The FEI has appointed IMG, the world’s largest independent producer and distributor of sports programming, as its production partner. The new five-year partnership, which starts on 1 July 2015 and runs until 30 June 2020, covers post production services for the FEI’s entire portfolio of broadcast products across the FEI-named series and championships. The partnership also includes a wide range of programming for the FEI’s global broadcast partners as well as for the FEI’s digital platforms such as FEI TV, FEI TV On The Go and the FEI YouTube channel. As part of its new role, IMG will also be in charge of the overall coordination and liaison with the FEI’s host broadcasters on the production of live broadcast signals as well as providing the FEI with strategic consultancy in the broadcast production area.
IMG will also partner with the FEI on its magazine programming, including FEI Equestrian World, the FEI’s flagship monthly magazine show which captures the spirit of equestrian sport and lifestyle for mainstream audiences, as well as the annual FEI Awards, event trailers and previews, and associated content including video news releases.
The move follows the decision last December to renew long-standing broadcast distribution partnerships with IMG and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to the end of 2022 in agreements that will generate markedly increased coverage of the world’s most prestigious equestrian events.
Graham Fry, Global Head of Production for IMG, said: “IMG is delighted to be appointed as the FEI’s production partner and we look forward to establishing a long-term relationship across the sport. We believe our creativity and production expertise will enhance the viewing experience for broadcasters and viewers around the world. The FEI run events across the globe and its diverse equestrian disciplines provide a challenging and exciting opportunity for the IMG production teams.”
“IMG has the wide expertise we need to grow uptake of our equestrian content globally, and the recent renewal of our distribution partnership with IMG now provides a deep synergy that will deliver enhanced services to the FEI’s broadcast clients,” said Christian Osterode, FEI Head of Broadcasting and Media Rights.
“It is vital that the FEI demonstrates the strengths of equestrian sport against the Olympic backdrop and as our sport grows globally. Working closely with IMG, the FEI will be delivering compelling, cutting-edge content for broadcast, from traditional television to the new digital platforms in online and mobile.”
As part of an extensive tender process, the FEI received bids from 12 industry leading companies, including MBP-TV, which has been the FEI’s production partner for almost 20 years.
“MBP-TV has played a vital role in helping the FEI to develop its equestrian broadcast coverage, and we owe the talented team at MBP-TV a huge debt of thanks,” Osterode said. “Our demands have grown so dramatically that we now need to partner with a globally networked organisation.”
The FEI, founded in 1921 and recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), is the world governing body for Jumping, Dressage & Para-Equestrian Dressage, Eventing, Driving & Para-Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining. The FEI also became one of the first International Federations to govern and regulate international para sport, alongside its seven able-bodied disciplines, when Para-Equestrian Dressage joined its ranks in 2006. The FEI now governs all international competitions for Para-Equestrian Dressage, which has been a regular fixture at the Paralympic Games since 1996 and joined the FEI World Equestrian Games™ in 2010, and Para-Driving.
IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion and media operating in more than 25 countries around the world. IMG’s businesses include Events & Media, College, Golf, Tennis, Performance and IMG Academy, Fashion, Models, Clients, Consulting, Licensing, Joint Ventures, and creative management agency Art + Commerce. In 2014, IMG was acquired by WME, the world’s leading entertainment and media agency. Together, the companies offer an unparalleled client roster; strategic partnerships with sponsors and brands; and marquee assets across sports, entertainment, events, music and fashion.