Las Vegas, USA / Zug, Switzerland – The World Curling Federation (WCF) and Infront have extended their media and marketing partnership for four more years, taking the contract period up to 2022.
The new agreement was announced on Monday (9 April) following the 361⁰ World Men's Curling Championship 2018 in Las Vegas, where Team Sweden claimed gold. The deal broadens the scope of Infront's curling mandate, adding joint marketing rights with the WCF and media rights in key territories for the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships to the current partnership.
Beyond the increased rights portfolio, Infront will continue to manage the global media rights for the European and World Curling Championships and the marketing rights for the same tournaments outside Canada in close cooperation with the WCF.
The partnership between WCF and Infront began in 2008 and has seen the two parties grow the sport globally, developing new concepts to make the sport more attractive to commercial partners and more engaging for fans. This further extension will enable curling to increase its exposure in new Asian territories – a crucial step leading up to the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 – and to further build on its strong presence in Europe and North America.
Infront jointly developed the concept for the World Cup of Curling with WCF, which has been backed by Chinese company Kingdomway Sport for the next four years. This new concept was developed to guarantee the WCF and curling stronger exposure throughout the whole season, as is the case with other Winter Olympic sports. The four-stage competition will begin in China in September, followed by planned stages in North America and Europe and a Grand Final back in China. Each stage will include women’s, men’s and mixed doubles games allowing a high level and attractive competition for media, commercial partners and fans alike.
Infront will also look into new digital opportunities and solutions for the WCF with its subsidiary OMNIGON set to provide expertise in ways to strengthen fan engagement and the sport reach worldwide. Kate Caithness, President of the World Curling Federation, said: "We are glad to have Infront on our side for a further four years. It is an agency that goes beyond the traditional model, working closely with us on the development of new events and formats and making sure the sport of curling is best positioned in the market. Thanks to Infront's strong footprint in the Asian market and the overall strong growth of our sport in this region, we will create the highest prerequisites for successful representation at the 2022 Beijing Olympic Winter Games."Bruno Marty, Executive Director of Winter Sports at Infront added: "The WCF has always been a great and innovative partner to work with. We are excited to extend this long-lasting partnership, which has grown stronger over time and is based on mutual trust and a willingness to grow the sport of curling across all continents. We are looking forward to four more exciting years to shape the curling of the future."
The World Curling Federation is the international sport federation governing the Olympic winter sport of curling and the Paralympic winter sport of wheelchair curling. The World Curling Federation is one of seven International Federations currently part of the Olympic Winter Games programme. It represents 60 Member Associations and is generally acknowledged to direct one of the fastest-growing international winter sports.
Infront is a leading sports marketing company managing a comprehensive portfolio of top properties. Infront covers all aspects of successful sporting events, including the distribution of media rights, sponsorship, media production, event operation and digital solutions. Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, Infront has a team of more than 1,000 staff working from over 40 offices across more than 13 countries, delivering 4,100 event days of top class sport around the world every year. In 2015, Infront was integrated into Wanda Sports Group, part of Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group.