Interview with Prof. Dr. Martin Viessmann
Since 1993, Viessmann has been a well-known supporter of winter sports. The long-term FIS Partner supports international events and competitions as title- or presenting sponsor – from the World Cup to the Tour de Ski and the ski jumpers’ traditional Four Hills Tournament. In addition, Viessmann endorses individual athletes, national teams and coaches.
FIS took the opportunity to interview the CEO of Viessmann, Prof. Dr. Martin Viessmann.
You have years’ commitment to winter sports. How did it all start?
Our involvement in winter sports began in 1993 with a sponsorship agreement with the goal to increase brand awareness in international markets and to enhance the positive image of the Viessmann brand. That is why we promote successful individual athletes and national teams and coaches who are successful and have a positive public image, as well as clubs and competition series. They embody the values that our company represents, such as reliability and superior quality.
The immediate link between winter and heating is essential to the success of our sports sponsorship. Our most important markets are located in places where winters are cold and where interest levels in attractive, technically oriented sports are particularly high.
How do you see the future of Viessmann’s commitment to winter sports?
Sports sponsorship is an important tool in our marketing communications mix. Our long-term and highly successful association with FIS is integral to this. The current contracts run until 2018; so we still have some time before we need to undertake any analysis and evaluation of the relationship. However, I can already assure you now that we will be closely involved in winter sports going forward.
You were on-site at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. What were your personal highlights?
The Winter Games were a complete success. The organisation was just about perfect, the atmosphere outstanding and the famed Russian hospitality lived up to its reputation. We saw magnificent competition venues and enjoyed many exciting, happy and emotional moments. Of course, I was especially happy about the successful performance of the Viessmann team. With eight gold, six silver and three bronze medals, our athletes achieved results that were so impressive that they would have finished in seventh place in the national rankings.
Following the Sochi Games you gave a welcome home party for athletes and Viessmann brand ambassadors. What was the idea behind this initiative?
That was the third time we threw an Olympic welcome home party and the idea was to congratulate our athletes and coaches on their performance and success at the Winter Olympics. Above all, we wanted to thank them for their enormous dedication as ambassadors of the Viessmann brand – not just in Sochi, but also during the entire season, both at the competition venues and beyond.
What do sports mean for you personally?
Physical fitness is very important to me, which is why I work out regularly. Moreover, I like being out in nature – it’s a great way for me to relax.
If you could compete in a World Cup race in one of the events sponsored by Viessmann, which would it be?
As a passionate skier, the Alpine competitions would be an interesting, although purely theoretical challenge. Slopestyle is spectacular – but far too risky for me to practise myself. As I enjoy hunting, biathlon also holds great fascination for me.