Infront Italy reports reduced revenues but increased profitability once again
Infront Italy, the Italian arm of the Wanda-owned Infront sports marketing agency, reported a 7.6-per-cent fall in revenues last year, although net profits rose to close to €15 million ($17.2 million).
Revenues slipped from €247.2 million to €228.5 million in 2017, according to Milano Finanza, the Italian business newspaper.
The net profit figure is a marked jump on the €9.2 million reported in 2016 when revenues fell by 4.5 per cent.
Luigi de Siervo, Infront Italy’s managing director, explained in the accompanying management report that the improvement in profitability was the result of a more efficient cost structure and a focus on more profitable areas of business to offset lower sales in the marketing divisions, additional rights, production and post production.
Milan-based Infront Italy derives a clear majority of its revenues from soccer and its flagship deal remains its six-year €5.94-billion minimum guarantee agreement with Serie A to act as the league’s exclusive adviser on both domestic and international media rights, running to 2021.
Last year, Infront signed a landmark 11-year agreement with the the FIG, the Italian golf federation, to manage events and handle marketing and digital rights to its tournaments. The agreement, which is said to be worth a guaranteed payment of €40 million, has been signed ahead of Italy’s hosting of the 2022 Ryder Cup.
Along with media rights management, Infront Italy derives its revenues from broadcast production, consulting and sponsorship sales. Winter sports has traditionally been the second-highest revenue generating area for Infront's Italian operation, including revenue stemming from a commercial agreement with FISI, the Italian winter sports federation.
In 2014, Infront Italy agreed a joint deal with Gruppo 24 Ore, the Italian publishing group, to represent the FIGC, the Italian soccer association, by marketing sponsorship packages and working on brand development.
• FloSports, the USA-based live streaming subscription sports service, it to stream live coverage of various volleyball events after reaching a rights agreement with Infront.
The deal allows FloSports to offer live and on-demand coverage in USA of the 2018-19 Italian Men’s Superlega, the 2019 CEV European Beach Volleyball Championships, any World Tour two-star events held in Europe and the 2019 men’s and women’s CEV Volleyball European Championships quarter-finals and semi-finals.
Rights to over 240 matches this year and next are included in the agreement, as are Italian volleyball’s Coppa Italia and Super Coppa.
The FloVolleyball.tv portal already shows the Volleyball Nations League (VNL), the Big Ten Conference and action from Norceca Volleyball Confederation events, along with events run by the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association and Junior Volleyball Association.
Julien Ternisien, Infront’s senior vice-president of summer sports, said: “FloSports has a great reputation for broadcasting top quality coverage of volleyball to the U.S. It is always positive to partner with an organisation that is well-respected and has a deep understanding of the sport.”