Group Management

Infront is led by a Group Management Committee (GMC) of five experienced managers, head by the President & CEO Philippe Blatter, alongside three Executive Directors - Stephan Herth (Football & Summer Sports), Bruno Marty (Winter Sports) and Wolfgang Streit (Finance, Legal & Administration) - as well as Marco Bogarelli, the President of Infront Italy.

 

This group is supported by the Extended Management Team: Thomas Lessenich (Sports Services), Dr Thomas Oehninger (Legal), Francis Tellier (Media Production & CEO of HBS), Dr Uwe Ploch (Football & Summer Sports) and Hans-Peter Zurbruegg (Business Development).

 

Günter Netzer, Germany's Footballer of the Year in 1972 and 1973, is a member of Infront’s Board of Directors. He represents the group as an ambassador in the world of sport.

The Group Management Committee

Philippe Blatter, President & CEO

Philippe Blatter is responsible for the group strategy and leads the Group Management Committee in charge of the operational business. Prior to joining Infront Sports & Media, Philippe Blatter spent 11 years working for the international top-management consulting firm McKinsey & Company as a Partner, leading the worldwide McKinsey Sports Practice. He has worked extensively in various organisations/fields related to sports business and is a board member of the Right To Play Foundation Switzerland. Philippe Blatter holds a Master of Science degree from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) and an MBA degree from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, USA.



Stephan Herth, Executive Director - Summer Sports

Stephan Herth was previously Senior Vice President of Media at Infront before taking on his current position as head of Summer Sports and acting as part of the Group Management Committee. In his previous role he was responsible for the European media rights sales to the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ and other major media & marketing projects such as the German Bundesliga. He has over 10 years of experience in the sports rights field. Before joining the Infront Group, Stephan was MD of BuLi-Vermarktungs GmbH and previously Head of Sports Rights at Taurus Sport/Kirch Sport in Germany. Stephan is a qualified German Lawyer and holds a L.L.M. degree in International Law.



Bruno Marty, Executive Director - Winter Sports

Bruno Marty heads the Group’s Winter Sports division. As former CEO of the Swiss Skiing Federation, Bruno provides expert knowledge on all topics related to commercialising and expanding Infront’s winter sports properties. Bruno has spent more then ten years in the sports business, he has launched two sports schools and built up the Sports Practice for McKinsey & Co. (he also headed McKinsey’s Swiss Practice). Bruno holds a business degree from the University of St. Gallen and an INSEAD MBA.



Wolfgang Streit, Executive Director - Finance, Legal & Administration

Wolfgang Streit oversees Infront's Financial, Legal and Administrative department responsible for accounting, controlling, treasury, IT and Human Resources as well as legal and tax affairs. Wolfgang is also responsible for the development of the corporate and financial strategy of the Infront Group. Before taking up his current position he was Chief Financial Officer of Prisma iVentures, London. Prior to that he was a member of the Corporate Planning department of Kirch Media, Munich. Wolfgang started his career in the Corporate Finance Team of KPMG, Munich, primarily involved with Transaction Management Services and M&A activities. He has a Diploma in Business Administration from the University of Tübingen.



Günter Netzer, Executive Director

Günter Netzer, Germany's Footballer of the Year in 1972 and 1973, represented his country in 37 international matches during the 1970's and became one of the best known and most highly acclaimed football players in Europe. Following his football career Günter has become a successful media professional working in television as ARD's best known football commentator; as a journalist; as a columnist for Sport-Bild, Blick and in sports marketing. As a member of the Infront Board, he plays a key role, representing Infront in the world of sport and acting as an ambassador for the group.



Marco Bogarelli, President of Infront Italy

Marco Bogarelli, President of Infront Italy was a co-founder of the former Media Partners, the Milan-based sports marketing agency that was fully integrated in the Infront Group in 2006. Infront Italy – responsible for managing many FIS World Cup rights and the CEV European Championships in volleyball – has become a highly successful component of the Infront Group under his leadership. He played a key role in negotiating and securing Infront’s advisory agreement with Italy’s Lega Calcio for Lega Serie A and B media rights. He received a Masters in Business Administration at Bocconi University in Milan and has spent his entire career in sports marketing, television distribution and production.



The Extended Management Team

Giuseppe Ciocchetti, Managing Director

Prior to joining Infront Italy, Giuseppe Ciocchetti spent more than 10 years working for the Italian merchant bank Sopaf S.p.A.. His last role at Sopaf was as CFO of the entire Group and CEO of the real estate division. He joined Infront Italy in June 2000 and took the responsibility for the overall company structure and organisation as well as for the development of the corporate and financial strategy of Infront Italy. In his current position he oversees all the activities and business areas of the Milan-based company. Giuseppe holds an Economic and Business degree from Bocconi’s University in Milan.



