Infront and CEV make plans for all formats after sealing 12-year, €100m deal
The new global media rights partnership between Infront, the Switzerland-based sports marketing agency, and the CEV, the European volleyball confederation, runs for 12 years, and is worth at least €100 million ($110 million), after being ratified at the weekend.
The partnership, confirmed on 29 February at the CEV’s general assembly, after first being announced in December by Infront as "a long-term partnership," runs through to 2032, and covers global media rights distribution for the governing body's flagship national team events, including the men’s and women’s EuroVolley (the European Championships), and EuroBeachVolley events, as well as a host of club events for the first time.
The partnership is the first in which Infront has secured media rights for every CEV event across the sport’s three disciplines - volleyball, beach volleyball and snow volleyball. Outside national team events, the partnership covers all European volleyball's club competitions, including the CEV Champions League, CEV Cup and CEV Challenge Cup, and all snow volleyball and beach volleyball events.
For the Champions League, Infront has replaced Sportradar, the international sports data and digital company, which itself took over the rights in April 2016.
Infront said the partnership will offer the CEV “the provision of comprehensive media, production and digital services in the value of over €100 million.”
The terms of the new partnership will officially kick in on 1 July.
Philippe Blatter, Infront’s chief executive and president, said: “This new and unique partnership will allow Infront and CEV to further develop volleyball, beach volleyball and snow volleyball together through innovation, increased audiences and improved production while enjoying access to financial security on a long-term basis.”
Aleksandar Boricic, president of the CEV, added: “This is a milestone agreement for the CEV and the whole European Volleyball family… Infront has been a trusted partner of the CEV for the last 27 years and this new agreement will bring us even closer together.”
Infront has been marketing rights to volleyball's European Championships since 1993 and its direct partnership with the CEV dates back to 2005. The existing deal between the pair came into effect in 2013, and was due to expire next year.
Hanno Pevkur, a CEV vice-president, and a candidate for the presidency at the organisation’s next elections on 19 June, recently told Sportcal that while he believed the new deal with Infront was a step forward, he had concerns about whether it was done “in the best way in terms of governance”, and that he would have preferred, with the current deal set to expire next year, “for it to end there and then be put out for open tender.”
He added: “When you take the numbers behind this, we will have had the same contract for 20 years, which is a long time.”
The next men’s EuroVolley is scheduled to take place in Czech Republic, Finland, Estonia and a fourth country (as yet unnamed) in 2021, while the women's event that year will be co-hosted by Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and Romania.
For the full Sportcal interview with Hanno Pevkur, who will be standing against Boricic (who was first elected in 2015), at the presidential election, click here.