In spring 2017, Andrew Hourmont was appointed to the new position of Head of Marketing and Product Development for Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski. FIS sat down with him to find out about his vision.
You bring a wealth of experience as the founder of Air & Style Innsbruck and its highly successful tour. What made you decide to join FIS?
This was an opportunity I could not refuse. After being involved in Snowboarding for three decades it is great to be able to help develop and shape the future of the sport.
How have you spent the first few months in your new role and what are the major topics on your agenda at present?
My first few months were very intense. China with the 2021 FIS World Championships followed by the 2022 Olympic Winter Games is a big one. I also have a pretty big focus on working together with the FIS Race Directors and other specialists on developing the disciplines and events, and creating new products.
What is your vision for Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski?
Creating a stronger and healthier platform for our events and athletes which is essential in establishing our sport at the level it deserves.
What are the major challenges the disciplines are facing?
Some disciplines are in really good shape and others could do with a little tweaking. The challenge we all have is creating the best possible environment for the event Organisers and nations to be able to constantly improve and develop.
What are their strengths?
All of the disciplines have a sound base and are backed by people who really believe and live for their sport. Plus we are certainly not lacking excitement...!
Where do you see the biggest opportunities for growth and what are the next steps to develop this potential?
Some of the disciplines have real global growth opportunities and others are more focused on certain regions. Taking this into account and focusing on the right product for the right market is already happening. The Chinese winter sports market is where we will see the main growth over the next decade. We are lucky to have very strong partners in China. The Chines Ski Association and their Organising Committees are really up to speed and very professional.