U.S. Skiing Team Members Becoming The Faces Of The Sport Globally
Backed by the success of Lindsey Vonn, Ted Ligety, Julia Mancuso and Bode Miller, U.S. skiers are "becoming viewed, by many, as the marquee faces of the sport," according to Matthew Futterman of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The U.S. has "produced world class skiers before, but never has it produced so many skiers who consistently land on the podiums at World Cup events." There also is a "pipeline in place with a group of young skiers who are on the verge of breaking into the sports' top tier in the coming years." The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association recently signed a multiyear sponsorship deal with the "tourism bureau of the Otzal Valley in the heart of Austrian ski country." USSA Chief Revenue & Marketing Officer Andrew Judelson said that the deal, which includes a "'significant cash component,' gives the team a winter home that includes housing, training facilities and easy access to top World Cup tour stops." Several top "European consumer brands, most notably Audi, have signed as sponsors" as well. Meanwhile, Miller was featured on a "promotional poster for the season's opening event in Soelden, Austria." Futterman notes the NGB's "investment in facilities is also helping move the sport's center of gravity closer to the U.S." The USSA recently opened a $4.3M "speed skiing training center" on Cooper Mountain in Colorado that has attracted some "top European skiers." The NGB also "raised $60 million during the past decade to build its training center" in Park City, Utah (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 12/7).