The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has confirmed that the 2016 World Championships will take place in the Russian cities of St Petersburg and Moscow, with Skoda renewing as an official sponsor of the event until 2017
Denmark and Ukraine both withdrew from the bidding tender after they were convinced of the strength of the Russian bid, according to the IIHF, and the 2016 World Championship will coincide with the 70-year anniversary of the introduction of ice hockey to the country.
Russian Hockey Federation president Vladislav Tretyak stated: “Our bid is based on our experience of organising IIHF World Championships and world-class sporting events. We are not inflating the budget, as we say in Russia, because we already have two world-class venues ready, and can use the money for other important things of organizing a tournament.”
According to Yuri Nagornykh, Russia’s Deputy Minister of Sports, Tourism and Youth, visa procedures are to be relaxed for the event, adding: “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will send special directions to countries with high interest in the 2016 IIHF World Championship so they will get visas easily. We are also discussing visa-free travelling with the European Union and other countries.”
Meanwhile, Czech car manufacturer Skoda has been secured by Infront Sports & Media as a renewed Official Sponsor of the World Championships until 2017, taking it’s partnership with the IIHF up to a quarter century milestone.
The new agreement covers the period from 2012 to 2017 and is a continuation not only of the main sponsorship, but also of Škoda’s role as Official Car Partner.
Winfried Vahland, Head of Škoda, explained: “We are happy to be the Official Main Sponsor of the IIHF World Championship for another six years and thus to continue an extremely successful
partnership. ŠKODA is putting the pedal to the metal on the international markets. Until 2018, we want to at least double our sales to about 1.5 million vehicles. The fascination with ice hockey
is a perfect fit for ŠKODA. The power of the sport will continue to support us on our future growth course.”
Dr René Fasel, President of the IIHF, said: “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. The long-term commitment speaks for itself in regards to the strength of the work achieved by all parties. I am pleased that Škoda, the IIHF and Infront will remain fully aligned to annually deliver the top event in international ice hockey. Reliable partners such as Škoda build the foundation for the continued and successful development of the tournament.”
Philippe Blatter, President & CEO of Infront, added: “This year’s IIHF World Championship is the first major sports event where Škoda promotes its new corporate identity – a confirmation for the
high value of the IIHF platform for marketing partners. The continued collaboration allows all parties involved to take on a long-term perspective and raise this partnership to new heights. Supported by
Infront’s tailored services, Škoda can further develop as well as activate its sponsorship – to reach ambitious marketing objectives. We are convinced that the steadfast commitment by Škoda for the IIHF World Championship will also be a benchmark and driving force for other marketing partners.”