Spirit of the sport and the competition
Bob and skeleton are synonymous with speed and exhilaration. During a typical 60-second bobsleigh run, speeds of more than 140 km/h are reached with the crews subjected to more than four times the force of gravity.Races are usually run on concrete based tracks with artificial ice surfaces; have a standard length of 1,500 metres and up to 14 curves, depending on the track.
The top competitions are the FIBT World Cups and the FIBT World Championships. Events are staged annually except during Olympic years (when no FIBT World Championships are hosted) and feature women’s bobsleigh, two man and four man bobsleigh and women’s and men’s skeleton.
Skeleton is the world’s first sliding sport and the only one where athletes take a face down position. It has an elite aura through its long identification with the world-famous St. Moritz Tobogganing Club (Cresta Run). Skeleton competition returned to the Olympic Winter Games in 2002 and participation has increased significantly as a result. Today, skeleton is practiced on a competitive level by some 30 countries from all continents.
For the 2012/13 season, Infront together with the federation added a new highlight – the FIBT Triple Trophy. The jackpot concept requires athletes to win three pre-defined races within their respective discipline and within the same season, in order to collect prize money totalling at 100,000 Euro. In addition to incentivising athletes, the FIBT Triple Trophy adds value to the World Cup season by offering another highlight for broadcasters, more suspense for fans as well as increased marketing potential.
Infront’s role includes the marketing of the key sponsorship packages for bobsleigh and skeleton’s top-tier sponsorship programme as well as the worldwide distribution of media rights for the men’s and women’s FIBT World Cup and World Championship events. Programming includes; live, delayed and highlights coverage on TV, radio, internet and mobile platforms – with specific segmented packages on offer.
Marketing and activation
Bobsleigh and skeleton have a growing appeal to commercial partners with many of them committed for the long-tem - boosting the stability of the platform for the future. Strong sponsorship components enhance both Olympic disciplines and greater sponsor exclusivity means there are a limited number of advertising partners, resulting in strong, clear brand visibility.
The partnership structure for the FIBT World Cup and World Championships includes; Title Sponsor, Presenting Sponsor, two Main Sponsors and four additional partners. The principle contractual rights for the Title and Main Sponsor package include; naming rights, advertising in camera view (20% of banners at the start, finish and along the track as well as logo on all skeleton starting bibs and stickers on both bob and skeleton helmets). Additionally – logo integration on all print materials, internet presence, on-site product placement within the winter village and fan tent as well as access to VIP and hospitality areas (including taxi bob rides on the world cup track) are offered.
For the 2012/13 season, Bauhaus (workshop, house and garden products retailer) and Viessmann (heating systems) acted as Title Sponsors of the FIBT World Championships and FIBT World Cup respectively. Crystall Lefortovo (beverages) was Main Sponsor for the FIBT World Cup and Mount10 (online data backup) was the Main Sponsor for the FIBT World Championships hosted in St.Moritz.
Bobsleigh and skeleton have grown from a “niche” sport in a small core of alpine nations to a truly international winter sport. Working closely with the Fédération Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganing (FIBT) since 2003, Infront Sports & Media has embarked on a path of expansion that has resulted in impressive levels of international television coverage. Over the last six years, there has been an 84 percent increase in the cumulative audience (across all disciplines) and coverage has also grown impressively – up a huge 313 percent from 2004/2005.
In 2012/13, the FIBT World Cup competitions were broadcast in 25 countries and reached a cumulative audience of 429 million watching a total of 784 broadcast hours. The World Championship’s gauged a cumulative audience of 173 million from a total of 208 hours of coverage across 22 countries.
From the 2014/2015 season onwards Infront is managing the media production for all World Cup and World Championship races, in locations such as including Whistler (Canada), Königssee (Germany), Sochi (Russia) and the FIBT World Championships in St. MoritzWinterberg (SwitzerlandGermany). The programming will be produced in full high definition television (HDTV) quality with up to 30+ cameras covering all action along the track, ensuring the key criteria of broadcasters, sponsors and fans across all markets are met with the highest quality and technical controls.
Sponsors can take advantage of the exceptional global outreach that the FIBT marketing platform provides - offering international exposure and targeted messaging that engages and connects the brands involved with the fans.
Events 2013/14 season
2013/14 Viessmann FIBT Bob & Skeleton World Cup
19 – 30 November - Calgary, Canada
6 – 7 December – Park City, USA
13 – 15 December - Lake Placid, USA
3 – 5 January - Winterberg, Germany
10 – 12 January - St. Moritz, Switzerland
17 – 19 January - Igls, Austria
24 – 26 January - Königssee, Germany