Zug, Switzerland, 21 January 2004: Infront Sports & Media – the worldwide marketing partner of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) – has signed an exclusive agreement with the Swiss-based Ochsner Eishockey and Inline AG, granting the company licensed merchandise rights to the IIHF World Championship for an initial period of two years.

Infront represents all commercial rights to the IIHF World Championships up until and including 2007. The new agreement will come into effect for the 2004 IIHF World Championship in the Czech Republic (Prague and Ostrava) and will give Ochsner exclusive rights to produce and market specified event-related official IIHF World Championship merchandise on a worldwide basis.

Ochsner and Infront will establish a comprehensive licensing programme which will further enhance the impact of the overall IIHF marketing programme for the commercial partners. Ochsner will also organise major on-site sales activities – both in and outside the arenas – and will run a web shop on the official World Championship website, www.ihwc.net.

‘We are delighted with the new partnership with Ochsner, which means that ice hockey fans from all over the world will have easy access to and choice of a wide range of merchandise, allowing them to identify even more closely with the event’, said Oscar Frei, President of Infront Sports & Media.

Ochsner handled all merchandising activities for the 1998 IIHF World Championship in Switzerland and is official apparel supplier as well as owner of the merchandising rights to a broad selection of Swiss Ice Hockey teams in the top league.

‘The IIHF is happy to establish a working relationship with Ochsner Eishockey and Inline AG in the growing field of event merchandising. Ochsner is an established company and one of the most respected brands in the hockey wholesale business,’ said René Fasel, President of the IIHF. ‘We are looking forward to further enhancing the impact and enjoyment of Ice Hockey with their contribution, particularly as the IIHF begins building towards its Centenial Celebrations in 2008,’ he added.

The 2004 IIHF World Championship (24 April – 9 May) will take place in the Czech Republic and feature the best 16 national teams of the world.

For further information please contact:

John Kristick
Infront Sports & Media AG.
Tel: +41-41 723 1515
Fax: +41-41 723 1516
E-mail: info@infrontsports.com