The partnership of Škoda Auto and IIHF World Championships is making history: in 2007, Škoda Auto is the Official Main Sponsor of IIHF World Championships in the 15th consecutive year. Never in history has any commercial partner in any sport supported World Championships longer as a Main Sponsor. This is now officially approved and acknowledged as a world record by GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS.GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS is known world-wide as the institution for the verification and certification of world records. A fact is only acknowledged as a record, if it is clear, verified, provable and standing beyond any doubts. Says Marco Frigatti, Head of Records, GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS: “We have, as always, checked this record attempt thoroughly and we can confirm that Škoda Auto a. s. is ‘The longest Main Sponsor of a World Championship’ in Sports History. With their 15 years as main sponsor of the IIHF World Championship, Škoda Auto a. s. has set a new world record and we would like to congratulate the new record holder.”Detlef Wittig, Chairman of the Board of Škoda Auto: “We are very proud that Škoda is a world record holder now. With this longest main sponsorship of World Championships ever in sport history, we have made our contribution to raising IIHF World Championships to today’s outstanding level. Those 15 years have also been showing that teaming up with Škoda Auto is something, our partners can safely count on, just as every customer can rely on the quality of our cars. Of course, Škoda also benefits from this record-crowned partnership: IIHF World Championships with their enormous media attention are helping Škoda to carry the name of the brand to sport fans all over the world and to share in the highly positive image of Ice Hockey.”René Fasel, President of the International Ice Hockey Federation: “The co-operation that the IIHF and Infront have with Škoda is a role example of commercial partnership. It is based on mutual values, common goals and also a great interest in the game. It makes me extremely happy that this has been recognized by GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS as the longest lasting main event sponsorship in sport history.”Philippe Blatter, President & CEO of Infront Sports & Media, the exclusive commercial partner of the IIHF for the marketing of the annual IIHF World Championships and contractual partner of Škoda Auto, commented: “I am delighted to help celebrate this quite exceptional 15 year record. Infront’s relationship with Škoda lasts just as long as its role as the Official Main Sponsor of the IIHF World Championship. It is a fundamental of good sponsorship that it takes time to achieve all defined objectives – sport and sponsor can grow together, creating a property that becomes much more valuable over time. This has proved especially true with the long-term relationship of Škoda, the IIHF World Championship and Infront.”The record will actually be very difficult to beat, because Škoda Auto has already committed to remaining a Main Sponsor of IIHF World Championships until at least 2011.The official inauguration of Škoda Auto into the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDSTM-Book will take place on the 12th of May 2007 on the occasion of a reception in the Czech Embassy in Moscow.