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Posts mit dem Label Infront werden angezeigt. Alle Posts anzeigen

Donnerstag, 17. Januar 2019

China's Wanda files for U.S. IPO of sports unit including WTC's IRONMAN series to raise up to $500 million: sources

According to report by Reuters (by Kane Wu, Julia Fioretti, Julie Zhu, Joshua Franklin, Julia Fioretti, Simon Cameron-Moore) China's Dalian Wanda Group files just 4 years after the acquisiation of World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) in 2015 for U.S. IPO of sports unit including WTC's IRONMAN series to raise up to $500 million.[1] This would be the long expected step towards public trading of iconic races like IRONMAN Hawaii Triathlon on the Big Island of Hawaii.[2]:

Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group has filed confidentially for a U.S. initial public offering of its sports unit that could fetch up to $500 million, according to sources with direct knowledge of the matter. 
The company made the filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the listing, which could happen in the first half of this year, the sources said.
The IPO could raise between $300 million and $500 million, the people said, though one cautioned that $500 million might be high. 
A Wanda spokesman did not provide any immediate comment. 
Wanda’s sprawling business empire ranges from real estate to sport to cinemas, but it has been rattled in the past years by a government-led crackdown on overseas deals and high leverage. 
The company owned by Wang Jianlin, one of China’s richest men, has since started offloading domestic and overseas holdings, including stakes in cinema operator AMC Entertainment and Spanish soccer club Atletico Madrid and a handful of property developments. 
Other Chinese conglomerates such as HNA group and Fosun International (0656.HK) have also faced government pressure to cut down on what Beijing has termed irrational overseas deals. 
An IPO of Wanda’s sports assets would include Infront Sports & Media AG, a Swiss sports marketing company and World Triathlon Corp, the organizer and promoter of the Ironman race, three sources previously told Reuters. 
The two were acquired in 2015 for $1.2 billion and $650 million respectively. Wanda, while preparing the IPO, had also received offers for the businesses from a number of private equity firms, Reuters reported. 
Citigroup (C.N), Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) and Morgan Stanley (MS.N) are working on the deal, the sources said. Citigroup and Deutsche Bank declined to comment. Morgan Stanley did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 
Chinese companies have dominated the ranks of those looking to go public worldwide, raising $58.2 billion in IPOs last year, accounting for 29 percent of global issuers, according to Refinitiv data. 
They have also been very active in U.S. listings, raising $9.1 billion last year, the highest level since 2014, Refinitiv data showed.

  1. China's Wanda files for U.S. IPO of sports unit to raise up to $500 million: sources 
  2. Bulle oder Bär - kommt ein Initial Public Offering im Ironman Triathlon?

Freitag, 5. Januar 2018

Wang Jianlin's sports holding within Dalian Wanda Group might consider an IPO and sale of overseas assets including Infront Sports & Media AG, World Triathlon Corp (Ironman)

According to Reuters [1], Dalian Wanda might sell these recently in boight assets via an IPO. The two were acquired in 2015 for $1.2 billion and $650 million respectively. An IPO for Ironman was one of 3athlon's favourite 2011 scenarios, to attach all their customers even closer to the brand and lifestyle.[2] What kind of christmas present would this be, to not only race, but own also some stock of your very favourite leisure sport?!

Dalian Wanda Group Co., Ltd. brings together under one roof the newly founded Wanda Sports Holding Co., Ltd. Infront Sports & Media and the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC). Logos: Dalian Wanda Group, Infront, World Triathlon Corporation

