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Recent FIS News
Below you will find a listing of recent FIS News
Season Review: Nordic Combined with Lasse Ottesen
Lasse Ottesen joined FIS in the role of the Nordic Combined Coordinator in the summer of 2011, after the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2011 in Oslo where he worked as Assistant Sports Director.
How was your first season working for FIS?
Lasse Ottesen: I have very much enjoyed my first year with FIS and have also learned a lot. At the same time I think my background that includes 5-6 years in coaching and as Sports Director really helped me get started quickly and well. I already knew most of the coaches, the Organizers and the FIS staff. And even in my first season I believe I was already able to contribute some and hope to continue to contribute even more to growing Nordic Combined in the right direction in the future.
You are mostly focused on guiding the strategic calendar planning and marketing, TV and media side of Nordic Combined. Looking back, how was the season from that perspective?
Lasse Ottesen: To begin with, we had a full calendar, with 27 competitions compared with 14 the season before. That enabled us to pretty much double our TV and media coverage and greatly increase the value of the discipline. We were also able to establish a very constructive cooperation with the TV stations, our timing and data provider Swiss Timing, and the rights holders which allowed us to further develop our TV product. We had excellent viewer figures in some key markets, including Germany, Austria, Norway and Finland, and hope to extend this positive trend to other markets. For us it is important to grow the media's attention to the discipline and increase general interest in our sport and I see that we are on a good way there.
What direction do you see the discipline moving from here?
Lasse Ottesen: One of our main goals has been to achieve some stability into our calendar and given that we have confirmed full calendars for the next two seasons, this is looking positive. All our Organizers are expected to return next season, including this season's newcomers in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and we are now looking to introduce a new FIS World Cup nation with Turkey in Erzurum.
With the competition formats, I believe we have reached a good balance with a total of four interesting options and there is no need to keep developing additional ones at this time. In the future, I see us having a two-pronged approach: We need to put even more focus on the athletes, who are our stars and we would like to establish a calendar highlight besides the title events and the regular World Cup series.
To create a season highlight we have been developing something presently known as the "Nordic Combined Battle." This multi-stage competition, ideally with two competitions in three nations over a period of a week or ten days, would see one winner claiming the Nordic Combined throne. We are still refining this highlight together with representatives of television, our partners and Organizers but the goal will be to tell an exciting, unique story of Nordic Combined that is interesting, challenging and simple all at the same time. We will see some changes from next season as the management of the FIS World Cup title sponsor marketing rights will move to FIS Marketing AG, so we are looking towards introducing this competition from the 2013/14 season onwards.
Finally, we see a lot of promise in continued, enhanced cooperation with the other two FIS Nordic disciplines through the Nordic Coordination Group set up a year ago. This will likely take different forms, such as calendar and starting time coordination and beyond but should come to benefit all of Nordic Skiing in the future.
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