Out now - SportsPro Issue 74: The Vierschanzentournee - Gold in them Hills

11 February 2015 | Posted in Notes & Insights | By James Emmett | Contact the author

Out now - SportsPro Issue 74: The Vierschanzentournee - Gold in them Hills

The Four Hills ski jumping series retains a singular position in the hearts and calendars of the German and Austrian winter sports-loving population.

The annual Vierschanzentournee - a professional sports event, but also a festive knees-up of mammoth proportions - is held across four venues in Austria and Germany each December and January.

For the March edition of SportsPro, Michael Long travelled to Bischofshofen for the final leg of this season's series. He sampled the unique atmosphere - loud and soaked in beer and glühwein - witnessed the sporting theatre, and learned how Infront Sports & Media have revamped the Vierschanzentournee since taking over the markerting rights in 2010, repositioning the event as one of the best-run properties in winter sport.

Infront have taken a three-pronged approach with the series: giving the Vierschanzentournee a single, unified brand identity, with different colour overlays for each of the four events; taking a 'fewer but bigger' line on sponsorship, slimming the number of sponsors from over ten to a limit of five; and maintaining brand continuity by switching from a title sponsor model to a presenting partner model.

The beer and glühwein, however, have remained very much in place.

Elsewhere in the issue:

- We continue the snow sports theme by examining the conditions behind the rise of Japan's winter sports up-and-comers, ski jumper Sara Takanashi, and snowboarders Ayumu Hirano and Taku Hiraoka.

- There a three showpiece events set to take place in 2015 - the Cricket World Cup, the World Athletics Championship and the Rugby World Cup - and it will be a pivotal year for the bodies that administer them. Eoin Connolly sets the scene, and looks to the future for all three.

- The Sacramento Kings have gone from the brink of relocation to becoming the most technologically forward-thinking organisation in the NBA. Our US correspondent Ian McPherson gets under the skin of Sacramento 3.0.

- Fresh from a successful Basketball World Cup in Spain last year, the International Basketball Federation (Fiba) is intent on reform; carving out a new and enhanced role for the international game in basketball's global consciousness. Fiba secretary general Patrick Baumann gives his state of the game analysis.

- The game of golf is on the cusp of change. With new blood and new thinking set to arrive at the top table of the European Tour and the R&A this year, we spoke to Guy Kinnings, global head of golf at IMG, whose tentacles extend across all facets of the golf industry, about the key challenges facing the sport in 2015.

- With IOC president Thomas Bach's Agenda 2020 reforms setting a culture of change across the world of sport, industry veteran Patrick Nally argues that the institutions and processes that run sport today are too insular, asking: is sport fit for purpose?

- An annual special report on the broadcast technology industry zeroes in on the growing role of clip rights, and the technology behind OTT broadcast delivery.

Get your hands on a copy of the magazine here.

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