Philippe Blatter to lead Wanda Sports
Zug, Switzerland / Tampa, USA (November 25, 2015) â€“ Dalian Wanda Group Co., Ltd., one of the leading Chinese conglomerates and China’s largest investor in cultural and entertainment sector, has announced today that Infront Sports & Media and IRONMAN will be integrated in a newly formed entity named Wanda Sports Holding Co., Ltd. This announcement follows the formal closing of the IRONMAN acquisition by Wanda Group.
Infront’s President & CEO Philippe Blatter will lead Wanda Sports as President & CEO and the top management from both Infront and IRONMAN will remain in place.
Wanda Sports will build on the successful strategies of Infront and IRONMAN, and will focus on three core business pillars: Active Lifestyle (Participation Sports), Media & Marketing (Spectator Sports) and Digital and Production Services.
Relying on a truly international network, Wanda Sports’ operational headquarters will be in Zug, Switzerland. The holding company is based in China. The Active Lifestyle business will be led by IRONMAN Chief Executive Officer Andrew Messick from Tampa, Florida, USA.
Wang Jianlin, Chairman of Wanda Group, said: â€œWanda has a very high expectation for the development and prospects of the sports industry. The significance of establishing Wanda Sports is not only to integrate Wanda’s interests in sports, but also to truly expand and strengthen Wanda’s businesses in the industry, while at the same time grasping the rapidly growing opportunities in the Chinese sports market. We want to truly impact the development of sport around the world.â€
Philippe Blatter, President & CEO of Wanda Sports, added: â€œThe integration of Infront and the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) with its iconic IRONMAN brand under the roof of Wanda Sports represents an important step in the expansion of Wanda Group’s strategic investment in the global sports business. Under the new structure we expect the growth and acceleration of the company’s impressive portfolio of both spectator and participation sports based on the shared networks and resources of the integrated companies. All valued partners and clients, as well as millions of sports enthusiasts worldwide, will benefit. The new structure will provide continuity and stability, a much enhanced service offering and strengthened resources in event development and delivery.â€
In the following months, the management of Wanda Sports will further review the entity’s structure to maximize strategic alignment. Further details will be announced in the course of Q1/2016.
About Dalian Wanda Group
Dalian Wanda Group was founded in 1988 and operates in four key areas: commercial properties, culture & tourism, e-commerce and department stores. In 2014, the company had assets of 534.1 billion yuan and revenues of 242.48 billion yuan. The company now operates 125 Wanda Plazas, 81 hotels (including 68 five-star hotels), 6,600 cinema screens and 99 department stores nationwide. Looking ahead, by 2020, Wanda aims to grow itself into a leading MNC with assets of 1 trillion yuan, annual revenues of 600 billion yuan and net income of 60 billion yuan. www.wanda-group.com
About Infront Sports & Media
Infront Sports & Media is the most respected sports marketing company in the world, managing a comprehensive portfolio of top properties. Led by President & CEO Philippe Blatter, Infront covers all aspects of successful sporting events â€“ including distribution of media rights, sponsorship, media production and event operation â€“ and has won a reputation for its high standards of delivery. As the number one player in winter sport and with a leading role in football and summer sports, Infront enjoys long-lasting partnerships with over 170 rights-holders and hundreds of sponsors and media companies. Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, Infront has a team of experienced staff working from over 25 offices across 13 countries, delivering 4,000 event days of top class sport around the world every year. www.infrontsports.com
The iconic IRONMANÂ® Series of events is the largest participation sports platform in the world. Since the inception of the IRONMANÂ® brand in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLEÂ® by crossing finish lines at the world’s most challenging endurance races. Recognized for excellence through distinguished events, world-class athletes and quality products, IRONMAN has grown from a single race to a global sensation with more than 250 events and five unique brands: IRONMANÂ®, IRONMANÂ® 70.3Â®, 5150â„¢ Triathlon Series, Iron GirlÂ® and IRONKIDSÂ®. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.