The hockey world championships attract many kinds of fans to the games, one of them being the men and women who work in business and either invite their clients and customers to witness the world’s biggest annual winter sports event or come to the arena as a guest, and get to enjoy a hockey game in a special environment.
"In addition to the game tickets, the hospitality packages include different kinds of meals either at the Hartwall Areena or in downtown Helsinki, and other entertainment," says Mika Lidman, sales director at Infront Finland, the company responsible for the sales of the hospitality services.
"Some of them also include VIP entrance to the arena, cloakroom services, and a hockey sweater. The packages cover different kinds of needs," he adds.
Hockey an easy sell
At the games, even business guests can relax and focus on what’s important: enjoying the hockey played by the best national teams in the world, and supporting their favorite team. At the same time, they also get an good opportunity to spend time with their important partners.
"The hockey world championship is such a unique event that guests will most definitely want to be there, so companies won’t have any problems getting their clients there. This is a fantastic opportunity for the hosts," Lidman says.
The hospitality packages include tickets to 2-3 games, including at least one Team Finland game, as long as the Finns are still battling for the gold medal.
"One challenge we’ve had has been the uncertainty around the schedule since we don’t know exactly which teams will play where and when," Lidman says, smiling.
The World Championship game schedule is based on the rankings of the previous tournament, and the 2012 schedule will be finalized after the 2011 tournament in Slovakia.
"However, we do guarantee that, for example, the preliminary round packages will include three games, with at least one of them being a Team Finland game," says Lidman.
Better than ever
This is the first time that Infront Finland is in charge of selling the hospitality packages. The company has been the Finnish hockey federation’s partner since 2005, though, and has been responsible for the hospitality package sales for all Team Finland games since then.
"We have created a new culture around the national team. In the 2012 tournament we'll take the hospitality services to a whole new level, and make the tournament a bigger event than any hockey tournament before," Lidman says.
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