Czech carmaker Škoda has extended its decades-long sponsorship agreement with the International Ice Hockey Federation’s (IIHF) Ice Hockey World Championship.
The renewal will see the marque remain the official main sponsor of the competition for another five years through the 2027 edition. Škoda will provide a fleet of 45 electric or hybrid vehicles as part of the deal.
Škoda’s web 3.0 Škodaverse, a digital ecosystem launched by the company in 2022, will feature games, custom avatars, an NFT gallery, and the opportunity to explore a replica of the 2023 IIHF Tampere fanzone. Fans will also have the opportunity to win prizes, including tickets to the finals in Tampere and NFTs created specifically for the 2023 event.
Škoda will also sponsor immersive replays shared on IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship social channels, as well as maintaining its presence around the ice rink and in the official fan zones at the tournament.
The 2023 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship will be the first event to showcase Škoda's new corporate identity and brand strategy.
Martin Jahn, Škoda board member for sales and marketing, said: “We are proud of our long-term partnership with the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. This year, we will be taking this opportunity to present a new logo to our fans that reflects how our cars and Škoda Auto as a manufacturer are evolving.
“We are undergoing a fundamental transformation to electric drivetrains and digitalization, and we want to show all sports enthusiasts the possibilities of these technologies, for example, through the virtual world of Škodaverse and augmented reality.
“As always, we are rolling out a mobile app, but this time we are adding something extra – spectacular replays of the event highlights. I think fans are going to enjoy the matches more than ever thanks to the latest technology.”
Luc Tardif, IIHF president added: “The IIHF is extremely delighted that Škoda is not only prolonging this great partnership but also choosing our flagship event to launch their new innovative corporate identity. We have been able to rely on Škoda’s transport solutions and fan engagement activities for over 30 years at the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.”
The agreement was brokered by Infront, the International Ice Hockey Federation’s (IIHF) exclusive media and marketing partner for the Ice Hockey World Championship.
Bruno Marty, senior vice president of ProSports at Infront, said: “This long-term collaboration reflects the strength of our relationship and the mutual commitment to creating unforgettable experiences for ice hockey fans around the world.
“The IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship presents a perfect platform for Škoda to showcase its new direction, appealing to a younger audience who are passionate about sports and innovation.
“By leveraging the event's global reach and combining it with cutting-edge technology, Škoda is poised to captivate and engage the next generation of fans, while demonstrating their dedication to helping the world live smarter and more sustainably.”
The extension solidifies the deal that began in 1992, with the partnership listed as the longest main sponsorship in the history of world sports championships in the Guinness World Records.