Exclusive: China's Wanda mulls sport unit IPO and sale of overseas assets - sources
HONG KONG (Reuters) - China’s Dalian Wanda Group is considering a Hong Kong listing for its sports assets as part of efforts to rationalize its portfolio that could also include other sales, according to five people familiar with the situation.
The conglomerate last month tapped investment banks for a potential initial public offering of its sports businesses, three of the sources said. Citic Securities, China’s largest brokerage, is one of the banks involved, added one of them.
A spokesman for Citic Securities declined to comment.
Wanda’s businesses range from real estate to football and cinemas but it has been rattled in the past year by a government-led crackdown on overseas deals and high leverage. The company is owned by Wang Jianlin, one of China’s richest men.
An IPO of Wanda’s sports assets would include Infront Sports & Media AG, a Swiss sports marketing company and World Triathlon Corp, the organizer and promoter of the Ironman race, according to three of the people.
The two were acquired in 2015 for $1.2 billion and $650 million respectively.
The share offering would also include Wanda’s smaller sports assets in China, such as cycling and basketball leagues, one of them said. The public float would not involve Wanda’s 20 percent stake in the Spanish football club Atletico Madrid, valued at 67 million euros after a recent capital raise, the source said.
The IPO would most likely take place in Hong Kong, but bankers have also pitched for a U.S. listing, according to the people.
Wanda is separately looking to sell Sunseeker International, a British yacht maker it bought in 2013 for $495 million but whose financial performance it has failed to turn around, two other people said.
Wanda declined to comment. The people could not be named as the plans are confidential.
Wanda’s interest in property, sports and entertainment - accounting for more than $13 billion of its deals in the past five years - ran into official opposition last year when Beijing labeled overseas deals in those areas “irrational”.
In addition to sports, its holdings also include the cinema chain AMC Entertainment Holdings and movie studio Legendary Entertainment.
The company is also considering the merits of a pre-IPO funding round for the sports unit, according to one of the people. All plans are still at an early stage however as Wanda is seeking a chief financial officer for the sports business to lead the fundraising efforts, said another of the people.
Property forms the basis of the Wanda empire - its mixed use Wanda Plaza developments are common across China - but this too has put pressure on Wang’s business.
Last year, Chinese regulators told banks to stop providing funding for several of its overseas acquisitions as Beijing looks to curb the conglomerate’s offshore buying spree.
Shortly after, Wanda sold a portfolio of hotels and tourism assets, including 13 theme parks, for $9 billion to Guangzhou R&F Properties (2777.HK) and Sunac China (1918.HK). Five flagship overseas developments - in London, Chicago, Los Angeles, Sydney and Australia’s Gold Coast - are also available for sale, according to one source.

  1. Exclusive: China's Wanda mulls sport unit IPO and sale of overseas assets - sources 
  2. Bulle oder Bär - kommt ein Initial Public Offering im Ironman Triathlon?

Dienstag, 19. Januar 2016

Hans-Peter Zurbrügg appointed as Managing Director of IRONMAN Europe, Middle East & Africa

The experienced sports business professional will also continue to oversee the Active Lifestyle & Endurance business of the Infront Group.

IRONMAN and Infront Sports & Media are pleased to announce the expanded role of Hans-Peter Zurbruegg. The long-standing endurance expert has been newly appointed as the Managing Director of IRONMAN Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA), while also continuing to lead Infront’s Active Lifestyle & Endurance business. 

“We are thrilled to have Hans-Peter join the team. He has an exceptional endurance business background, and as an IRONMAN finisher, understands the athlete experience and embodies our brand,” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer of IRONMAN.  “I am confident that with Hans-Peter’s leadership we will see strong growth in the region.”

Zurbruegg currently heads the Active Lifestyle & Endurance unit at Infront Sports & Media managing Operations, Marketing and Strategic Initiatives for the diverse portfolio. This includes media and marketing partnerships for the BMW Berlin-Marathon, the World Marathon Majors and the Swiss Cycling/Tour de Suisse, as well as full event management and organization for the Infront owned events – the European corporate running series B2RUN and the Happy 10k fun run events held in China. In his new role he will continue to oversee these properties as well as the IRONMAN EMEA business, which will remain headquartered in Liederbach, Germany.

“Following the creation and development of the Active Lifestyle & Endurance unit at Infront, I am delighted to add IRONMAN, the global leader in mass participation sports, to my responsibilities. I look forward to contributing to the sustainable growth of the sport of triathlon in Europe, Middle East & Africa, and helping the team continue to create unparalleled experiences for our athletes,” added Zurbruegg.

