Zug, Switzerland/Munich, Germany – The international sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media is to acquire B2RUN GmbH & Co. KG with effect as of 1 January 2014 in a 100 per cent takeover from the previous owner, consulting firm actori. B2RUN organises – under the corresponding brand name – the German company running championship which includes ten events each year and attracts approximately 5,000 companies, including numerous blue chip brands. In total, over the course of 2013, the number of participants, mobilised by their employers, increased to over 100,000 (+22 per cent compared to the previous year). The figure made B2RUN the largest running series in the German-speaking region and under Infront’s tenure the series will continue to expand both nationally and internationally over the coming years.
Experience-oriented sponsorship options
For 2014, a new event has already been added to the roster, scheduled to take place in the city of Bremen. Thanks to the support of SV Werder Bremen, a long-term partner of Infront, the race will culminate with the finish in the Weser Stadium. The Bremen event will take the B2RUN series to a new total of eleven events – starting on 15 May in Dortmund and ending with the final on 3 September in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium. For sponsors the B2RUN platform provides options to be involved across the entire season as industry exclusive B2RUN Competence Partners. In addition, Infront will market an exclusive Presenting Partner package which will provide diverse activation options and high visibility before, during and after the events.
Philippe Blatter, President & CEO of Infront, commented: “The enthusiasm for endurance events is on the rise worldwide, holding high appeal due to their experiential character. In terms of sponsors, we are also registering an increase in demand for platforms that provide direct customer engagement in the sporting environment. The acquisition of B2RUN, the market leader of company runs Europe-wide, is therefore a strategic decision and logical next step for Infront. The aim is to establish the B2RUN brand in new cities and countries in the short term as well as integrate sponsors in the most versatile way.”
Building a top brand in amateur sport
Dr. Stefan Mohr, Managing Director of actori, added: “We have developed B2RUN into one of the most popular event brands in Germany over recent years. In many cities the runs are a fixture in the event calendar. Infront, with its global network and expertise in sports marketing, is ideally positioned to expand B2RUN internationally - as well as set new standards in the marketing of endurance sports.”
Following the acquisition, B2RUN will be fully integrated into the Infront Group. The existing management team - led by Managing Director Sebastian Wirtz - will remain unchanged, continuing to steer operations from Munich together with their experienced staff.
Sebastian Wirtz, Managing Director of B2RUN, said: “With its experience and international team, Infront will support us with further strengthening the B2RUN brand and its resonance in the economy and society. We see a continuing trend for companies to more actively promote health and sportive recreation for their employees. B2RUN has anticipated and addressed this direction early. Together with the Infront team, we will be able to continue this success story and expansion path.”
The German corporate running championship is held under the brand B2RUN. In 2014, the races – each approximately 6km long – will be staged in eleven cities with all participants crossing the finish line in the surroundings of a football stadium. The spectrum of participating companies is broad, from one-man businesses to large corporations (including 26 DAX companies), public institutions and universities. The teams vary from one to 2,000 runners, with each individual time being logged. In 2013 B2RUN achieved a new participant record of more than 100,000 people racing. The company is headquartered in Munich.
About Infront Sports & Media
Infront Sports & Media, based in Zug, Switzerland, is one of the leading international sports marketing groups in the world. Known for its high standards of delivery, the company covers all aspects of a successful sport event – including distribution of media rights, sponsorship, media production and event operations. As a leading player in winter sport, football and summer sports, Infront enjoys long-lasting partnerships with 120 rights-holders and hundreds of sponsors and media companies. With an experienced and passionate team of 500 staff in 20 offices across 10 countries, the Group helps to annually deliver over 3,400 event days of top class sport around the world.
actori is the leading strategy consulting and marketing company for sports and culture in the German speaking region and employs 40 staff across four locations. In addition to these business areas, actori also operates as a holding company for small and medium sized enterprises in these industries.