Ittigen/Zug, Switzerland - Swiss Cycling, the national umbrella organisation of the sport of cycling in Switzerland, and InfrontRingier, a joint venture between the international sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media and the largest Swiss media company Ringier, have formed a long-term partnership. The agreement covers all the main commercial activities of Swiss Cycling, including the organisation and marketing of the Tour de Suisse from 2015 as well as the consistent, sustainable development of cycling in Switzerland on both youth and amateur levels.
The shared vision of Swiss Cycling and InfrontRingier is to establish Switzerland in the long-term among the world's leading cycling nations. This will be achieved by introducing professional marketing structures, proactive activation at amateur and youth levels and a stronger positioning of the brand ‘Swiss Cycling'.
Enhancement of the Tour de Suisse from 2015
A main focus of the partnership will be the Tour de Suisse - the Swiss Cycling event that attracts the highest levels of national and international attention. The medium term objective is to further enhance the format of the nine-day tour, as well as increase media exposure and sustainably reinforce the commercial success. From 2015 onwards, InfrontRingier will handle the complete implementation of the event – a fully comprehensive role that will involve conceptualisation and managing all aspects of the organisation right through to the final marketing of the event.
In addition, the focus of the partnership is to strengthen the positioning of the federation and as a result increase public interest in Swiss Cycling events and the sport in general across Switzerland. InfrontRingier together with the federation will develop innovative events for a broader field of competitors across various disciplines, targeting more than one million recreational and amateur athletes across the country. In the long-term, the number of active Swiss Cycling members will be significantly increased and will along with intensive youth development build a solid foundation for future success at the professional level.
Swiss cycling to the next level of success
Melchior Ehrler, President of Swiss Cycling, says: “With InfrontRingier we have gained a competent partner who will support us with its experience in the field of media and commercial exploitation, brand development and event management throughout the enhancement process of cycling in Switzerland. We see great potential and have therefore decided not to limit the cooperation purely to marketing aspects, but to jointly tackle the broader development of the sport on both amateur and professional levels. This comprehensive partnership is an excellent starting point which will bring cycling in Switzerland to the next level of success.”
Philippe Blatter, President & CEO of Infront Sports & Media and Chairman of the Board of InfrontRingier, adds: “Cycling success with Swiss participation in the past has demonstrated again and again the tremendous enthusiasm the sport can create in this country and we intend to build upon this fundament together with Swiss Cycling. Our shared vision is to strengthen the public positioning of this traditional sport and to sustainably establish both existing and future Swiss Cycling events as a highlight of the national sports calendar – for participants, spectators, sponsors and media alike. The Tour de Suisse as a premium brand and the flag-ship event of Swiss Cycling will be further strengthened nationally and internationally."
Marc Walder, CEO of Ringier Switzerland and Germany, about the new partnership: “Step by step, InfrontRingier as a new company is demonstrating how it is expanding and developing as a Swiss sports-marketing company. This long-term and strategic partnership is a further example of how the organisation is establishing itself within the market.”
About Swiss Cycling
Swiss Cycling was founded in 1883 and is the national governing body for all cycling competitions such as Road, Mountainbike, Track, BMX, Para-cycling, Indoor Cycling, Cyclocross, Downhill/4X and Trial in Switzerland.
Swiss Cycling is a member of Swiss Olympic, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and the Union Européenne de Cyclisme (UEC). In Switzerland, Swiss Cycling is the only recognised partner of these sports organisations and is responsible for loading the competitions at international level (World and European Championships, Olympic Games). In addition, it is holder of the trade marks Tour de Suisse, Alpenbrevet and Berner Rundfahrt.
Infront Sports & Entertainment Ringier AG Switzerland – abbreviated to InfrontRingier - is a 50-50 joint venture between the international sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media and the largest Swiss media group Ringier. For both companies, this is a further step toward expanding and differentiating their current business fields and each will contribute its core competencies, resources and networks to the success of InfrontRingier.
The company will provide Swiss organisers of sporting events as well as Switzerland's top athletes with a wide range of services - from the packaging and marketing of media, sponsorship, merchandising and hospitality rights to high quality implementation. Based on the combined marketing and media skills of the joint venture partners, InfrontRingier is destined to establish itself as leading marketer and player in the Swiss sports market.