Skoda is a brand that knows how to connect with its customers. The Czech automaker has been a loyal partner of the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship for 29 years, making it the longest-running main sponsor of an annual world championship in sports history. And Skoda is not just a passive sponsor that slaps its logo on the boards and calls it a day. Skoda is actively involved in creating memorable experiences for the fans and the players, as well as supporting social and environmental causes.
Skoda's Fan-tastic Engagement
One of the ways Skoda engages with ice hockey fans is through its Fan Arena, a mobile exhibition that travels to the host cities of the championship and offers various attractions and activities for visitors. The Fan Arena features interactive games, virtual reality, historical exhibits, and a chance to win prizes and tickets to the games. Skoda also organizes fan zones in other countries where the championship is broadcasted, such as Germany, Switzerland, and Slovakia.
Another way Skoda connects with the fans is through its Fan Challenge, an online platform that allows users to participate in quizzes, polls, predictions, and contests related to the championship. The Fan Challenge rewards users with points that can be exchanged for prizes or donated to charitable projects supported by Skoda. One of these projects is Hockey Helps Kids, a program that empowers young students to make a positive difference in their communities through ice hockey.
Skoda also surprises and delights the fans with its Fan Car, a customized vehicle that is designed and decorated by the fans themselves. The Fan Car is based on a Skoda model that is voted on by the fans online and then modified with features and accessories that are suggested by the fans on social media. The Fan Car is then displayed at the Fan Arena and driven by a lucky fan who wins a raffle.
Skoda's Player Support
Skoda does not forget about the players who make the championship possible. Skoda provides a fleet of vehicles for the transportation of the teams, officials, guests, and media during the tournament. This year, Skoda supplied 50 vehicles, including the Skoda Enyaq iV, the brand's first all-electric SUV that offers a range of up to 333 miles on a single charge. Skoda also awards a car to the most valuable player (MVP) of the championship, as voted by the fans online. This year, the MVP was Andrew Mangiapane from Canada, who received a Skoda Octavia RS iV, a plug-in hybrid sedan that combines performance and efficiency.
Skoda also recognizes and supports the players who demonstrate exceptional skills and sportsmanship on the ice. Skoda sponsors two individual awards: the Skoda Best Goalkeeper and the Skoda Breakthrough Player. The winners of these awards are selected by the IIHF Directorate and receive a trophy and a watch from Skoda. This year, the best goalkeeper was Juho Olkinuora from Finland, who had a save percentage of 94.74% and a goals-against average of 1.44 in nine games. The breakthrough player was Nikita Boyarkin from Kazakhstan, who had a save percentage of 92.59% and a goals-against average of 2.04 in seven games.
Skoda's Social Responsibility
Skoda is not only a sponsor of ice hockey but also a sponsor of social responsibility. Skoda supports various initiatives that aim to make a positive impact on society and the environment through ice hockey. One of these initiatives is Ice Rinks for Everyone, a project that builds ice rinks in remote areas of Russia where children have limited access to sports facilities. Skoda provides funding and equipment for the construction and maintenance of these ice rinks, as well as coaching and mentoring for the young players.
Another initiative that Skoda supports is Green Puck, a campaign that promotes environmental awareness and sustainability among ice hockey fans and players. Green Puck encourages fans to use public transportation or carpooling to get to the games, as well as to recycle their waste and reduce their energy consumption at home. Green Puck also educates players about the environmental impact of their equipment and travel and encourages them to adopt greener practices, such as using reusable water bottles and offsetting their carbon emissions.