Thomas Lessenich, Director - Sports Services & Managing Director - AspireInfront

Thomas Lessenich has worked with Infront since its inception, having joined from Prisma Sports & Media, one of two component companies which became Infront in 2002. His entire professional career has been in sports marketing. Responsible for building up and leading the Broadcaster Servicing unit since its inception in 2001 he has turned it into one of the most successful broadcaster support teams in the world. Subsequently, he has built and led the newly created Infront Sports Services Division. He represents Infront's interest in MATCH Hospitality as well as the joint-venture with Kofler & Kompanie - Infront Hospitality Management - as a member of the respective Board of Directors. Additionally, Thomas is Managing Director of AspireInfront.



Dr. Thomas Oehninger, Director - Legal & Tax Affairs

Thomas Oehninger joined Infront in June 2001 and has been General Counsel for the Infront Group since 2006, with overall responsibility for Infront’s legal affairs. He took the Zurich Bar Exam and then his doctorate at the University of Zurich Law School. He obtained his Master of Laws (L.L.M.) at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia USA. Before joining Infront he was Secretary to the Judge of the Zurich District Court from 1996 to 1998 and an Associate of Homburger Rechtsanwälte in 2001. He also holds a Certificate in Sports Management from the Winterthur School of Management and is currently enrolled in an Executive Management Program at the University of St. Gallen. Thomas Oehninger has wide expertise in all legal aspects of sports rights exploitation and related commercial transactions.



Matteo Perale, Director - Strategic Development & Special Affairs

Matteo Perale was previously a representative of Infront’s shareholder Bridgepoint and a Member of the Infront Board before taking up his position as Director of Strategic Development & Special Affairs in January 2013. Integral to many successful operational projects and other strategic acquisitions, Matteo provides expertise in investment, corporate development and intercultural management. He is responsible for driving the Infront Group’s long-term strategy planning and new business forward as well as handling the growth and ongoing integration of Infront’s network of subsidiary companies. Prior to his involvement with Bridgepoint he worked in New York, Milan and London as a business owner and senior manager for leading financial and investment organisations. Matteo holds a degree in Economics from Bocconi University, a Masters from H.E.C. and an MBA from Columbia University in New York. He is native Italian but also speaks fluent English, French and Spanish.



Dr. Uwe Ploch, Director - Summer Sports

A German national, Uwe Ploch studied Economics in Munich and Berlin (Dr. Oec.) and European Business Law in St. Gallen (MBL). He has worked in the sports marketing industry for more than 15 years, starting his career with the former CWL, one of the early pioneers of the business, which became part of Kirch Sport in 2001 and Infront Sports & Media in 2002. As a result of this early exposure to the development of the industry, Uwe’s experience is extremely wide and his involvement in the business has included a wide variety of sports and many trend-setting developments like split-screen advertising and computer-controlled rotating advertising. He has worked closely on the DFB project over many years.



Francis Tellier, CEO of Host Broadcast Services (HBS) Group of Companies

Francis Tellier, a French national, has spent more than 30 years managing Radio and TV broadcast operations, with a dedication to the design and delivery of new projects in broadcasting and/or multimedia. After the 1992 Albertville Winter Olympics, Francis became Managing Director of TVRS 98, the host broadcaster of the 1998 FIFA World Cup™ and is now CEO of HBS, the host broadcaster of the 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cups™ as well as the host broadcaster of the weekly French L1 & L2 Matches.
He is CEO of IGBS (International Games Broadcast Services, a JV with IMG Media), the Host Broadcaster of the 15th Asian Games Doha 2006 and the 7th Winter Asian Games Astana-Almaty 2011.



Hans-Peter Zurbruegg, Director - Business Development

Hans-Peter Zurbruegg plays a key role in acquiring new business for the Infront Group. As a sports marketing professional he brings more than ten years of experience to the field. From 2001-2006 he was Head of Controlling & Risk Management and also served as Deputy CFO. Since 2006 Hans-Peter has managed group business development activities and performed as a member of the Extended Management Team. Born and raised in Zug Hans-Peter holds Masters degrees in Economics and Corporate Finance (University of Zurich/Univeristy Lucerne), an MBA from Kellogg/WHU (Northwestern University) and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).



Upcoming Events

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Kontinental Hockey League / Playoff, Russia, 01 Apr - 30 Apr 14

Role: Media

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Euro Hockey Challenge Germany vs. Finland, Finland, 16 Apr - 20 Apr 14

Role: Marketing

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Euro Hockey Challenge Slovakia vs. France, France, 17 Apr - 20 Apr 14

Role: Marketing

Portfolio Highlights



International Federation of Association Football

The FIFA Portfolio



World Curling Federation

Media Rights

Marketing Rights