Portimao: Series Friday notes

Infront rebrands leading promoter in motor sport, FGSport, as Infront Motor Sports Zug, Switzerland / Portimao, Portugal -- At the close of the final round of the 2008 FIM Superbike World Championship (World SBK) season in Portimao, the ...

Infront rebrands leading promoter in motor sport, FGSport, as Infront Motor Sports

Zug, Switzerland / Portimao, Portugal -- At the close of the final round of the 2008 FIM Superbike World Championship (World SBK) season in Portimao, the Swiss-based sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media has announced its rebranding of FGSport, one of the leading promoters in motor sports, to Infront Motor Sports.

FGSport became part of the Infront Group in May 2007, following Infront's acquisition of the majority interest. Infront now has two companies in the important Italian market -- Infront Italy (former Media Partners, based in Milan) and Infront Motor Sports -- and the name change is executed as part of a process of enhancing the global Infront umbrella brand.

Both companies will continue to operate independently but will in all possible aspects utilise each other's services and benefit from synergies. There is no change in the management of the Infront Motor Sports company under the direction of Chairman Maurizio Flammini, CEO Paolo Alberto Flammini and Vincenzo Lamaro as Managing Director.

Exciting plans for 2009

2008 has been a highly successful season showcasing the return of the series to the United States (Miller Motorsports Park, Salt Lake City) and attracting close to one million spectators. There are exciting plans for 2009, which include the return to the famous Kyalami circuit in South Africa; further improvements to the television distribution and production, as well as the addition of two new, prestigious manufacturers - BMW and Aprilia.

Infront will also further utilise its international network and its extensive capabilities in the areas of media and marketing rights distribution, host broadcast and new media production, as well as hospitality to help further improve the level of the Championship. In 2008, the company already used its expertise to enhance coverage of the series and provide new insights for viewers. It supervised the host broadcast and new media production through its international production operation and also distributed and serviced the international media rights.

Together with FG Sport, it has agreements with 30 broadcast partners, ensuring worldwide live, delayed and highlights coverage. In addition, Infront also created first class hospitality opportunities at all European SBK events, as the Group utilised its Hospitality services and resources to offer SBK's stakeholders and clients an unforgettable race experience.

Four properties under one roof

The newly branded Infront Motor Sports will continue to manage and develop its main properties in motor sports, the FIM Superbike World Championship (SBK) and the FIM Supersport World Championship (SSP) plus its support classes, the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup (STK) and the UEM European 600 Superstock Championship.

Making the announcement, Infront's President & CEO Philippe Blatter said: "Infront expanded rapidly through a series of acquisitions in 2006 and 2007 further diversifying our rights portfolio. The re-branding of these companies -- especially FGSport -- is now a priority of the consolidation process. As we now have 23 offices in 10 countries, this is important. We are now focusing on developing synergies so that all Infront companies can benefit from our core expertise and our ability to innovate."

Maurizio Flammini, Chairman of Infront Motor Sports, said: "Motor sports is an important sector of the sports marketing industry where there is scope for growth. We see great potential for Infront Motor Sports as part of the Infront Group, as our properties are enhanced through the greater resources of a larger group."

Stephan Herth, Infront's Executive Director Summer Sport, commented: "We have ambitious plans for the Superbike World Championship. By deploying our international sales network in both media and sponsorship competencies and our broad sports marketing expertise, we will ensure that Superbike becomes even more successful. We also aim to bring wider dimensions to the series by including new powerful commercial markets especially in Asia, which will help to further boost Superbike around the world."

About Infront Sport & Media

Infront Sports & Media, based in Zug, Switzerland, is an experienced international full service sports marketing company with a capacity for innovation that is helping to transform the industry. These innovations have enhanced every area of sports marketing, including distribution of rights, host broadcast, programme production, event operations, brand development, sponsorship and even online entertainment. Infront has 400 employees across 23 offices in 10 countries.

The group's extensive portfolio includes partnerships with several European national football associations (incl. the DFB in Germany) and top Italian and German clubs. It is also the exclusive media rights advisor of Italy's Lega Calcio and involved in the distribution of the Asian media rights to the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cup™ (in a joint venture with Dentsu). Infront's subsidiary Host Broadcast Services (HBS), will handle the host broadcast of the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cup™ and for the first division of the French Football League (Ligue 1). Infront is also the strongest, most experienced marketing agency in the winter sports arena -- representing six of seven Olympic winter sport federations at international level -- as well as an established player in the Chinese sports market.

About Infront Motor Sports

Infront Motor Sports, formerly FGSport, is based in Rome and is the promoter of the FIM Superbike World Championship and partner of the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) since 1989. It is one of the leading promoters in motor sport. The company was founded in 1975 and is led by Maurizio Flammini (President), Paolo Flammini (CEO) and Vincenzo Lamaro (Managing Director). FGSport has developed the FIM Superbike World Championship into one of motor racing's premier and fastest growing events.

About FIM Superbike World Championship

The FIM Superbike World Championship (www.worldsbk.com) is the world's leading production motorcycle event. The 2009 Championship will be the 22nd racing season in the history of the event consisting of 14 rounds in 13 countries, covering 4 continents and visiting the world's most prestigious circuits. The series is the only motorcycle World Championship using production bikes from the world's leading manufacturers such as Aprilia, BMW, Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha, competitively engineered to boost performance, with top speeds exceeding 300 km/h. Superbike is arguably the most exciting form of motor sports offering a format of two races plus additional races from World Supersport, and from the two promotional classes Superstock 1000 and Superstock 600, which showcase the young riders of tomorrow.

-credit: worldsbk.com

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