in the history of motor racing (1906), followed by the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1923, which will be held for the 83rd time on 13-14 June 2015. It is the greatest endurance race in the world and attracts millions of TV viewers and more than 263 000 spectators (2014) at the circuit. In order to develop endurance racing the ACO has also been the organiser and promoter of the FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) since 2012 as well as the creator of several continental series: the American Le Mans Series (now the United SportsCar Championship), the European Le Mans Series and the Asian Le Mans Series. In addition, the ACO organises the following events on its circuits: the 24 Heures Motos, the 24 Hours for Karts, the 24 Hours for Trucks, the French Motorcycle Grand Prix, etc.
The ACO is also a club of enthusiasts and it defends the rights of motorists on a daily basis by giving its members a privileged welcome to enable them to live their passion for motor sports during the legendary events it puts on. The ACO has a driving school (Le Mans Driver), a leisure and competition complex with karts and simulators, a business department for the organisation of seminars, two official boutiques and nine agencies for its 80 000 members and beneficiaries.