this may be total crap so if you know different say so: a guy i know used to work for Head, the story he tells is that the owner(s) of Head or some bigwig there has enough money personally that the athletes are signed to a personal services contract (ie. not actually paid by Head but by this guy)
his theory is no matter what he spends on ski racers it's still cheaper than a soccer team (or sailing boats) which is what all his rich friends own and he likes ski racing so that's where he spends his money
as mentioned all the athletes currently skiing on Head were winners before being signed by Head, a lot were Rossi and were offended with the pay cut put through during the Quiksilver debacle
across the board Rossi lost all those WC athletes plus pretty much the entire "freeride" squad that was dominant in TGR style movies
i too have sat in on "high level" meetings and been to race rooms there is a lot of speculation in this thread that i find amusing and the people on here that are actually in the know are doing there best to remain civil
i do know that all the Olympic medals in the world won't count for crap going into the retail selling season next fall except for junior race and thats only if the price meets the parents expectations...
and one last swing for the home team, what's the most imprtant piece of equipment? BOOTS.
what brand do companies that build skis/boots/bindings let their athletes use if their own boot isn't working?
LANGE, so ski whatever planks you want but use the right boots.