World Curling Federation seeks further Chinese growth with iX.co extension

The World Curling Federation has agreed a two-year extension to its contract with iX.co, the digital arm of media and marketing partner the Infront agency, with the target of further enhancing its output in China ahead of the 2022 winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The WCF first joined forces with iX.co in August 2019 as it launched its first social media channel on Chinese platform Sina Weibo.

The Sina Weibo channel is now the Federation’s fastest growing and most subscribed channel with almost 95,000 followers since its launch.

The new contract with iX.co will run through to the summer of 2022 and with Beijing hosting that year’s winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, WCF said it will aim to continue the growth of its Sina Weibo channel while also providing additional content developed specifically for the Chinese audience.

iX.co will continue to work with Beijing-based agency All Star Partner to deliver World Curling’s Sina Weibo channel. The new enhanced partnership will see iX.co’s content creation team attend the Beijing 2022 test events — the World Junior Curing Championships 2021 and World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2021 — to develop in-competition content for the Chinese audience.

Christoph Heimes, iX.co’s chief executive, said: “Coming off the heels of helping the World Curling Federation be named as one of the leading international sport organisations in China at the Winter Sports Awards, we are excited to be enhancing their social media operations and onsite coverage during Chinese curling events.”

In April 2018, the WCF and Infront extended their media and marketing partnership for four more years, taking the contract period up to 2022.

The deal broadened the scope of Infront’s curling mandate, adding joint marketing rights with the WCF and media rights in key territories for the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships to the previous contract.

Beyond the increased rights portfolio, Infront continues to manage the global media rights for the European and World Curling Championships and the marketing rights for the same tournaments outside Canada. The association between the WCF and Infront began in 2008.