Viessmann, the family-owned manufacturer of heating systems, has been the presenting sponsor for the FIS Cross-Country, Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined World Cup series for several years.
FIS took the opportunity to interview Torsten Stark, Head of Sport Sponsoring.
How important is the partnership with FIS for Viessmann?
The partnership with FIS is a central part of our sponsoring engagement in winter sports. We have been working together for 15 years and are proud to be one of FIS’ biggest partners. In particular, it is reliability, trust and the long-term nature of the partnership which we value – similar to what we experience with our engineers and distribution partners.
How do you measure the effectiveness of your partnership?
As presenting sponsor of the Nordic FIS World Cups, we are creating powerful brand awareness, and enhancing the positive public image of the Viessmann brand, as well as using this platform to create customer loyalty.
Quantitative statistics on factors including broadcast time and advertising time in combination with a number of qualitative surveys (attention, remembrance, etc.) deliver valuable metrics to evaluate the sponsorship. Further specific market research lets us draw conclusions on the public’s attitude on the Viessmann brand. And through the continually increasing importance of Social Media, we are provided numbers on reach, likes and engagement rates, including direct user feedback, which proves very helpful for the evaluation of the sponsoring engagement.
Aside from the competition tracks, you are sponsoring a number of world class athletes and teams. How do you benefit from these partnerships?
Viessmann promotes individual athletes who are successful and have a positive public image. They embody the values that our company represents. Viessmann also actively promotes the development of up-and-coming talents. This includes the C-squad of the German Ski Association. Only with strong support at this level, high profile athletes can emerge.
The 2015/16 season saw a number of innovative developments in your online presence including the newly launched #WirLebenWinter campaign. How has the campaign developed in the 2016/17 winter and what is foreseen in the future?
The #WirLebenWinter (‘we live winter’) campaign has developed extremely well, also in the 2016/17 season. Through the campaign’s presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, we were able to reach more than 50 million people and engage one million fans. All content related to this campaign is pooled on our special online presence WirLebenWinter.de.
With this campaign, we have been able to reach out to the younger audience as market research had shown that the traditional TV viewer is 50 years and older. Also in the coming season, we continue to max out these digital opportunities. Post-season is pre-season and planning is in full swing.
From a personal point of view, what was your highlight last season, and what are your expectations for the coming winter?
Our personal highlight was the highly successful performance of the ‘Viessmann team’ at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Lahti (FIN). With six golds, one silver and two bronze medals, the athletes endorsed by Viessmann achieved very impressive results, notably in Nordic Combined.
We are already eagerly anticipating the upcoming season, in particular the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang (KOR), which are sure to provide many incredible sports moments.