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Infront retains German Ice Hockey Federation business to 2024

Germany in action at 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Kosice, Slovakia. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

The Infront agency has renewed its long-running commercial agreement with the German Ice Hockey Federation (DEB) and will continue to represent the exclusive sponsorship and media rights, along with the merchandising rights, to Germany’s national teams.

Having first begun working together 15 years ago, Infront and the DEB have announced a contract extension until the end of the 2023-24 season.

The deal includes rights to the men’s and women’s national teams across all age groups.

Management of the Infront-DEB project is to transfer to the agency’s German arm, having previously been co-ordinated by the team at Infront’s headquarters in Zug, Switzerland.

Last year, Infront retained its flagship ice hockey contract in a 10-year extension to its media and sponsorship rights sales agreement with the International Ice Hockey Federation. That deal now runs from 2024 to 2033 and is worth guaranteed payments and the provision of comprehensive media, marketing and digital services of more than CHF500m (€475m/$514m).

Infront and the IIHF last week unveiled plans to host the first Esports Fan Championship later this month. This year’s IIHF World Championship was cancelled in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and was due to run between May 8 and 24.

German property development and investment firm Westminster is the DEB’s main sponsor, having come on board in 2015 as the main sponsor of the men’s national team.

In 2010, Infront and the DEB developed a strategic co-operation around the organisation of the IIHF World Championship in Germany. A jointly-owned and managed operating company was set up in Munich as the legal entity for the event’s organising committee.

Franz Reindl, the DEB president, remarked: “Infront has always supported us with great expertise and commitment as our strong marketing partner, helping develop our sporting and commercial journey. I am very proud, especially in these challenging times, that we are extending our close partnership and collaborate successfully directly with Infront Germany.”

Reinhardt Weinberger, managing director of Infront Germany, added: “Many years of cooperation with the German Ice Hockey Federation have led to a strong and trusting partnership. We look forward to working with the DEB in future and to further strengthening ice hockey as a communication platform and a thrilling audience event across all age levels.”