Infront to take over from IMG in selling Diamond League media rights

(Photo by Jorge Luis Alvarez Pupo/Getty Images)

The International Association of Athletics Federation has signed a 10-year international media-rights agreement with the Infront agency, which includes the sale of international rights to the top-tier Diamond League series, from 2025.

The deal, which runs from 2020 to 2029, begins with the international distribution of a second international tour to be launched by the IAAF next year. The new international tour has been described as an ‘upgrade’ on the current World Challenge Series.

Then from 2025, Infront will take over the international distribution of Diamond League rights.

Diamond League media rights have been distributed globally since its inception in 2010 by the IMG agency. In that time, IMG has signed three separate five-year deals with the IAAF, with the latest being from 2020 to 2024.

Infront’s owners, the Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group, has, separately, agreed a deal to become the new title sponsor of the Diamond League, from 2020. Electronics giant Samsung was the Diamond League’s title sponsor from 2010 to 2012 and the IAAF launched a renewed search for a new title sponsor two years ago.

The Diamond League was formed in 2010 to replace the Golden League, the IAAF’s former top-tier one-day series which existed from 1998 to 2009. The IAAF recently announced reforms to the Diamond League from 2020.

Infront’s latest piece of new business marks the first time it will represent track and field on the international stage, and follows last year’s six-year marketing agreement with the Italian Athletics Federation.

The agency is heavily involved in the organisation and promotion of marathons and mass participation events, and recently added the Rome Marathon to its long-running association with the Berlin Marathon.

Along with the live rights, IMG distributed 52-minute highlights programmes and two-minute digital clips to Diamond League broadcasters worldwide during the 2019 season.

IMG’s distribution remit excluded rights in the host country, where host broadcasters were appointed separately. The international television distribution has ensured agreements covering 161 countries, plus additional streaming on YouTube.