By Martin Ross
Infront France, the French arm of the international sports marketing agency, is to form part of the organising committee of the 2017 men’s Handball World Championship, working alongside two other companies.
Infront’s involvement was made public today as the FFHB, the French handball federation, announced the proposed nine host cities and towns for the tournament.
David Donnelly, Infront France’s associate director, development, has been appointed to a leading position within the organising committee, as the agency has taken on a role encompassing ticket sales, the hospitality programme, marketing and communications.
The organising committee, which has now become operational, has been set up by combining the forces of the FFHB with Infront France, Keneo, the Paris-based sports events consultancy, and Sella Communication, the French communications agency.
Infront’s role differs from the mere commission-based sales role that it has performed for a variety of other sports events or on behalf of rights-holders.
Infront France recently signed an advisory contract with the FFHG, the French ice hockey federation, to advise the local organising committee for the 2017 IIHF World Championship in all aspects related to promotion and marketing. Infront is to exclusively market hospitality packages for the IIHF World Championship games taking place in Paris.
The DEB, the German ice hockey federation, which will co-host the 2017 tournament, also set up a joint venture with Infront which will operate as the legal entity for the organising committee.
Edouard Donnelly, Keneo’s owner, is to be responsible for the operational management at the organising committee of the handball competition, while Olivier Krumbholz, the French handball coach, has been named as the tournament director, in charge of sporting aspects and the relationships with the federations.
David Donnelly, who joined Infront France early last year, will head up the marketing and communications division, the FFHB said, working alongside Sella Communication, the federation’s long-standing marketing agency.
The organising committee’s provisional budget is €24 million ($32.5 million).
Meanwhile, the FFHB’s board has proposed Aix-en-Provence, Albertville, Brest, Lille, Metz, Montpellier, Nantes, Paris and Rouen as host cities for the 2017 men’s Handball World Championship.
The FFHB has whittled down a list of 15 cities and towns, with Chambéry, Le Mans, Pau and Toulouse thought to be among those to have lost out.
Paris’ revamped Bercy Arena is set to host the final matches at the tournament, with Montpellier expected to stage one or two quarter-finals.
The FFHB will now propose the nine venues to the International Handball Federation, which will conduct site visits before the end of the year.