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Gazprom, one of the world’s largest energy companies, is to become an Official Sponsor of the 2010 IIHF World Championship, which takes place in Germany. The agreement has been signed with Infront Sports & Media, the exclusive commercial partner of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) for its premiere event, the annual IIHF World Championship.
The contract provides Gazprom with a comprehensive package of rights, including high-profile sponsorship of Team Russia, one of the world’s most successful ice hockey teams and winner of the IIHF World Championships three times since 1993. The team will carry Gazprom identification on team helmets and shirts. The company will also enjoy perimeter board advertising in camera view, with two boards, game tickets and VIP hospitality facilities for the Opening and Final games and other matches.
Gazprom Legends Game
As an extra promotional boost, Gazprom and the Organising Committee will stage the Gazprom Legends Hockey Game directly in advance of the historic opening game on May 7, 2010 in the Schalke arena. The arena is being transformed into a giant ice hockey venue with an overall capacity of more than 76,000 places. Former Russian superstars, including Alexander Yakushev, Vladimir Lutchenko, Valery Kamensky, Alexey Kasatonov and Andrey Kovalenko, will play against former German elite players. The "DEB Hundred Plus Legends Team" consists of former top players with more than 100 international games played for Germany only, including Dieter ”Didi” Hegen, Goalie Joseph “Peppi” Heiß as well as Gerd and Bernd Truntschka. Coaches are Hans Zach and former DDR Star Joachim Ziesche.
Sergey Kupriyanov, official representative of Gazprom, said: "Infront and the Organising Committee have created a most exclusive sponsorship opportunity for us. Both the Legends Game in front of a record audience and the Team Russia sponsorship are a perfect fit with Gazprom’s communication activities around the event. It is a logical step for us to use the 2010 IIHF World Championship in Germany as a broad communication platform as it is our sponsorship strategy to create 'new energies' for the Russian-German relationship and the intercultural dialogue."
Bruno Marty, Infront’s Executive Director Winter Sports commented: "It is exciting for us to be able to announce Gazprom as a new and very high octane supporter of this flagship event. Ice hockey has an excellent fit in terms of Gazprom’s markets and of course the Russian team is currently one of the best in the world, winner of the last two World Championships and currently number two in IIHF World Rankings."
Franz Reindl, General Secretary of the 2010 IIHF World Championship Organising Committee, added: "At the IIHF semi-annual congress back in last September we were able to present our joint sponsorship proposal to Gazprom. We are proud and happy that our creative concept for Gazprom was obviously matching their strategic demands. As an exciting part of this comprehensive co-operation, the Gazprom Game of Hockey Legends will feature some of the greatest former hockey players from Russia and Germany. We are really looking forward to this 57th game of the 2010 IIHF World Championship. This will be another highlight of the entertaining ceremony on May 7 during the grand opening at the greatest ice hockey venue ever."
Gazprom is one of the world’s largest energy companies. The company provides one fourth of natural gas consumption in Europe. Its major business lines are geological exploration, production, transportation, storage, processing and marketing of hydrocarbons as well as generation and marketing of heat and electric power. Gazprom holds the richest natural gas reserves in the world. Its share in the global and Russian gas resources accounts for around 17% and 70%, respectively.
Infront and Winter Sports
Infront Sports & Media, based in Zug, Switzerland, is the strongest, most experienced marketing agency in the winter sports arena. It has focused strongly on developing its role in winter sports in recent years, to the point that it now represents six of seven Olympic winter sport federations at international level. The Group is the commercial partner of more than 90% of all national skiing federations hosting FIS Alpine Ski and Nordic World Cup races. It also markets the FIS World Championships. It has a long term partnership with the IIHF in international ice hockey and relationships with the winter sports of biathlon, bobsleigh and skeleton, curling and luge.