Philippe Blatter, President and Chief Executive Officer of Infront Sports & Media and Wanda Sports Holding: “With Infront and IRONMAN aligned under one roof, we are able to fully deploy our synergies and foster knowledge transfer within the Wanda Sports businesses. Overseeing both Infront’s Active Lifestyle business and IRONMAN EMEA, Hans-Peter Zurbruegg and his team will spur further growth, as well as enhance the individual profile and strength of all our diverse endurance properties – each according to its unique characteristics and participants.”

Hans-Peter Zurbruegg has worked for Infront since 2001 and has held several leadership positions, including Director of Business Development and Head of Controlling & Risk Management. Zurbruegg holds a Master’s degree in Economics and Corporate Finance from the University of Zurich/Lucerne, an MBA from Northwestern University, and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).

For more information on the IRONMAN brand and global event series, visit  For more information on Infront Sports & Media, visit

  1. CV Hans-Peter Zurbrügg

Hans-Peter Zurbrügg wird neuer Geschäftsbührer von IRONMAN Europe, den Mittleren Osten und Afrika

Der im Sportbereich erfahrene Geschäftsmann wird zudem weiterhin die Sparte 
Active Lifestyle & Endurance der Infront-Gruppe leiten

IRONMAN und Infront Sports & Media freuen sich, das erweiterte Aufgabengebiet von Hans-Peter Zurbrügg bekanntzugeben. Der erfahrene Ausdauersport-Experte wurde soeben zum neuen Geschäftsführer von IRONMAN Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) ernannt, bleibt aber gleichzeitig in der Leitung der Infront-Sparte Active Lifestyle & Endurance.

„Wir freuen uns sehr, Hans-Peter in unserem Team zu haben. Er hat einen außerordentlichen Hintergrund im Ausdauersport-Bereich, versteht als IRONMAN-Finisher was die Athleten erleben und verkörpert unsere Marke“, sagte IRONMAN-CEO Andrew Messick. „Ich bin zuversichtlich, dass es unter Hans-Peters Leitung ein starkes Wachstum in dieser Region geben wird.“

Zurbrügg leitet aktuell die Sparte Active Lifestyle & Endurance der Infront Sports & Media, ist dort verantwortlich für die Bereiche Abläufe, Marketing und strategische Initiativen diverser Portfolios. Darunter unter anderem Media- und Marketing-Kooperationen für den BMW Berlin-Marathon, die World Marathon Majors und Swiss Cycling/Tour de Suisse sowie für das gesamte Veranstaltungsmanagement und die Organisation der Infront-eigenen Veranstaltungen – die europäische Laufserie B2RUN und die Happy 10k FunRuns in China. In seiner neuen Rolle wird er weiterhin diese Aufgaben übernehmen und zusätzlich die Geschäfte von IRONMAN EMEA steuern, dessen Hauptsitz weiterhin im deutschen Liederbach bleibt.

„Nach Gründung und Entwicklung der Sparte Active Lifestyle & Endurance bei Infront freue ich mich, nun IRONMAN, den Weltmarktführer im Breitensportbereich, zu meinem Aufgabenfeld hinzufügen zu dürfen. Ich freue mich darauf, zum nachhaltigen Wachstum des Triathlonsports in Europa, dem Nahen Osten und Afrika beizutragen und darauf, das Team dabei zu unterstützen weiterhin unvergleichliche Erlebnisse für unsere Athleten zu schaffen“, fügte Zurbrügg hinzu.

