Wanda Group To Become New Title Sponsor Of IAAF Diamond League

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

By: Euan Cunningham 

Wanda Group, the Chinese conglomerate, has made a major commitment to athletics with the announcement today of a 10-year deal to become the title sponsor of the IAAF Diamond League, while subsidiary Infront, the international sports agency, will be responsible for distributing media rights going forward.

The title sponsorship comes into effect next year, while Infront will market broadcasting rights from 2025 to 2029 under the agreement announced at the IAAF Congress in Doha.

The tie-up represents Infront's first partnership in international athletics, as it will replace IMG, the international sports and entertainment company that has been working on the Diamond League since 2009, and has a contract through to 2024.

Financial values have not been disclosed but Sebastian Coe, who was today re-elected unopposed as IAAF president for a further four-year term, described the deal with Wanda as "the biggest single commercial partnership in the history of athletics."

Although its deal for the Diamond League does not kick in until 2025, Infront will distribute media rights to a second-tier circuit due to be launched in 2020 as an upgrade on the existing World Challenge Series of one-day events. 


Infront's most recent foray into track and field came in July 2018 when it signed a six-year partnership with FIDAL, the Italian athletics federation, that entails media and sponsorship rights sales, event organisation and new project development. The contract is worth a guaranteed €12.9 million ($15.1 million) over the course of the contract.

Infront told Sportcal: "We identified athletics as a sport with major potential to grow and made a competitive offer... Our proposal to the IAAF was based on our confidence and long-term experience.

"With the new international series due to start next year and the IAAF expanding into new markets it was the perfect chance for Infront to open a dialogue." 

The IAAF has been searching for a new Diamond League title sponsor since 2017 when changes to the calendar and event schedule, now ready for 2020, were first mooted.

The competition has not had a major partner since 2012 when Samsung pulled out after three seasons.

In a statement Hengming Yang, Wanda’s chief executive, said: “Wanda is committed to working together with IAAF and the Diamond League to further grow athletics in China and all over the world. The objective to bring top-class sporting events to China is at the heart of Wanda’s mission.”


Wanda is already a major sponsor of Fifa and FIBA, the respective international governing bodies for soccer and basketball, in long-term deals. 


Other aspects of the Wanda-IAAF partnership include: a future annual Diamond League meeting in China to be organised by Wanda; co-operation between Wanda and the IAAF in developing Chinese youth athletics; and the Chinese conglomerate receiving the rights to co-host the IAAF gala awards ceremony in China.


The 2020 season will see radical structural and format-based changes to the Diamond League. The IAAF announced in March this year that the number of meetings will be reduced from 14 to 12, plus an end-of-season final, while the number of disciplines will be reduced from 32 to 24 (12 male and 12 female), with the longest distance for runners being 3,000 metres.

Although the proposed changes came in for criticism at the time, Coe and the IAAF believe they will encourage new viewers athletics, and that they will also prove a more attractive proposition for broadcasters.

Coe, who first took office in 2015, today received the backing of all 203 member national associations to serve a further four-year term as president.

The former track star wants athletics to move on from the Russian doping scandal that has cast a cloud over athletics during his tenure, saying today: "I do hope my second term isn’t dominated by Russia. It’s been a tough four years, there’s no point being coy about that.

“The work we’re doing around the Diamond League, as well as creating a tour that will sit below the Diamond League, the coordinated calendar, the formats for beefing up the one-day meetings circuit – those are all the things I signed up for four years ago.

“I really hope this second term can be one in which we seriously focus on on-field matters, and that when we sit down in four years’ time we can look back at the same level of delivery as in the first term, but this time focused on the actual growth of the sport.”

Among the new IAAF vice-presidents elected today were a first woman in Ximena Restrepo, the Colombian former Olympic 400-metres bronze medallist. 

Restrepo said: “I just hope I can do a good job. I’d like to thank all of the member federations who voted for me, and I hope I can be all that they expect me to be.”

Prior to the voting, it was revealed that Ahmed Al-Kamali, the president of the UAE athletics federation who had put his name forward as a vice-president, had been suspended for potentially violating the various candidacy rules in place, as well as the IAAF’s integrity code of conduct.

A Guide To Buying The Essential Running Gear

Look good, feel good, play good — or, in this case, run good! 

'The Big Friendly': Pete Julian's Group vs. OTC Replay

Boutique track meets are en vogue in 2020 as the normal schedule has been squashed by the pandemic, and on Friday two Nike training groups got together for an old-fashioned dual meet. The so-called "Big Friendly" featured Pete Julian's squad (featuring Donavan Brazer, Craig Engels and Konstanze Klosterhalfen) vs. OTC Elite (featuring Chanelle Price, Vincent Ciattei) in a three-event slate: men's and women's 800m and a men's 1500m.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Olympics-Bound Marathoner Jake Riley Signs With On

(c) 2020 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Marathoners Riley, Ward To Clash Remotely In July 4 5k

(c) 2020 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Cranny Runs 14:48, McGorty/Fisher 13:11 At Special BTC Meet

With the official track season in the United States on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nike-sponsored Bowerman Track Club held a closed competition at Jesuit High School in Portland, Oregon, last night to test their fitness.  USA Track & Field officials were present, and fully automatic timing was used.  With the pandemic still raging, the club could not promote the competition nor allow fans to watch.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

What Is Piriformis Syndrome?

The piriformis muscle is a smaller muscle located deep in the pelvic area, behind the gluteus maximus (the largest muscle in the body). The piriformis muscle starts near the lower spine and attaches to the upper portion of the femur. It specifically functions to rotate the hip and turn the leg and foot outward (external rotation). This muscle is crucial to stabilizing the lower body and plays an important role in walking and running.

How To Train For a Half Marathon

Training for a half marathon can be a daunting undertaking for even the most seasoned runners, and having a plan is crucial for succeeding come race day. There are a variety of resources available on the internet for those who need help with their training process or need inspiration for their training plans. 

How Many Miles Is The 5K & What Else Should You Know?

The 5K race — short for five kilometers — is a long-distance race many runners conquer over the course of their careers. The race has gained popularity over the years and there are thousands of 5K races that are run across the globe. 

How To Watch: 2020 Team Boss Colorado Mile

94. Coach Joe Bosshard On Growing His Team

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Here's how to watch the 2020 Team Boss Colorado Mile on FloTrack.

2020 Prefontaine Classic, Paris Diamond League Canceled

On Friday the Wanda Diamond League announced that the Prefontaine Classic and Paris Diamond League events have been canceled for 2020.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In