The Infront Sports & Media agency has been appointed as the consulting and marketing partner of the French organising committee for the 2017 Ice Hockey World Championships, with the goal of further boosting the presence of the sport in the country.
The French Ice Hockey Federation will co-host the 2017 Championships with its German counterpart, with the cities of Paris and Cologne set to stage games. Infront has been appointed to aid marketing and communications efforts and ensure the Championships have a lasting impact for French ice hockey. The agency will also be the exclusive owner of all hospitality rights for the event, which Paris will stage in the new Bercy Arena from May 5-21, 2017.
France is a developing market for the sport and its national team scored a shock 3-2 win over Canada in its opening group-stage game at last month’s World Championships in Belarus, a result that helped it progress to the quarter-finals where it was eventually defeated 3-0 by Russia.
Eric Ropert, director general of France’s organising committee for the 2017 Championships, said: “Let's make sure we do not just create a flash point but use this event to anchor ice hockey in the French sports landscape. When we created the federation in 2006, we set three goals: to restore the confidence of stakeholders, create a national centre for anchoring our ambitions and finally accommodate a leading international event. We are now poised to meet these objectives and it is a source of great pride. The next three years will allow us to further accelerate our plans and we rely on the Infront team to help us.”
Jean-François Jeanne, chief executive of Infront France, added: “France, at country or club level, does not yet represent an important market in global hockey. This is the objective of the international federation and Infront, and to change that through the visit to Paris of ice hockey’s largest international event.”
France and Germany were awarded the 2017 Championships in May 2013. Their event will be only the second time the Championships have been co-hosted after Finland and Sweden staged the competition in 2012.