Philippe Blatter, President & CEO von Infront Sports & Media und der Wanda Sports Holding: „Indem wir Infront und IRONMAN unter einem Dach vereinen sind wir in der Lage unsere Synergien voll zu nutzen und den Wissenstransfer innerhalb der Bereiche von Wanda Sports zu fördern. Dass Hans-Peter Zurbrügg und sein Team sowohl Infronts Acitve-Lifestyle-Sparte als auch IRONMAN EMEA überblicken wird das Wachstum weiter vorantreiben und das eigenständige Profil und die Stärken unserer verschiedenen Ausdauersport-Bereiche hervorheben – jeden gemäß seiner einzigartigen Merkmale und Teilnehmer.“

Hans-Peter Zurbrügg ist seit 2001 bei Infront und war in verschiedenen Führungspositionen tätig, unter anderem als Leiter der Geschäftsentwicklung und des Controlling & Risikomanagements. Zurbrügg hat einen Master-Abschluss in Wirtschaft und Unternehmensfinanzierung von der Universität Zürich/Luzern, einen MBA-Abschluss von der Northwestern University und ein Zertifikat in Projektmanagement (PMP).

Für weitere Informationen über die Marke IRONMAN und die weltweite Veranstaltungsserie besuchen Sie bitte Für weitere Informationen bezüglich Infront Sports & Media besuchen Sie bitte

  1. CV Hans-Peter Zurbrügg

Mittwoch, 25. November 2015

Dalian Wanda gründet Wanda Sports: Mit der Integration von Infront Sports & Media und World Triathlon Corporation (IRONMAN) entsteht das weltweit führende Sportbusiness-Unternehmen

Zug, Switzerland/Tampa, USA – Dalian Wanda Group Co., Ltd., einer der führenden chinesischen Mischkonzerne und Chinas grösster Investor im Kultur- und Unterhaltungssektor, gab heute bekannt, dass Infront Sports & Media und die World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) mit ihrer Marke IRONMAN in die neu gegründete Unternehmenseinheit Wanda Sports Holding Co., Ltd. integriert und entsprechend umfirmiert werden. Die Ankündigung folgt auf den Abschluss (Closing) der WTC Akquisition durch die Wanda Gruppe.

Dalian Wanda Group Co., Ltd. brings together under one roof the newly founded Wanda Sports Holding Co., Ltd. Infront Sports & Media and the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC). Logo: Dalian Wanda Group

Logo: Infront Sports & Media 

Logo: World Triathlon Corporation, Inc.

Philippe Blatter, President & CEO von Infront, steigt zum President & CEO von Wanda Sports auf und leitet das neue Unternehmen. Das erfahrene Top-Management von Infront und WTC (IRONMAN) bleibt bestehen.

Wanda Sports baut auf den erfolgreichen Strategien von Infront und WTC (IRONMAN) auf. Das Unternehmen setzt künftig auf  drei zentrale Geschäftsfelder – Zuschauersport (B2B; Medienrechte und Sponsoring), Teilnehmersport (B2C; Active Lifestyle & Ausdauersport-Events) und Services (Produktion, Digital & Service-Leistungen).

Wanda Sports operiert  auf Basis eines starken internationalen Netzwerks. Der operative Hauptsitz des Unternehmens wird in Zug, Schweiz sein. Die Holding ist in China ansässig. Das Active Lifestyle-Geschäft wird von WTC (IRONMAN) Chief Executive Officer Andrew Messick aus Tampa, Florida, USA geleitet.

Wang Jianlin, Aufsichtsratsvorsitzender der Wanda Group, sagte: “Wanda hat hohe Erwartungen an die Entwicklung und Möglichkeiten der Sportbusiness-Branche. Die Gründung von Wanda Sports ist von grosser Bedeutung, weil Wanda damit einerseits die verschiedenen Sport-Investments integriert. Andererseits, weil es Wandas Präsenz im Sport stärken und erweitern wird, und dabei auch die sich rasant entwickelnden Chancen im chinesischen Sportmarkt nutzen kann. Wir wollen zur Weiterentwicklung des weltweiten Sports beitragen und etwas bewegen.“

Philippe Blatter, President & CEO Wanda Sports, ergänzte: “Die Integration von Infront und WTC mit seiner Kultmarke IRONMAN unter dem Dach von Wanda Sports ist ein wichtiger Schritt für die Wanda Gruppe, die damit ihre strategischen Investments im Sport bündelt und die weitere Expansion in diesem Sektor vorantreibt. Die neue Struktur sowie die vereinten Netzwerke und Ressourcen der integrierten Unternehmen bilden die Basis, um das umfassende Portfolio im Zuschauer- und Teilnehmersport schnell weiter auszubauen. Unsere geschätzten Partner und Kunden sowie Millionen Sportfans weltweit werden davon profitieren. Die neue Struktur ermöglicht Kontinuität und Stabilität, bietet ein aufgewertetes Service-Angebot und optimierte Ressourcen im Event-Management.“

