Robert Louis-Dreyfus, chairman and major shareholder of sports marketing agency Infront Sports & Media, died on Saturday, July 4, having lost his battle against leukaemia. Infront is the marketing partner of the IIHF and its men’s annual World Championship.
Robert, who was 63, will be best known as the man who headed the renaissance of sports brand adidas and his roles as managing director of Saatchi and Saatchi. He had been Infront's chairman and a major shareholder since the official inception of the company in 2002.
“Robert was a thoroughbred leader and a visionary entrepreneur. During his Chairmanship, Infront has become one of the world's most reliable and respected sports marketing groups,” said Infront vice chairman Dr. Andreas Jacobs. “We all owe him a huge debt of gratitude for his extraordinary contribution and unremitting support. We will never forget him. Our deepest sympathies are now with his family and close friends.”
Infront president and CEO Philippe Blatter added: “I have had the privilege of working very closely with Robert in the last four years and what struck me most was his humanism, simplicity and humility; the passion he brought to his role and his care for other people.”
IIHF President René Fasel commented: “The moments I had the benefit to spend with Robert were very special. He was an incredibly sociable and interesting person. Robert was truly a self-made man, whose rise to the top was extremely impressive. I will certainly miss him.”
Over the past six years Louis-Dreyfus played a major role in the development of Infront into a widely diversified and leading sports marketing company following a major strategic restructuring in 2006.