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Zug, Switzerland – Infront Sports & Media, a Wanda Sports company, has confirmed a long-term sponsorship agreement with Pirelli, the Italian tyre manufacturer, for the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships and the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships from 2017 to 2021. The contracts expand Pirelli’s existing winter sports engagement following a commitment as Official Sponsor of the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.
Wide ranging exposure across multiple winter sports markets
The wide ranging winter sports agreement with Infront will see Pirelli, the leading supplier of high-performance and high-end technology winter tyres, promoted at the 2017, 2019 and 2021 editions of the FIS Alpine Ski World Championships, starting with St. Moritz, Switzerland from 6 – 19 February 2017. The brand will benefit from exposure in camera view at key locations along the course and engagement with approximately 600 athletes on site. TV exposure is distributed across 70 countries to reach up to one billion viewers worldwide. Following the 2017 event, Åre, Sweden will play host to the event in 2019 followed by Cortina, Italy in 2021.
For the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, the Pirelli commitment follows the success of its involvement at the 2016 event staged in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia. In 2017, the event will take the brand to Cologne, Germany and Paris, France followed by Denmark (2018), Slovakia (2019), Switzerland (2020) and Finland or Belarus as official candidates for 2021. The TV coverage of the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship is distributed into over 160 territories and reaches audiences exceeding one billion worldwide.
Full rights package
Pirelli will benefit from a comprehensive rights package at each event. Alongside an extensive advertising presence in camera view featuring the company’s logo and colours, the brand will be included in all official communication and print materials, websites and digital platforms as well as have an opportunity to take advantage of a hospitality contingent. FIS President Gian Franco Kasper: “The FIS Alpine World Ski Championships offer superb sports performance and exciting skiing with athletes demonstrating both control and speed, the perfect brand alignment for Pirelli to benefit from its high-performance and high-end technology winter tyres. The events over the next few years also offer a wide geographical spread and we are delighted that Pirelli has put its confidence in our sport. We also trust that our partnership with Infront will prove to be of high value and provide excellent activation support.”
René Fasel, IIHF President: “Brought in by Infront, Pirelli joined the official sponsor contingent at the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Russia and has experienced first-hand the strength of the tournament as one of the greatest winter sports events available to commercial partners. This has been acknowledged through this long-term commitment and over the next five years, the brand will benefit from all the positive attributes of our sport and truly experience the long-term advantages, impact and power of the IIHF platform.”
Matteo Battaini, Head of Marketing at Pirelli: “Working with Infront has provided ease of access to a whole host of winter sports marketing opportunities: Firstly, it has allowed us to sample the huge potential of ice hockey and the relevance to our sales activities in winter sports markets. Secondly, as we now expand our activity into the world of alpine skiing we are excited to reap the benefits that exposure through these two great events will have. We are confident this long-term engagement will fortify our commercial performance through greater visibility across so many key winter sports markets. Furthermore, we are confident that with Infront, we have a partner of choice who can help us maximise our activation and engagement opportunities at each event to create real impact.”
Philippe Blatter, President & CEO of Infront Sports & Media and President and Vice Chairman of Wanda Sports: “Securing Pirelli in a long-term sponsorship engagement for two flagship winter sports events at the same time is a fantastic achievement on many levels. The brand will receive comprehensive winter sports exposure and a considerable geographic spread for messaging whilst the events will benefit from planning security and stability. Winter sports offer excellent activation opportunities and extensive media exposure; we are convinced that this extended commitment from Pirelli for ice hockey as well as alpine skiing will provide an excellent expansion of the brand's previous sponsorship activities which were primarily focused on motorsports.”
Access to an extensive winter sports portfolio
Infront was chosen by the International Ski Federation for the first time as its overall commercial partner for the 2019 and 2021 FIS Alpine and Nordic World Skiing Championships – handling the media rights distribution, TV production, sponsorship, merchandising and hospitality. With respect to the media production, broadcasters will receive a quality of signal and level of support that matches the highest standards in sport today.
In ice hockey, Infront has an outstanding reputation that has been developed over more than 35 years as media and marketing partner to the IIHF for the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. The ice hockey portfolio extends to provide essential services to the Champions Hockey League, Swiss Ice Hockey Cup, Spengler Cup Davos and several national ice hockey federations.
Founded in 1872, Pirelli is a leading global tyre manufacturer with a distinctive focus on high-end segments, Premium tyres with the highest technological content. Partnering with the best Prestige and Premium car makers worldwide, Pirelli has a portfolio of more than 1,700 homologated tyres which fit the personality of each car model, designed and tested to achieve perfect driving. Present in 14 countries with 20 plants, Pirelli produces car, motorcycle, truck, bus and agricultural tyres; the Group has a wide commercial presence (more than 160 countries) with a balanced exposure to both mature and emerging markets. Pirelli is distinguished by a long industrial tradition, which combines a capacity for innovation with product quality and brand strength. This strength is further enhanced by Formula 1™, for which Pirelli is the exclusive tyre supplier for the three-year term 2014-2016, and has already renewed a deal to remain in Formula One for the 2017-2019 period. In line with the 'green performance' strategy, Pirelli’s research and development operates with ever increasing attention to products and services of high quality and technology and low environmental impact.
FIS is the governing body for international skiing and snowboarding, founded in 1924 during the first Olympic Games in Chamonix, France. Recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), FIS manages the Olympic disciplines of Alpine Skiing, Cross-Country Skiing, Ski Jumping, Nordic Combined, Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding, including setting the international competition rules. Through its 128 member nations, more than ’500 FIS ski and snowboard competitions are staged annually. Specific initiatives are undertaken by FIS to promote snow activities as a healthy leisure recreation, notably for the young. For more information, please visit www.fis-ski.com.
The IIHF, the governing body of international ice hockey and inline hockey, features 77 member associations, each of which is the national governing body of the sport in its nation. Besides controlling the international rulebook, processing international player transfers, and dictating officiating guidelines, the IIHF runs numerous development programs designed to bring hockey to a broader population. The IIHF also presides over ice hockey in the Olympic Games and over the IIHF World Championships at all levels, men, women, juniors under-20, juniors under-18 and women under-18. Each season, the IIHF in collaboration with its local organizing committees, runs around 25 different World Championships in the five different categories. Visit www.iihf.com
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 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, a 100% subsidiary of Wanda Group, 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 Philippe Blatter as President & Vice Chairman, 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.