In den kommenden Monaten wird das Management von Wanda Sports die Organisationsstruktur überprüfen und optimal an der Unternehmensstrategie ausrichten. Weitere Details werden im Lauf des ersten Quartals 2016 kommuniziert.
  1. Dalian Wanda Group
  2. Infront Sports & Media
  3. World Triathlon Corporation

Dalian Wanda announces Wanda Sports: World’s leading sports business integrates Infront Sports & Media and World Triathlon Corporation (IRONMAN)

Zug, Switzerland/Tampa, USA – Dalian Wanda Group Co., Ltd., one of the leading Chinese conglomerates and China's largest investor in cultural and entertainment sector, has announced today that Infront Sports & Media and the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) with its IRONMAN brand will be integrated in a newly formed entity named Wanda Sports Holding Co., Ltd. and are to be rebranded accordingly. The announcement follows the formal closing of the WTC’s acquisition by Wanda Group.

Dalian Wanda Group Co., Ltd. announced a new holding: Wanda Sports Holding Co., Ltd. will incorporate both Infront Sports & Media and the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) with its IRONMAN brand. Logo: Dalian Wanda Group

Logo: Infront Sports & Media 

Logo: World Triathlon Corporation, Inc.
Infront’s President & CEO Philippe Blatter will step up to lead the Wanda Sports’ business as President & CEO with the experienced top management of both Infront and the WTC (IRONMAN) remaining in place.

Wanda Sports will build on the successful strategies of Infront and WTC (IRONMAN). It will be based on three core business pillars – Spectator Sports (Media & Marketing business), Participation Sports (Active Lifestyle business) and Services (Production, Digital & Service business).

Relying on a truly international network, Wanda Sports’ operational headquarters will be in Zug, Switzerland. The holding company is based in China. The Active Lifestyle business will be led by WTC (IRONMAN) Chief Executive Officer Andrew Messick from Tampa, Florida, USA.

Wang Jianlin, Chairman of Wanda Group, said: “Wanda has a very high expectation for the development and prospects of the sports industry. The significance of establishing Wanda Sports is not only to integrate Wanda's interests in sports, but also to truly expand and strengthen Wanda's businesses in the industry, while at the same time grasping the rapidly growing opportunities in the Chinese sports market. We want to truly impact the development of sport around the world.”

Philippe Blatter, President & CEO of Wanda Sports, added: “The integration of Infront and the WTC with its iconic IRONMAN brand under the roof of Wanda Sports represents an important step in the expansion of Wanda Group’s strategic investment in the global sports business. Under the new structure we expect the growth and acceleration of the company’s impressive portfolio of both spectator and participation sports based on the shared networks and resources of the integrated companies. All valued partners and clients as well as millions of sports enthusiasts worldwide will benefit. The new structure will provide continuity and stability, a much enhanced service offering and strengthened resources in event development and delivery.”

In the following months, the management of Wanda Sports will further review the entity’s structure to maximise strategic alignment. Further details will be announced in the course of Q1/2016.
  1. Dalian Wanda Group
  2. Infront Sports & Media
  3. World Triathlon Corporation

Donnerstag, 27. August 2015

Infront and IRONMAN - a deadly combination in endurance sports marketing

Following the recent acquisition of World Triathlon Corporation, Inc. by Dalian Wanda Group for est. $890 million including assumed obligations raises a couple of questions. Three particular will be addressed in this article.

How and when can get Dalian Wanda get a return on investment?

