Zug, Switzerland – Infront Sports & Media, a Wanda Sports company, in partnership with Velon, the business venture aiming at bringing the sport closer to the fans, is launching a unique new series of professional cycling races – the Hammer Series. The new series will kick-off in the Netherlands in June with Infront handling both the media and sponsorship sales on an international basis for the entire series.
The Hammer Series will have its world premiere in Limburg, the Netherlands, from 1 to 4 June 2017 with further events announced over the coming months. Spanning three race days, teams will compete in the Hammer Sprint, Hammer Climb and conclude with the Hammer Chase races with the goal of being crowned the best team in the world.
The series is a unique new cycling showcase that will feature an innovative race format, which is designed to deliver cycling action that is fast, exciting, accessible and easy to follow. Encouraging engagement with the local community at each race destination will be an important objective of the events, with various fan participation activities that bring people inside the sport.
Stephan Herth, Executive Director Summer Sports at Infront: “Cycling is a key sport in Infront’s long-term strategy as well as an important pillar of the wider Wanda Sports business. The new race series guarantees comprehensive cycling action, which is appealing, modern and accessible for fans. This will ultimately lead to re-establish the strength of cycling and position it as an appealing product for media, sponsors and fans.”
In line with the ambitions of Velon to grow the fan base of cycling and bring fans closer to the action, Velon Interactive live rider data will be made available to fans through the Velon website, app and social channels. Velon’s on-bike cameras will feature unmissable action footage for fans to get into the heart of the races as well as additional cameras to capture unique behind-the-scenes access to the series and the teams.
Graham Bartlett, CEO of Velon: “There are many great races in cycling. The teams felt there was room for a new emphasis, something that distilled the core disciplines of the sport and spoke to its powerful team ethic. One of the riders who worked on the concept called it “impact racing”, I think that sums it up.”
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.
Velon is a collective of pro cycling teams working towards engaging more fans into the sport of cycling by developing partnerships to make the riders and races both accessible and more exciting. Velon has created a number of platforms to bring fans to the heart of the action and, with the help of the teams, have opened a door into the their world – be it behind the scenes or in the middle of a sprint finish – so that fans have never been closer. Velon actively works with race organisers to create an open and fair system to give the sport room to grow. Velon - a new experience, from the teams to the fans, going inside WorldTour cycling with real-time stats, gripping GoPro videos and up close rider access.