(Photo: © FIH / Jeroen van Bergen)

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) signed an agreement with the International Sport Marketing Agency SportBizz. The Dutch-based company will be the exclusive sponsorship agency for FIH’s WorldHockey Partner program, in Europe.

Having initiated hockey’s first global sponsorship programme only as recently as 2003, it is FIH’s ambition to increase the number of WorldHockey Partners from 4 to 8 before end 2010. SportBizz will be the exclusive agency in Europe to assist FIH in recruiting new international companies to join its current WorldHockey Partners ABN AMRO, AtaHolding, BDO International and Samsung.

‘It’s essential to find the right match between a rights-holder and agency, especially for a sport such as hockey. FIH President Els van Breda Vriesman said. ‘We believe SportBizz is an excellent choice and we already have cause for optimism about the future.’

Camil Smeulders and John van de Laar, the two leading people behind SportBizz, are delighted with the partnership with the FIH. ‘We are in the process of strategically expanding our portfolio and hockey is the right sport in this strategy’, Smeulders said. ‘The Beijing Olympic Games were very successful for hockey and this gives us the opportunity to make a flying start on to the 2010 FIH World Cups.’

About SportBizz

SportBizz is an international sports marketing agency that operates on the cross-roads of sports and business. Its roots are in the international equestrian world. SportBizz has co-developed the highly successful Global Champions Tour (show jumping) in 2006 and recently introduced the Exquis World Dressage Masters (dressage) in Cannes. Furthermore SportBizz is responsible for the successful sponsorship by Mercedes-Benz Italy of the Grand Prix of Arezzo (show jumping), the highest endowed show jumping event in Italy. In golf SportBizz introduced Ricoh as the title sponsor of the Nationaal Open (Golf Championship of the Netherlands) in 2008.

SportBizz headquarters is based in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands and she also has offices in Hasselt, Belgium and Düsseldorf Germany.

www.sportbizz.nl