Dalian Wanda is separated into two divisions. The Real Estate division owns 100+ shopping malls and 70+ hotels and is the powerhouse of Dalian Wanda Group's wealth. The second division is called The Cultural Industry Group are 6,600+ movie screens, including the largest movie theater chains like Hoyts Group in Australia, Wanda Cinemas China and AMC Entertainment Theaters in the U.S. Other assets are Sunseeker yachts from Great Britain and Swiss Sports Marketing firm Infront Sports & Media AG.
The 2015 acquisitions of Ironman and Infront Sports & Media properties have made Wanda Group one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive sports companies. Logo: Dalian Wanda Group
Infront was acquired in February 2015. His CEO Philippe Blatter, a nephew of FIFA long term president Joseph "Sepp" Blatter, is a triathlete with 15 Ironman finishes under his belt. Infront is in charge of being WTC's marketing and media service partner for EMEA region since 2011. Infront was also one of the parties conducting due diligence on WTC's assets in year 2014, but stepped away from a deal. Maybe the price tag was too high or Dalian Wanda was already approaching early talks of an acquisition of Infront itself. But at one time, a Dalian Wanda Group owned company had already all important data concerning WTC's core assets like IRONMAN and M-Dot brands and owned races.

IRONMAN is missing a real and long term sponsorhip deal and tv coverage on a global scale. Logo: WTC
The Cultural Industry Group could leverage IRONMAN with current Dalian Wanda Group assets like film industry and sports marketing. Short-term exceptional growth rate can be expected in Aisa and esp. in China, while other regions may consolidates.
Infront already manages media and marketing assets for IRONMAN in EMEA region. Logo: Infront 
A major role could play Infront. IRONMAN lacks for years on a real global title sponsorhsip deal or at least a branded sponsorship for all regional championship races as a series, same applies to the majority of regional races. Infront could contribute here and build a win, win situation for Dalian Wanda at this stage: generating commission for sponsorship deals and the deal itself for two of its own companies. Dalian Wanda movie studios, movie screens, Infront and IRONMAN - a deadly combination in endurance sports marketing.

Update: Sportspromedia has released a similar point of view of the importance of Infronts future role and how Dalian Wanda Group acquired WTC:
The Swiss-based agency [...] lead by its chief executive Philippe Blatter, an Ironman participant and enthusiast, was the driving force behind bringing the WTC and Wanda together. 
For its part, Infront made the following statement to SportsPro: “The acquisition of the WTC represents an important step to further expand the strategic involvement in global sports business, a strong move into the fast growing field of active lifestyle and mass participation events as well as into event ownership. Further it perfectly complements Infront’s portfolio, including major marathon events as well as the B2RUN and Happy 10K running series. “Our shared aim is to build a number one position in the global sports market through a variety of major expansion projects.” [2]

Will IRONMAN continue its aggressive groth and expansion plan?

Yes, according to an email Andrew Messick, CEO of IRONMAN sent on August 27: "This ownership transition marks the start of another exciting chapter and opportunity for growth of our company.  This sale allows IRONMAN to continue its aggressive growth, particularly throughout Asia, and reinforces our global appeal."

Will IRONMAN's Senior Management stay in place?

There is no answer for the long term, but the same email addresses this topic as well: "Although this is big news for our organization, rest assured that the IRONMAN team will stay focused on our races, our people, our athletes and our partners.  IRONMAN has a very bright future: I intend to remain the CEO of IRONMAN and will be signing a contract extension as will the core of our senior management team. More broadly, our teams and leadership will remain intact, we will continue to grow and provide opportunities for partners and athletes."

