During the summer months, FIS will present in a series of interviews some of the its most important partners, many of whom have engaged to the benefit of ski sports for many years.
In the first interview, Torsten Stark, responsible for sport sponsoring at Viessmann, elaborates on his company's involvement in skiing. Viessmann (www.viessmann.com) is one of the leading international manufacturers of heating systems and the title sponsor of the Viessman FIS Cross-Country World Cup and presenting sponsor of the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup.
FIS: What kind of a role does sport sponsoring play in the marketing and communication strategy of Viessmann and what is the relationship between Viessmann and ski sports?
Viessmann: The engagement in sport sponsoring is an important part of our international marketing concept. There are many good reasons for such a strong involvement in winter sports including support for Cross-Country Skiing, Ski Jumping, Nordic Combined, Biathlon, and Luge. These include:
FIS: Viessmann has supported ski sports for several years. Besides being the title and presenting sponsor of FIS World Cup series, you also sponsor individual athletes?
Viessmann: We have been engaged in winter sports since the 1993/94 season as partner of several national and international federations and different World Cup series. Our goal is, besides increasing our brand awareness, to use sponsoring to create and enhance a positive brand image. This is why athlete sponsoring plays an important role for us in addition to event sponsoring.
Our athlete sponsoring is based on supporting athletes who are not only successful but also especially likeable. That is how the sponsor can benefit from the image of a successful and pleasant athlete.
FIS: From the perspective of a sponsor, what should ski sport pay attention to their future development?
Viessmann: We have seen as positive the development of making ski sports more TV friendly through exciting competitions such as the mass start and team sprint in Cross-Country Skiing. It is however important to ensure that the competitions remain easily understandable for TV viewers. This also applies to e.g. the Viessmann FIS Tour de Ski where further steps are still needed to increase the transparency and to make sure that the TV viewer is always able to follow for example the overall standings at any point in time.
FIS: What was your personal highlight last season and what do you expect from the coming season?
Viessmann: The main highlight was surely the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Liberec which were critically approached by many but in the end were acclaimed as a historical milestone even by FIS President Gian Franco Kasper himself. The Viessmann FIS Tour de Ski has developed further year on year and has already established itself as an indispensable part of the winter sports calendar.