Infront agrees IIHF Worlds archive deal with virtual sports betting firm

London-based virtual sports video developer Highlight Games has signed a deal with the Infront agency for the use of archive footage from the IIHF World Championship.

Highlight Games creates offerings for the betting market using past competition footage.

Under the Infront deal, ice hockey fans will be able to pick a match-up between two teams and bet on several outcomes, with the footage pulled together randomly from tournament archives. The exclusively acquired content will be included in a suite of games that feature Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden and the US.

The footage will be used in the creation of Highlight’s exclusive IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship game, which will be available in formats including single game, league and tournament play, as well as games for the international lottery market.

Stewart Whittle, Highlight Games founder, said: “This is an important milestone in Highlight’s product roadmap as we diversify our portfolio of games to reach new customers and territories.

“Ice hockey has a huge international following and we are confident that fans in global gaming, betting and lottery markets will be excited to engage with this new and credible content.”

Broadcast and sponsorship rights to the World Championship are marketed by Infront, with the agency in September signing a 10-year extension to its agreement with the IIHF.

Infront’s current agreement with the IIHF runs from 2018 to 2023. The Wanda Sports-owned agency has sold commercial rights for the World Championship since 1981, including worldwide media rights. The host broadcast of matches is also managed by Infront.

The 10-year extension between Infront and the IIHF foresees guaranteed payments and the provision of comprehensive media, marketing and digital services of more than CHF500m (€473.5m / $511.4m).

The IIHF last month cancelled its 2020 World Championship due to the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic. This year’s men’s World Championship was due to be held in the Swiss cities of Lausanne and Zurich from May 8-24.