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Another record-breaking year for the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship
The media, marketing and digital showcase delivered by Infront is stronger than ever with high expectations for a spectacular event
Zug, Switzerland – The 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship hits the ice from 5 until 21 May in the LANXESS arena in Cologne, Germany and the AccorHotels Arena in Paris, France. Infront Sports & Media, a Wanda Sports company, as the exclusive media and marketing partner of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) for the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, delivers comprehensive services to worldwide media partners and sponsors as well as a variety of engagement opportunities for fans.
TV spanning 165+ territories worldwide
During last year’s tournament, a cumulative audience of over 1.2 billion tuned in, watching a total 5,700 hours of broadcast material. This year, key media rights agreements have been secured in over 165 territories with SPORT1 in Germany and Canal+ in France as well as key agreements for further popular ice hockey markets including: Channel 1 (Russia), Czech TV (Czech Republic), MTV (Finland) and TSN/RDS (Canada). There will be over 450 accredited journalists on site reporting on the sports action.
New drone camera footage introduced to international feed
Managed and co-ordinated by Infront’s production team, 24 cameras around the ice rink and the HD Outside Broadcasting (OB) vans in each arena will ensure the full host broadcast production of the HDTV signal, which will be distributed worldwide to all broadcasters via satellite. This year, drone camera footage is being introduced alongside one additional super-slow-motion camera per arena. In addition, a Spidercam camera, which was introduced last year, will once again be used during the final weekend. Also, for the first time, a Host Broadcast reporter in each arena will lead through pre- & post-game interviews for the international feed.
Finally, Infront will be providing support for broadcasters in their unilateral production, as well as with transmission and commentary facilities and other additional services.
Leading international sponsor brands align with global impact of platform
The sponsorship portfolio is once again led by Official Main Sponsor Škoda, the Czech car manufacturer and part of the Volkswagen group – involved with the championship for a quarter century. The Škoda ‘Kodiaq’ will be joining the fleet for the first time, complementing the additional Škoda cars, which, as the official event transportation, have covered distances of over 6 million kilometres in the 25 years alongside the flagship winter sports event.
In total, 2,500 meters of advertising boards and backdrops will provide valuable exposure for an additional 13 Official Sponsors. Alongside Škoda, other Official Sponsors include: AJ (home and office furniture - Sweden), Beiersdorf with its brand NiveaMen (men’s face care - Germany), Heineken with its brand Krusovice (brewery – the Netherlands/Czech Republic), Henkel (adhesive technologies – Germany), Husky (alcoholic beverages – Russia), Kyocera (document solutions - Japan), Liqui Moly (oils and lubricants – Germany), Nike (sports apparel - USA), Pirelli (tyres – Italy), Raiffeisen Bank International (banking - Austria), Shate-M/Patron (car spare parts – Belarus/Russia), Tissot (watches/timing - Switzerland) and Zepter (home and kitchenware - France).
Over the course of the tournament, a total of 128 Best Player Awards will be given out by the Official Timing Partner Tissot, all geared to maximise on the benefits of exposure and brand alignment from the high profile players.
The official mascots Asterix & Obelix will be entertaining the spectators and fans in and around the venues. Additionally, Infront has designed the branding of the international high-speed train Thalys, which connects the two venues in Cologne and Paris. Since March, the train has been operating in the event colours promoting the sports highlight to extend the scope and awareness of the tournament outside of the actual events.
Digital activation and strategy continues to soar
Building on the last couple of years, the digital arm of the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship continues to grow – offering digital fans more engagement options than ever before. The strategy continues with a three-part approach: increasing the reach of the games, deepening knowledge of the online audience and identifying further engagements with the fans across Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Vk.com and YouTube.
Always striving to initiate new concepts and services, this year Infront and the IIHF are introducing – amongst other innovations - EVS C-Cast technology, which will be integrated into the official website. EVS C-Cast will allow fans to enjoy multi-camera angle footage and clips at their discretion. The technology will allow greater in-depth coverage and viewing than ever before and empower a new generation of IIHF digital viewers.
About Infront Sports & Media
Infront Sports & Media, a Wanda Sports company, is one of the most respected sports marketing companies 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, event operation and digital solutions – 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 close to 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
Wanda Sports 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 & Vice Chairman Philippe Blatter, Wanda Sports incorporates the international sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media, the iconic endurance brand IRONMAN and Wanda Sports China. The headquarters are in Guangzhou, China.