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AFP is starting a new chapter in the german market for sports news

From April 1, its german sports news agency subsidiary SID will have a dual leadership structure with the aim of winning new clients in media and non-media sectors.

Rainer Finke, up to now director of international marketing and sales at German news agency DPA, will take on the role of SID's managing director based in Cologne. He will work in tandem at the head of the Sport-Informations-Dienst with Jens Wagner, who becomes chief operating officer (COO). The goal is to respond even better to the needs of the media industry at a time when the sports information business is undergoing rapid changes.

"The arrival of Rainer Finke, at the side of Jens Wagner, underscores how important both SID and the German news market in general are to AFP. Germany is the biggest media market in Europe and will continue to play a strategic role at the heart of AFP, through the local subsidiaries," said AFP CEO Fabrice Fries. "I look forward to the arrival of Rainer Finke, who will bring his commercial experience to help conquer new markets and continue the work of adapting SID to the challenges of the digital age. He will be able to rely internally on Jens Wagner, who knows the sports news agency inside and out after working there for over 20 years and will in particular offer help in the domains of technology and new projects," Fries added. "Sport coverage, whether in images, text or multimedia formats, is a crucial part of AFP's global offerings: it accounts for 35% of the entire AFP productions" he added.

The new leadership structure will be completed by Pierre Klein, the new managing director of SID's services and communications subsidiary, SID Sportmarketing & Communication Services, which for several years now has been successfully developing on-demand productions in the German sports sector. The subsidiary works closely with other AFP affiliates active in this area, AFP Services at a global level and AFP Marketing & Communications Services for the German non-sports market.

Rainer Finke, 43, studied international management and economics in Hamburg and Montpellier. After a stint in the international sales department of the German press publisher Gruner + Jahr, he started working for German news agency DPA in 2005. In 2007 he was appointed commercial director of international operations and later also managing director of DPA's Global Media Service subsidiary.


About SID

The Sport-Informations-Dienst is the largest news agency in the German language specialised in sports coverage. Founded in 1945, it became part of AFP in 1997 and employs around 50 journalists. The agency offers text and multimedia services that are renowned among German media outlets for their quality and expertise, as well as a video service used by Germany's largest television channels including ARD, ZDF and RTL. SID's services arm offers on-demand video productions and in 2018 sealed a partnership deal with the German Olympic Committee that will notably cover the 2020 Olympics in Japan. The SID group reported revenues of around 6.8 million euros last year.

About AFP

AFP is a global news agency delivering fast, accurate, in-depth coverage of the events shaping our world from conflicts to politics, economics, sports, entertainment and the latest breakthroughs in health, science and technology. With 2,400 staff spread across almost every country, AFP covers the world 24 hours a day in six languages. AFP delivers the news in video, text, photos, multimedia and graphics to a wide range of customers including newspapers and magazines, radio and TV channels, web sites and portals, mobile operators, corporate clients as well as public institutions.

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