Infront and IBU redefine marketing platform of BMW IBU World Cup Biathlon

Revised sponsorship concept, newly developed Illuminated advertising solutions and a premium visual identity increase impact of the series as of the 2014/15 season

Salzburg, Austria – The International Biathlon Union (IBU) and its exclusive marketing partner Infront Sports & Media have further enhanced the premium character of the BMW IBU World Cup and IBU World Championships Biathlon and its value for sponsors. Starting from this season onwards, the revised marketing concept, developed in cooperation with title partner BMW, includes a streamlined marketing hierarchy, clear and transparent allocation of sponsor brands in TV camera view and the first-ever usage of illuminated advertising banners in winter sports. In addition, a new brand identity for the series and an optimised and consistent venue dressing system ensures a strong appearance and consistent look & feel for all events.

Two brands in focus: exclusive positioning in camera view

The new, streamlined sponsorship concept will introduce a reduced number of sponsor packages, delivering more exclusivity and exposure for each sponsor partner and leading to higher media value and stronger impact. The concept includes

• one Title Sponsor: BMW (automotive)
• three Premium Sponsors: Viessmann (heating systems), E.ON (energy), DKB (banking)
• two Main Sponsors: Erdinger Alkoholfrei (beverage), Bauhaus (home improvement stores)

In addition, there are opportunities for a Data Sponsor and Timing Sponsor for the events, covered by Polar (heart rate monitors) and IFS (software solutions). Each of the partners receives exposure in camera view through banners, shooting mats and stickers – all in prime locations. With a maximum of two sponsors visible in each TV camera angle at any one time, the impact for brands has been optimised offering clear-cut communications and a more exclusive advertising environment.

Illuminated banners for best possible visibility

Illuminated advertising banners will be introduced at the shooting range, in the finish area and at selected course positions. Thanks to their dim lights, they are precisely adaptable to all weather and light conditions and, as a result, ensure high visual quality and impact of the sponsor messages at all times and venues. A pleasant overall picture will be guaranteed to all parties involved.

Michael Witta, Managing Director Infront Austria, said: “Never before in biathlon have sponsors received such extensive and exclusive media exposure as they will in the coming season with the revised marketing concept. Adding to that, the innovative illuminated advertising solutions mark a true first in winter sports. They cope with the varying outside conditions biathlon races encounter and transmit brand messages at highest quality level, even for close-up shots. Involving the federations, potential sponsors and broadcasters from an early stage to anticipate their preferences and work on potential innovations, we have now truly redefined BMW IBU World Cup Biathlon sponsoring for this upcoming cycle.”

New brand character boosts value of event

The new look & feel reinforces the premium character of the BMW IBU World Cup events, making it even more attractive for top international brands to associate their products and services. Its new logo symbolises the five targets as a key element of the biathlon sport, while reconfirming its vision to build global impact for the series. The newly introduced visual identity of the IBU events will be cohesively rolled out across all BMW IBU World Cup events. Every Local Organising Committee will be provided with a composite logo to align their event consistently with the overall series.

Nicole Resch, IBU Secretary General, said: “Together with Infront we have been able to build a strong and state-of-the-art brand identity for our events that will be a trademark for premium biathlon in the future. The new logo is a visual equivalent for the high level approach that we are following for the BMW IBU World Cup and IBU World Championships Biathlon, both in sportive and commercial terms. After the latest overhaul of the marketing concept in 2010, it was now time to set the benchmark even higher and offer sponsors the most impactful combination of wide-reaching exposure, fan engagement and a top-level sports environment.”

Stefanie Wurst, Director of Marketing BMW Germany, said: “BMW is much more involved in sport than just branding. We want to form active partnerships and contribute to the further development of the sport and make it even more attractive for spectators. Our title partnership with the BMW IBU World Cup Biathlon is a good example of this. The new marketing concept allows the spectators to get more involved in events, while perfectly suiting the premium approach of our company. We're really looking forward to the new biathlon season.”

This year, the BMW IBU World Cup Biathlon starts on 29 November 2014 in Oestersund, Sweden. The IBU World Championships Biathlon as a season highlight runs from 3 – 15 March 2015 in Kontiolahti, Finland.

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 and summer sports, Infront enjoys long-lasting partnerships with 160 rights-holders and hundreds of sponsors and media companies. Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, Infront has a team of 600 experienced staff working from 25 offices across 12 countries, delivering 3,400 event days of top class sport around the world every year.