Other sources wrote about a 5 year agreement between Dalian Wanda and the senior management of IRONMAN and its core members. [3]
  1. Transaction confirmed, Dalian Wanda Group acquires World Triathlon Corporation and Ironman for $650 million
  2. WTC new star of Wanda after US$650m deal
  3. Transaction confirmed, Dalian Wanda Group acquires World TriathlonCorporation and Ironman for $650 million

Samstag, 8. August 2015

Dalian Wanda Group in talks to acquire World Triathlon Corporation andIRONMAN triathlon for $850 million

According to South China Morning Post, Dalian Wanda Group, owned by China's richest man Wang Jianlin is in talks to acquire IRONMAN's parent company World Triathlon Corporation (WTC). An mass participation sports asset would follow other acquisitions in the sports and media segment. Switzerland based sports marketing firm Infront Sports & Media was bought for EUR 1.05 billion in February 2015. A group, that was interested in  WTC itself, but walked away from a deal. [1]

Maybe Infront's parent company can close a deal, certainly on a much lower price, than introduced from South China Morning Post. Not very reasonable sounds the "very high" price tag of $850m, considering assumed obligations like the $220m loan (due 2021) to pay a dividend to it's current owner Providence Equity partners and a $20 revolver due 2019 on WTC's balance sheet. Rating agency Moody's Investors Service has assigned a B2 Corporate Family Rating (CFR) and B2-PD Probability of Default Rating (PDR) to World Triathlon Corporation ("WTC" or "the company") in 2014. [2]

South China Morning Post wasn't able to get a confirmation from any involved party, but several of our own insider sources confirmed the negotiations and a very specific time window to close the deal around 10th of August 2015:

Dalian Wanda outbid other potential buyers for Ironman and is now in negotiations to finalise a deal with its owner, private equity firm Providence Equity Partners, the person said this week. There is no certainty that Dalian Wanda will manage to finalise a deal, the person added.
The source asked not to be identified because the negotiations are confidential. A spokesman for Providence declined to comment, while representatives for Dalian Wanda and Ironman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
  1. China’s richest man in talks to buy Ironman triathlon competition for more than US$850m. Wang Jianlin's company, Dalian Wanda Group, is in talks to purchase triathlon firm, says source.
  2. Rating Action: Moody's assigns B2 corporate family rating to World Triathlon Corporation, Global Credit Research - 17 Jun 2014

Dienstag, 11. Oktober 2011

Nachbetrachtung und hr Liveübertragung

Betrachtet man die Übertragung des Ironman Hawaii Triathlons 2011 fallen zwei Dinge auf. Live fand der Ironman Hawaii 2011 nur an drei Orten in der Welt der bewegten Bilder statt. Zunächst einmal auf der WTC eigenen Plattform, die das Videosignal über den großen US-Broadcaster Universalsports eingebunden hatten. Dann natürlich auf und in einer nicht ganz so kleinen hessischen Gemeinde, in Frankfurt am Main bei der öffentlich-rechtlichen Sendeanstalt hessenfernsehen.
Die Kommentatoren Ralf Scholt, Steffen Liebetrau und Dirk Froberg bemühten sich trotz phasenweise ungenügender Information in Wort und Bild von der Strecke um die Übermittlung des wesentlichen Renngeschehens. Screenshot: hessenfernsehen
Deutlicher als in den Jahren zuvor trat die Haupteigenschaft der Liveberichterstattung als derzeit geschlossenes System hervor, das aktuell keine hohe Priorität genießt und in der naturgemäß Sponsoren der Weltmeisterschaften einen hohen Sichtbarkeitsanteil haben. Der Kampf um Sponsorensichtbarkeit im Rennen dürfte in den nächsten Jahren durch das sich weiter abkapselnde Ökosystem Ironman eher noch zunehmen. Athleten werden primär von seitlichen oder hinteren Bildwinkeln eingefangen, aussagefähiges Bildmaterial zur Rennentwicklung der Top 4 bis 10 bei den Frauen und Männern steht selten zur Verfügung. Einen Schock lieferte die Bildregie mit der Abblende kurz vor dem Zieleinlauf von Craig Alexander, das hessenfernsehen saß buchstäblich im Dunkeln, von einer transparenten Darstellung entscheidender Überholmanöver im Kampf um Platz 2 und 3 bei den Herren abgesehen.

