SBD/January 25, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

The North Face To Outfit New U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association Division

The U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association today announced a new division, U.S. Freeskiing, that will “operate independently the same way U.S. Snowboarding and the U.S. Ski Team do, and The North Face will be its uniform supplier,” according to Tripp Mickle of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Sources valued the eight-year agreement with The North Face at approximately $6.5M. Burton and Spyder currently outfit the snowboard and ski teams, respectively (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 1/24 issue). The WALL STREET JOURNAL’s Matthew Futterman noted the USSA created the new division to “represent freeskiing exclusively, much the way it did for snowboarding.” The deal makes The North Face the “official outfitter of U.S. freeskiers for the 2014 and 2018 Olympiads and will give the California-based company a presence at related events throughout the country.” The North Face “has long been a dominant brand for back-country adventure sports, but the company has [an] eye on expanding into a trendy new category.” It is also sponsoring the Winter X Games this year. The North Face VP/Marketing Aaron Carpenter said, "We've been evolving from the back country into the front country in the past 10 years. Action sports are a fast-growing part of our business." Futterman noted another factor in the deal is that the '04 Sochi Games "could expand to include two new freeskiing events” (WSJ.com, 1/24).
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