40. Sponsorships in the snow

23 Nov

Last month I went to see Warren Miller’s Wintervention at McDonald Theater in Eugene, OR. Every year, Warren Miller releases a film at the beginning of the snowy season to show amazing ski stories and get everyone hyped for opening day. During the premiere tour of the film, Warren Miller’s team is know for giving away lift tickets, snow gear and even a week long heliski trip (skiing via helicopter).

Skiing, like most athletic sports, is surrounded by sponsorships. Everything from your helmet and goggles, to your snow shoes have a brand name slapped on it. Skiing is one of the sports that brand names mean more. No experienced skier would be caught dead in a pair of generic snow pants or a beanie from Walmart, it is all about the brands. Names like K2, Scott, Zeal and Smith represent skill and taste.

Throughout the video and with all the handouts at the premier, I noticed over 50 brands, including: Redbull, Scott, Nissan, Corona, K2, Burton, Oakley, Song, Zeal, North Face, Quicksilver, Smith and HH. Most of these were not even direct sponsors, they were just worn by the athletes in the video. Many of these brands, such as Quicksilver, sponsor skiers and snowboarders as another way to get their products noticed. By sponsoring an athlete, these companies usually sign contracts with the individual so that they wear or represent the brand at least some percent of the time.







Sponsorships are a great way for companies to associate their name with famous athletes. This tactic promotes the mentality that if Shaun White, one of the most famous pro snowboarders in the world, uses a Burton snowboard then I should use a Burton snowboard to be as good as him. I even heard the guy sitting next to me say “I need new skis” after watching a pair of pro skiers fly down the hill in their new Salomons. There is no doubt that these athletes look cool in name brands and it shows that consumers are attracted to the association. This is one case where sponsorships work very well.



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