Primär liegt das Hauptaugenmerk der Video- und TV-Produktion auf das mit zahlreichen Emmy-Awards ausgezeichneten TV-Format, das alljährlich Mitte Dezember auf ESPN/NBC ausgestrahlt und auf DVD zum Verkauf gepresst wird. Ob der Vermarktungsvereinbarung mit Infront für Europa und Südafrika auch mittelfristig Auswirkungen auf ein weltweites Live-Signal, verbesserte Bilddramaturgie zeitnah zum Veranstaltertag und eine verbesserte Abbildung des tatsächlichen Rennverlaufs haben kann, bleibt abzuwarten. Externe Sponsoren werden zumindest so eine Chance haben mit den TV-Sendern Vereinbarungen zu treffen, wie es auch eine große Bierbrauerei im Falle des Ironman Hawaii 2011 im hessenfernsehen getan hat.

Wie es auch geht, zeigen einmal mehr schöne Aufnahmen der us-amerikanischen Triathlete:

Es wäre für 2012 sehr schön, wenn am Renntag in einem Livestream höherer Auflösung auch die Kameras vor den in der Lavawüste kämpfenden Athleten ihre Signale einspeisen würden, um mehr von der Faszination Ironman, Kampf und Seelenqual in ihren Gesichtern ablesen zu können. Verlässliche, alle 5km auf der Laufstrecke aktualisierte Leaderboards und Bilder der Top 5 in den entscheidenden Rennsituationen machen das Salz in der Suppe einer gelungenen Übertragung aus. Bis Mitte Dezember lässt die Spannung dann doch auch bei den größten Fans merklich nach, um auf die gewohnt erstklassigen Kunstwerke für NBC zu warten.

Donnerstag, 6. Oktober 2011

Verbesserte Sponsorenakquise und TV-Reichweite gewünscht, World Triathlon Corporation und Infront Sports & Media

Für die Ironman Events in Europa und Südafrika hat die World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) als Markeninhaber von Ironman und Ironman 70.3 einen Vertrag mit der Sportrechteagentur Infront Sports & Media  abgeschlossen. Ziel der Kooperation soll eine verbesserte Unterstützung der Events durch Sponsoren und TV-Distribution sein. Infront mit Sitz im schweizerischen Zug zählt zu ihren Kunden auch den DFB und die FIFA.

Zu diesem Zweck werden von Infront Sports & Media spezielle, standardisierte Sponsorenpakete innerhalb Europas für die derzeit 17 Ironman und Ironman 70.3 Events angeboten. Zusätzlich stehen globale Sponsorenpakete für alle 75 Veranstaltungen zur Verfügung. Aktuell sind etwa PowerBar und Timex mit globalen Kooperationen bei Ironman vertreten. Die geplante Standardisierung soll verschiedene klassische Sponsoringarten über Titel-, Präsentations- und Veranstaltungssponsoren umfassen. Abgerundet wird die Zuständigkgeit von Infront durch Ausrüster und Lizenznehmer.

Ein weiteres für den Erfolg entscheidendes Hauptaugenmerk der Kooperation sieht auch eine verbesserte und zentralisierte Vermarktung der TV-Rechte vor, um eine quantitative und qualitative Reichweitenverbesserung zu erzielen. Geplant sind 14 26-minütige Zusammenfassungen und Magazininhalte, die sich von Rennen, Training, Athletenprofilen und vielen Hintergrundinformationen rund um die Lifestyleaspekte des Triathlons kümmern sollen. Dieser Aspekt ist ganz im Sinne einer geforderten Verbesserung  der TV-Präsenz.

"Wir glauben, es existiert eine große Entfaltungsmöglichkeit, um den Einfluss von der Ironman und 70.3 Marken" zu verbessern, sagte Geschäftsführer Andrew Messick. Mike Pine, CSO der WTC ergänzt: "Das Interesse am Triathlonsport wächst beständig, aber es gibt unerschlossene Märkte in Europa, wo wir die allgemeine Sichtbarkeit erhöhen können."

Philippe Blatter, Präsident und Geschäftsführer von Infront sieht Ironman als eine attraktive Plattform mit viel Entwicklungspotential. "Der Ironman steht für eine einzigartige Lebensweise und wir bieten kommerziellen Partnern eine attraktive internationale Kommunikationsplattform".