Soyuz-Victan is backing its pending US launch with the sponsorship of the country's ice hockey team.

The Ukrainian vodka producer said yesterday (1 May) that it had secured a five-year agreement with the US National Men's Ice Hockey Team. Financial details were not disclosed.

Soyuz-Victan will showcase its sponsorship of Team USA during the World Ice Hockey Championships, to be held in Riga, Latvia, between 5 May and 21 May. The company is an official sponsor of the World Championships, as well as the Russian Hockey Federation, the Russian National Hockey Team and the Russian Hockey Championships.

"Ice hockey is a critical element in our marketing programs in Europe," said Yaroslav Bondarenko, director of export marketing, "and we are pleased to be able to extend our sponsorships into the American market to support the impending launch of our products. The SV logo now will proudly be displayed on helmets and jerseys of two of the top contending teams (USA and Russia) in the world championship games."

Reports earlier this year claimed that the company is planning a partial float on the London Stock Exchange in the second half of this year. Soyuz-Victan will also launch SV Supreme vodka in the US later this year.