ZURICH – Car maker and long-time IIHF partner ŠKODA recently marked 20 years of service for its IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship car fleet.
Based in Mlada Boleslav, Czech Republic, ŠKODA 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 it looks like the Guinness record will be in place for some time. In May 2011, ŠKODA announced it will remain the official main sponsor of the IIHF World Championship through 2017.
“Škoda’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 IIHF President René Fasel when the deal was signed last year. “The long-term commitment speaks for itself in regards to the strength of the work achieved by all parties.”
The cars have been active in tournaments stretching from Russia to Canada. On average, the fleet covers 250,000 kilometres during a world championship. The total mileage of the ŠKODA fleet through its sponsorship period with the IIHF has been measured at over five million kilometres, equivalent to journeying 125 times around the world.
At the start of April, the first 25 cars were handed over to the Finnish Organising Committee at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki. A total of 45 white ŠKODA Superb Combi are set to operate in Helsinki and Stockholm.
“20 years of practical experience have taught us that we can rely on ŠKODA. Our guests know and appreciate the dependability and comfort of ŠKODA cars,” said IIHF General Secretary Horst Lichtner. “It is very important for the IIHF and the world championship organisation that we have had a partner of this quality on board for so long.”
At the 2011 IIHF World Championship in Slovakia, ŠKODA served as the official car partner as usual. Aside from transporting tournament officials, guests, and others, a designated ŠKODA kiosk in the media centre provided journalists with refreshments, ŠKODA information, newspapers, pens, and even table hockey. In addition, ŠKODA was represented with cars displayed inside the arenas, information booths on the concourses, and in the fan fest areas.
Together with the IIHF, ŠKODA also developed and launched an IIHF app for the 2011 championship, providing up to the minute news, rosters, scores, and statistics. This year, the 2012 IIHF WM App will be available to hockey fans all over the world who want to follow the action in Helsinki and Stockholm.