At a Friday press conference at Orange Arena, Skoda announced it will remain the official main sponsor of the IIHF World Championship through 2017. IIHF President René Fasel was on hand and praised the six-year deal with the Czech automaker.
“Skoda’s involvement with the IIHF World Championship and its continued visual presence in national and international ice hockey has made the brand and the sport become almost inseparable,” said Fasel. “The long-term commitment speaks for itself in regards to the strength of the work achieved by all parties.”
Fasel reminisced about having a Skoda Felicia back in 1992, and commented on the appropriateness of the brand for hockey: "We are a popular sport. We are not Rolls-Royce or Bentley. Hockey is for the people. Look at our fans. You could not have a better choice than Skoda for the partner."
Based in Mlada Boleslav, Czech Republic, Skoda has served as the tournament’s official main sponsor since 1993. It has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records for having “the longest-lasting main sponsorship in the history of sports world championships,” and now that record will be increased again.
Philippe Blatter, President and CEO of InFront, the IIHF’s official marketing partner for the IIHF World Championship, stated: “This year’s IIHF World Championship is the first major sports event where Skoda promotes its new corporate identity – a confirmation for the high value of the IIHF platform for marketing partners. The continued collaboration allows all parties involved to take on a long-term perspective and raise this partnership to new heights.”
At the 2011 IIHF World Championship, Skoda has also served, as usual, as the official car partner. Its fleet of 40 cars (Yeti and Superb) has been used to transport tournament officials, guests, and others. In the media centre, a designated Skoda kiosk with hard-working staff provides journalists with refreshments, Skoda information, newspapers, pens, and table hockey for relaxation. In addition, Skoda is represented with cars displayed inside the arenas, information booths on the concourses, and in the fan fest areas.
Prof. Dr. h.c. Winfried Vahland, the head of Skoda, added: “We are happy to be the main sponsor of the IIHF World Championship for another six years and thus to continue an extremely successful partnership. The fascination with ice hockey is a perfect fit for Skoda. The power of the sport – with its aggressiveness and sportivenes – will continue to support us on our future growth course.”
To conclude the press conference, Fasel and IIHF General Secretary Horst Lichtner presented a hockey statuette by the famous Spanish artist Rosa Serra to Vahland. Blatter gave him a Czech hockey jersey with "Vahland" and "17" on the back.