Changes in world of sport business has impact on international hockey

The world of sports marketing, television production and rights sales is a constantly changing terrain, as anyone who keeps track of this arena would know. Recent changes in the industry have seen American advertising giant, the Interpublic Group, become one of the world's leading players in the market with its acquisition of CSI Ltd. (TV rights marketing and Sales), Advantage International (advertising) and the API Group, which includes, API Television rights sales division. The various partners, as a whole, come under the umbrella of the newly-created Octagon Group.

The connection to international hockey, as you might be wondering, is that the International Hockey Federation has been represented since late 1996 by API Television for its international television rights sales. As a result of the formation of the Octagon Group and its restructuring, however, a number of API clients - including the FIH - are transferring their representation to CSI, Limited.

Representatives of the FIH - Hon. Treasurer Robert Lycke, Marketing & Promotion Chairman David Burt, and Communications Manager, Mary Coyle - recently met in London with CSI Chief Executive, Karl Bistany to discuss the new working relationship.

FIH representatives were impressed with CSI's network of salespeople based around the world, as well as its corporate philosophy of quality programming and client service. Bistany feels that hockey will benefit from CSI's strong reputation and its existing relationships based on CSI's distribution rights for a number of hot sporting properties, including the England Football team, the FA Cup, and extensive rugby and cricket rights. The FIH also hopes to benefit from the reputation and resources of the Octagon Group.

CSI was quickly put into action representing the FIH's interests during the annual Sportel International Sports Television Convention which was held 14-17 September in Monaco. Numerous discussions were held with broadcasters regarding major FIH events including the 1998 men's Champions Trophy (Lahore, Pakistan), the 1999 men's and women's Champions Trophy (Brisbane, Australia), the men's and women's Olympic Qualifying tournaments scheduled for early 2000 (Osaka, Japan and Milton Keynes, England) and the men's Champions Trophy in 2000, to be held in the Netherlands.