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The proven and long-standing industry expert will lead the specialist teams within the group and drive strategic development in the field
Zug, Switzerland – Infront Sports & Media, the leading international sports marketing company, has appointed Claude Ruibal as Executive Director of its newly aligned Digital, Production & Sport Solutions Business Unit. He will assume his new role as of today. Combining all digital, production and service related initiatives at a group level, the unit has been established to take advantage of the multiple synergies and opportunities to provide greater value to all partners.
The unit aims to drive innovation in traditional television production, deliver growth in new digital properties, create new content formats, new distribution models and partnerships, as well as leverage existing social platforms to increase audiences and revenue streams. These services will help clients and partners to better capture passionate, multi-media audiences and communities, to grow their future fan base and to deliver long term value in the rapidly changing and fragmented media landscape. The unit’s comprehensive service capabilities will also be made available to other Wanda Sports Holding businesses, including IRONMAN races and events in China. In his leadership capacity, Claude Ruibal will report into Philippe Blatter, President & CEO of Infront Sports & Media.
The unit has been newly created to reflect the increasing collaborative opportunities and synergies between Infront’s activities in:
- Digital Media: including the successful operations of New York-based Omnigon, the Milan-based Digital Media and Post Production unit and the Infront Digital Solutions team in Zug
- Broadcast Production: including the long-standing industry experience of HBS, based in Zug and Paris and the production unit in Milan
- Sports Services: the Zug-based unit overseeing stadium advertising, broadcaster servicing, design solutions, marketing operations and communications
Claude Ruibal will have a key role in further intensifying and harmonising the business and knowledge of the respective teams, as well as seeking to establish even stronger links to related divisions and colleagues under the Wanda Sports Holding umbrella.
Claude Ruibal (61) is a senior, results-driven leader who has extensive experience in both the sport and digital industries. His impressive career has included many strategic and entrepreneurial roles across the US and Europe, including most recently Global Head of Sports Content Partnerships at GoPro, and before that as Global Head of Sports Content at Google/YouTube. Previously, he acted as Chairman & CEO of Universal Sports Television Network and Director of Global Football Management at the Coca-Cola Company. He contributes proven abilities such as starting and managing new ventures, developing and executing integrated consumer-marketing and sales programs as well as building front and back end consumer Internet streaming and content solutions. Claude Ruibal has a Juris Doctorate from the Georgetown University School of Law and a BA in Political Science from the University of California Santa Barbara.
Philippe Blatter, President & CEO of Infront, commented: “With today’s technological progress and high convergence, the areas of digital, production and other services cannot be managed separately anymore. The set-up of this unit allows us to align our competencies and capabilities on joint objectives and strengthen our value proposition towards clients. With Claude Ruibal, who already has a persuading and impressive track record in the still-emerging digital sports segment, we have found the right leader to drive its strategic development. Digital, Production & Sports Solutions is set to be one of the growth engines of our group and a key strategic pillar for Infront and Wanda Sports Holding going forward.”
Claude Ruibal, designated Executive Director Digital, Production & Sport Solutions, added: “It is an honor to join the Infront Group – a sought after partner for innovation, service quality and professional delivery. Together with the existing teams, I look forward to strengthening the digital, broadcast, production and service capabilities of Infront and Wanda Sports Holding, while synergising my existing capacities, long-standing industry know-how, and extensive network. Partners will benefit from an integrated approach along the entire value chain, allowing them to best exploit and monetise the opportunities of technological development in this rapidly evolving media landscape where creating the right solution is a complex strategic and operational undertaking.”
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, summer and endurance sports, Infront enjoys long-lasting partnerships with 170 rights-holders and hundreds of sponsors and media companies. Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, Infront has a team of more than 900 experienced staff working from over 35 offices across more than 15 countries, delivering 4,100 event days of top class sport around the world every year. In November 2015, Infront was integrated into Wanda Sports Holding, part of the Chinese conglomerate the Dalian Wanda Group.
About Wanda Sports Holding
Wanda Sports Holding is the world’s leading sports business entity, founded to capture the opportunities in the global sports industry and to contribute to the prosperous international sports landscape – in three key areas: 1) Spectator Sports (media & marketing business), 2) Participation Sports (active lifestyle business), 3) Services (digital, production and service business). Led by President & CEO Philippe Blatter, Wanda Sports Holding incorporates the international sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media, the iconic endurance brand IRONMAN, and Wanda Sports China. The headquarters are in Guangzhou, China.