The Wanda Group has announced Infront Sports & Media and the WTC will merge under the Wanda Sports umbrella ©Wanda Group

Infront Sports & Media and the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) will be integrated into a brand-new identity called Wanda Sports, Chinese congolomerate Dalian Wanda Group has announced.

The group, the world's largest cinema chain operator, owning Wanda Cinemas, AMC Entertainment and the Hoyts Group, has become a major player in the sports world this year.

They bought sports marketing agency Infront Sports & Media after winning an auction to purchase the Swiss-based company in February, before they acquired the WTC, the US company which promote and licenses various competitions, in August.

Following the acquisition of Infront Sports & Media and the WTC, Dalian Wanda Group has decided to merge the two companies under a new brand which will be led by Philippe Blatter, nephew of suspended FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

Further details on the rebrand are due to be released early next year.

The announcement comes after the Wanda Group purchased the World Triathlon Corporation
The announcement comes after the Wanda Group purchased the World Triathlon Corporation ©Getty Images

“The integration of Infront and the WTC with its iconic Ironman brand under the roof of Wanda Sports represents an important step in the expansion of Wanda Group’s strategic investment in the global sports business,” Blatter, who will act as President and chief executive of Wanda Sports, said.

"Under the new structure we expect the growth and acceleration of the company’s impressive portfolio of both spectator and participation sports based on the shared networks and resources of the integrated companies.

“All valued partners and clients as well as millions of sports enthusiasts worldwide will benefit.

“The new structure will provide continuity and stability, a much enhanced service offering and strengthened resources in event development and delivery.”

The announcement comes after Dalian Wanda Group made a venture into triathlon by purchasing the WTC for around $650 million (£431 million/€612 million).

Their move was welcomed by International Triathlon Union (ITU) President Marisol Casado, also a member of the International Olympic Committee, who said they saw “their entrance into the triathlon world as a positive one”.

The WTC's Ironman Asia Pacific division recently served as the race organiser for ITU’s Gold Coast World Triathlon Series event, and is set to continue to do so for the next three years.

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August 2015: 
ITU President Marisol Casado congratulates Chinese conglomerate for joining the triathlon family
February 2015: Beijing 2022 Olympic bid potentially boosted as Dalian Wanda acquires Infront Sports & Media