Infront Sports & Media and Ringier AG collaborate to exploit the Swiss sports market

Zug / Zurich: A new joint venture - with its HQ in Zug - has been created to combine the marketing and media skills of two leading Swiss organisations Infront Sports & Media AG and die Ringier AG have announced a new 50:50 joint venture to exploit the growing Swiss sports market through an effective collaboration, which will be known as «Infront Ringier Sports & Entertainment Switzerland AG». It will support organisers of Swiss sports events and top Swiss athletes by providing sophisticated marketing and consulting services.

The founding of this joint venture brings together the largest Swiss media company and the largest Swiss-based international sports marketing company and will provide Swiss sport with an important and dynamic new resource. «Infront Ringier» is destined to become the leading organisation of its kind in Switzerland. 

Ideal Partners

Infront will contribute its expertise in the commercialisation of sport (including sponsorship, production and distribution) and its highly specialised services (media production, advertising, hospitality and on-site management) to sport, while Ringier will integrate its newly-created «Marketing and Sponsorship» division set up last year. This includes «Pool Position Switzerland AG», which supports Switzerland’s big names in sports, the arts and culture. Ringier is also contributing its considerable experience in the area of digital media, its marketing strength, its existing partner network as well as its attractive media services to the new joint venture. 

For both companies, this is a further step in expanding and differentiating their current business fields and part of their respective long-term growth strategies. 

Philippe Blatter, President & CEO of Infront Sports & Media AG, said: «The experience and resources of Ringier and Infront Sports & Media complement each other ideally in this partnership. Infront already has a large network of rights owners and sponsors based in Switzerland, but with the focus on international events. Now, we will be offering high-level services to national events too through InfrontRingier. We can help set the tone of the future for the Swiss sports market and provide an innovative and reliable partner on the doorstep.» 

Marc Walder, CEO Ringier Switzerland and Germany, said: «The activities of Infront and Ringier in Switzerland are highly complementary. In addition to its core business, Ringier will be diversifying its existing product and brand portfolio through this involvement in an ideal way. As both companies are market leaders in their respective fields, we feel this is a relationship on an equal footing.» 

Alexander Elbertzhagen, Executive Officer of Kick Media AG, whose Swiss joint venture with Ringier – Pool Position Switzerland AG – will be a subsidiary of InfrontRingier, added: «This expansion of the stockholder base of our company is going to open up new perspectives in a market that is fast becoming bigger and more international. I am very much looking forward to working with our new partners.» 

If the required approvals are obtained, the joint venture will start in mid-2011. Armin Meier will take on the role of managing director starting on 1 July 2011. Until that time, Bruno Marty, who is Executive Director Winter Sports at Infront, will manage the new joint venture in the interim. Armin Meier has been Director of Marketing and Sponsorship at Ringier Swiss and member of the extended management board of Ringier Switzerland Germany since 1 October 2010. Until the start of the joint venture, he will support transfer of current projects as well as continue to manage marketing of the Rose d’Or Festival. 

InfrontRingier will focus on national sports associations, clubs and local organising committees, as well as packaging and selling media rights, sponsorship, merchandising and hospitality rights. It will also provide the necessary high-quality implementation. The partners also intend to develop and establish new event formats in Switzerland. 

About Infront Sports & Media

Infront Sports & Media, based in Zug, Switzerland, has grown impressively in recent years to become one of the leading international sports marketing groups in the world. Known for its high standards of delivery, the company covers all aspects of a successful sport event – including distribution of media rights, sponsorship, media production and event operations. As a key player in winter sport, football and other summer sports, Infront enjoys long-lasting partnerships with 120 rights-holders and hundreds of sponsors and media companies. With an experienced and passionate team of 500 staff in over 20 offices across 10 countries, the Group helps to annually deliver more than 2,300 event days of top class sport around the world. 

About Ringier

Ringier is one of the leading media companies in Switzerland and is active internationally. It has an office in Zofingen and headquarters in Zurich. Founded in 1833, it is run today Michael Ringier, the fifth-generation member of the original family. He occupies the role of President of the Board of Directors. Christian Unger is the CEO of the company and Marc Walder is CEO of Ringier Switzerland and Germany. Ringier manages established media brands in print, TV, radio, online and mobile and is very successful in print, entertainment and Internet business.  

For additional information, please contact: 

Infront Sports & Media: Press Office:

Tel. +41 41 723 15 15

[email protected], www.infrontsports.com 

Ringier Media Office:

Tel. +41-44-259 6444

[email protected],www.ringier.ch