News from the World of Skiing 

  Ski stars at the Tour de France ... more

  Freestyle night action in Mettmenstetten ... more


 Inside FIS 

  LG Electronics extends title sponsorship of FIS Snowboard World Cup ... more

  FIS Youth and Children's Seminar 2009: Registration open ... more


 Member News 

  USSA celebrates official opening of new Center of Excellence ... more

  Tragic death of Dr. Hubert Brhl ... more


 In Depth 

  Presenting FIS partners: LG Electronics

Interview with Andrew Barrett ... more


 News from the World of Skiing 

Ski stars at the Tour de France
US Nordic Combined team on TdF course
Photo: Dave Jarrett

The 96th edition of the Tour de France, underway since 4th July, has also cast its spell over many a ski star. During the first two and half weeks, several well-known FIS athletes have visited the Tour, the world's largest sporting event in terms of the number of spectators on site. Most of them left impressed by the well-organized event and the outstanding performances of the riders and many tips crossing over the discipline and sport borders.

For example, athletes of the U.S. Nordic Combined team, including world champions Todd Lodwick and Billy Demong rode up the Cormet de Roselend on today's stage 17 from Bourg-Ste.-Maurice to Le Grand-Bornand as well as scaling the 2,000 meter crest of the Col de la Madeleine which is not part of the 2009 Tour.

"We're training in Courchevel for a mixture of ski jumping and some lower altitude speed work," Bill Demong said. "We also used the opportunity to ride our bikes on some of the Tour de France for a little bit. It is a great way to get some cross training and see the best cyclists in the world up close."

The Vice Junior World Champion in Cross-Country sprint Timo Andre Bakken from Norway, too, enjoyed the final climb of the 15th stage to Verbier (SUI), cheering for the riders together with his family and another 100'000 fans. Caroline Weibel and Emilie Vina from the French Cross-Country national team were at Le Grand-Bornand together with Stephane Vittoz who said he took some good tips with him back with him for the next La Clusaz World Cup. And 2006 downhill Olympic champion Antoine Dnriaz (FRA) was seen helping out the organizers at the stage in La Grand Boucle. He commented: "I have always cycled a lot for training," and displayed his strength on the bike in taking part in a public race on part of the Tour course. He added: "In sport, we speak the same language. The only thing that is different (between cycling and alpine ski racing) is the trajectories."

The cross-over also works in the opposite direction: The young German-Australian Heinrich Haussler, winner of the 13th stage from Vittel to Colmar in cold rain, commented: "Even if I was born in Australia where it is normally really hot, I like cold weather. Last winter, I trained much on Cross-Country skis and really enjoyed the long workouts in the snow. It was the perfect preparation for me."

Contributed by Sandra Spitz

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Freestyle night action in Mettmenstetten
Freestyle Night
Photo: Jumpin

Europe's largest water ramp in Mettmenstetten near Zrich (SUI) provided the stage for a special Freestyle spectacle last Saturday 18th July. Free skiers, snowboarders, Freestyle aerialists and BMX riders all put their best tricks forward as the 7th Freestyle Night collected more than 2'000 spectators despite a poor weather forecast. The visitors were rewarded with an illustrious show on the 5 kickers along with a good party and a lot fun.

The night featured knock out finals in the unisex competitions. Freestyle aerials Olympic champion Evelyne Leu put up a good fight in the qualification round yet the best jumps in the night finals were delivered by her male colleagues both from Switzerland and France. Of them Thomas Lambert (SUI) took the victory with a jump with the highest degree of difficulty in aerials: three flips with five twists.

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 Inside FIS 

LG Electronics extends title sponsorship of FIS Snowboard World Cup

FIS and LG Electronics are pleased to announce an extension of their cooperation whereby LG Electronics will continue to serve as the title sponsor of the FIS Snowboard World Cup for the 2009/10 season.

"FIS is delighted to further build this partnership with LG Electronics in support of the FIS Snowboard World Cup," commented FIS President Gian Franco Kasper. "Based on the significant success during the first season of our cooperation, we look forward to helping LG reach an even larger audience among its target group, both on-site especially at the city events around the world and through the media of their choice."

"LG is excited to announce that we are extending our sponsorship of the LG FIS Snowboard World Cup for a second season," said Andrew Barrett, Vice President, Global Sponsorship for LG Electronics. "In our first year we saw great returns for our investment with FIS, and our markets around the world saw our association with Snowboarding as an ideal platform to engage with stylish and technologically advanced consumers. We are particularly excited about the 2009/10 season and the opportunities that exist with Snowboarding - and winter sports in general - in Korea."

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FIS Youth and Children's Seminar 2009: Registration open
Photo: Agence Zoom

The 7th FIS Youth and Children's' Seminar will again take place in conjunction with the FIS Autumn Meetings at the Hotel Hilton Zurich Airport (SUI). The Seminar will be held on Wednesday, 23rd September 2009 and will feature a networking reception the evening before. The main topic of the 2009 Seminar is `Promotion of Youth Sports through Sponsoring" and it will include various case studies focused on "How to retain children and youngsters on snow." An update on the FIS Campaign `Bring Children to the Snow' - the FIS SnowKidz will also be presented.

The seminar is open for all FIS Member National Ski Associations but is especially tailored for the management of the National Ski Associations, the Members of FIS Youth and Children Sub-Committees, coaches in charge of youngsters and those in charge of recruitment and education in the National Ski Associations. Registrations are due to Sarah Fussek (fussek(at)fisski.com) in the FIS office by 24th August 2009.

