Infront revamps Nordic business operations

The Infront Sports & Media agency has said it will reorganise its Nordic business operations by the end of this year, with a new company being formed.

Infront said the revamp will focus operations on international event series staged in the region, including the International Ski Federation (FIS) and International Biathlon Union’s (IBU) World Cup events and ice hockey games from pan-European club competition the Champions Hockey League.

The national sports mandates within Finland and Sweden that are currently handled by Infront’s subsidiary in Helsinki will be fully integrated into a new company – a joint venture owned by Harry Harkimo and Mika Sulin.

Harkimo has been the chairman of Infront Finland since 2003 and Sulin has worked with global brands such as Nike and Salomon and acted as secretary general for the 2012 Ice Hockey World Championship in Helsinki and Stockholm, as well as most recently for the Finnish Olympic Committee. As part of this reorganisation, Infront Finland will be rebranded by the end of the year but continue to operate from Helsinki.

Infront will enter into a preferred partnership with the new company. The collaboration will include, among other matters, the local implementation of CHL games, as well as the representation of Infront’s international portfolio to Finnish and Swedish brands.

Bruno Marty, Infront’s executive director of winter sports, said: “The Nordics remain an important market for Infront. The preferred partnership approach with Harry Harkimo and Mika Sulin guarantees continued access to regional services, a dedicated representation of our portfolio in the market and the best combination of international sports marketing experience with local market know-how. As a group, we will continue to focus our efforts on international sports series being staged in the country, leaving responsibility for the highly regional sports and cultural business to an expert in the field.”

Harkimo added: “The restructured ownership is a logical move for both parties. Through the remaining partnership with Infront, we continue to provide sales services at the highest level for major international sports events. This is aligned with our strategic focus to grow a national business both in sports and culture.”

The current managing director of Infront Finland, Mikko Vanni, will step down from his position at the end of August to continue his career in his own company – Life Style Invest Oy. He will remain available for occasional consultancy until the end of the year in order to ensure a smooth transition for the company and its clients. As of September 1, Sulin will take over as the new managing director.