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 Member News 

USSA celebrates official opening of new Center of Excellence
Ribbon cutting
Photo: USSA
Center of Excellence
Photo: USSA

The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association celebrated the formal opening of its new USSA Center of Excellence last Friday, 17th July. Alpine champion Ted Ligety wielded the scissors in cutting a golden ribbon as some 500 fans got their first glimpse of the new athletes' home. The new training and education facility opened for the athletes on 1st May while the official ceremony and public tours marked its launch into full-time operation following two months of moving, testing and polishing. Athletes Ted Ligety, Steven Nyman, Stacey Cook, Emily Cook and T..J. Lanning were on hand to join USSA CEO and President Bill Marolt, Chairman Dexter Payne and FIS Secretary General Sarah Lewis for the formal dedication ceremony.

"For me, as an athlete, it's an unbelievable facility," said Ligety. "The Center represents our heart and soul," said Marolt, a FIS Vice President. "It is our commitment to the thousands of young athletes striving for their Olympic dream and brings us together as one great American ski and snowboarding team. It is the cornerstone for U.S. skiing and snowboarding success at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and beyond."

The Center of Excellence is the home for the USSA's elite athletes, a headquarters for the organization, and an educational resource for athletes, coaches, judges and officials and parents. The heartbeat of the three-story Center is the first floor training area where ski and snowboarding athletes can train together in a huge cardio center and weight room. A full-sized gymnasium is available for basketball and other training activities. And a unique "ramps and tramps" area features bungee trampolines for aerial training, a skateboarding bowl and ramps to practice snowboarding and freestyle tricks, and even a ski and snowboardcross starting gate and ramp. Flanking the training area are a world-class sport science lab, sports medicine facilities and recovery area plus a nutrition center.

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Tragic death of Dr. Hubert Brhl
Dr. Hubert Brhl

FIS sends its sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Dr. Hubert Brhl (56) who died fully unexpectedly on Saturday 18th July following a severe heart attack he endured on Thursday after a work-out. Dr Brhl, a great friend and colleague to many in the FIS family and a life-long promoter of ski sport, was Director of Popular Sport and Education at the German Ski Association. A native of Thuringia and current resident of Gilching near Munich, Dr. Brhl was a member of the FIS Sub-Committee for Popular Cross-Country Skiing and of the Sub-Committee for Roller Skiing.

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 In Depth 

Presenting FIS partners: LG Electronics
Andrew Barrett

Interview with Andrew Barrett

LG Electronics has just renewed its sponsoring engagement with the FIS Snowboard World Cup for the 2009/10 season. Andrew Barrett, Vice President for Marketing, Global Sponsorship & Americas, commented on the reasons behind LG's involvement in Snowboarding. LG Electronics (www.lge.com) is a global leader and technology innovator in consumer electronics, mobile communications and home appliances headquartered in Korea.

Q. How does sport sponsoring help LG meet its marketing and communication goals?

Andrew Barrett: LG Electronics is using global sports sponsoring to meet three goals. First of all, our aim is to raise awareness for our brand especially in countries where we are less well known. We achieve this through global media visibility of our sponsorship. Second, we are trying to change the association of our brand towards the premium end of the market. Our products have realized great advances in their quality and sophistication in recent years but our brand image has yet to reflect this development. Third, our sport sponsoring engagements are designed to reinforce the core message of our brand: style and technology.

Q. How would you describe the match between LG's brand and snowboarding?

Andrew Barrett: As said, LG is a premium brand and we only accept other premium brands as partners. The LG Snowboard FIS World Cup represents the highest level of competition in the sport. Snowboarding also combines both elements of our brand proposition: technology and style. Technological development plays a great role in the sport of Snowboarding and where do you find a greater importance put to style, especially lifestyle, than within the snowboarding community? Moreover, the LG Snowboard FIS World Cup events take place around the world and especially in large markets such as France, Italy, United Kingdom and Germany where we still need to grow our awareness levels.

Q. Please describe the different ways that you are involved in sports?

Andrew Barrett: Besides being the title sponsor of the LG Snowboard FIS World Cup, our global sports properties include Formula 1 and the International Cricket Council. Our global interest is limited to properties with worldwide reach. In addition we have some national engagements supporting football teams in the United Kingdom and Brazil or a hockey team in Canada, just to mention a few. All our sports sponsoring engagements are designed to deliver improvements on the three key brand measures.

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Barrett & family on Stoneham HP podium

Q. From a sponsor's perspective, is there any special message that you would like to deliver to the FIS community?

Andrew Barrett: LG is very excited to enter the 2nd year as the title sponsor for the FIS Snowboard World Cup. The first year delivered fantastic results and made the renewal an easy and positive decision. We hope to evolve our engagement and look forward to even broader local support and activation this season. We will already see much more involvement starting with the first event in New Zealand in August.

Q. What was your personal snowboard highlight in the past season and what do you expect from the upcoming season?

Andrew Barrett: As a Canadian my absolute personal highlight was attendance with my family at the LG Snowboard FIS World Cup event in Stoneham, Quebec, where my two sons were able to join two Canadian riders - Jeff Batchelor and Brad Martin - on the podium after the half-pipe event. For a winter sports enthusiast like myself, it was a fantastic experience to be able to witness a career highlight of these two athletes who learned to ride on the very same hill where my sons are currently learning to ski.

I look forward to next season during which not only will the Olympic Winter Games take place on our home snow but we will also have two World Cup events here in Canada. For someone like myself who has a global responsibility this is a rare treat. Finally, I am particularly excited that Korea, where the global headquarters of LG are located, has been selected by FIS as the host for one of the five big air events. This means that many of our employees will have a chance to experience our sponsorship in action and it will help promote Snowboarding in the growing Korean market for winter sports.

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