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Manufacturers' products used/seen at the olympics

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I watched the Olympics yesterday with my brother-in-law while our kids played in the snow (yes, the NE finally got snow!). Since he is in the marketing industry, he was very in tune with watching which products are bring used.

He pointed out to me that ski jumping was dominated by skis made primarily by Fischer, Elan, and to a small extent Rossi.

In downhill it was primarily Atomic, Fischer, and Salomon, with perhaps one Dynastar.

He was astounded that more companies do not try to get their products used by competitors in these high profile events. He has Head skis and mentioned that this is a perfect venue to promote their new liquid metal top sheets. I was curious, once he pointed this out, why I did not see Volkl, Elan, Blizzard, etc.... in the downhill.

I could understand with the limited market for ski jumping , that it may not be cost efficient for all companies to produce these skis, but downhill? Do youthink it is because they only highlight certain racers for TV viewers and they just happen to be on these skis, or is there really such a limited number of manufacturers producing skis for the "top of the ladder" athletes?

Just a question...no bias here....just wondering.

-Scott
post #2 of 8
I was watching some of the downhill last night and had a good laugh when one of the competitors finished his run with a good time and his teammates came rushing out to congratulate him as he came to a stop, and his teammates (who had already raced) were all carrying 170cm civillian race skis! When this guy took his genuine downhill skis off they were 50cm longer than what his teammates were carrying!

Nobody in their right mind thinks that the skis those guys use bear any resemblance to what you can buy in the shops, who knows what is under those top sheets. And even if you could get those skis you wouldn't want them because they are so specialised they wll punish you severely if you try to do anything they are not designed for.

The only people who would be influenced by what racers use are gullible wannabes.
post #3 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott K
In downhill it was primarily Atomic, Fischer, and Salomon, with perhaps one Dynastar.

He was astounded that more companies do not try to get their products used by competitors in these high profile events. He has Head skis and mentioned that this is a perfect venue to promote their new liquid metal top sheets. I was curious, once he pointed this out, why I did not see Volkl, Elan, Blizzard, etc.... in the downhill.
The first seed of men's DH are the most expensive endorsements in WC skiing. The 3 companies you mention - Volkl, Elan, Blizzard - are substantially smaller than Atomic, Fischer, and Salomon, globally speaking. It's probably just a matter of not being able to afford a top tier male downhiller.

Volkl and Elan supply a decent number of GS/SL skiers, who come somewhat cheaper than their DH counterparts. Don't know about Blizzard...they've had some tough times recently.

For a while in the 90's, Völkl had a rap as being girl's skis, because the vast majority of their WC success were with women - Hilary Lindh, Kristina Koznick, Picabo (late career), Katja Seizinger, Hilde Gerg, Alexandra Meissnitzer, etc...
post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwiski
Nobody in their right mind thinks that the skis those guys use bear any resemblance to what you can buy in the shops, who knows what is under those top sheets. And even if you could get those skis you wouldn't want them because they are so specialised they wll punish you severely if you try to do anything they are not designed for.

The only people who would be influenced by what racers use are gullible wannabes.
Actually, I think you would find that an "average" skier might think just the opposite (not being aware of the terms "race room" and hand-made), and thus the initial comment about what a good marketing opportunity it is for the under-represented brands. The person who skis maybe a few times a year, likes the sport, but has no idea what the World Cup is - those are the one who'll watch the Olympic downhill, see that Bode, Daron, etc... use Atomic, and then (possibly) remember that brand the next time they buy skis.
post #5 of 8
From a marketing perspective, it's just a brand impression. If the average ski consumer notices that the DH winner was on Dynastar, or a large number of them were on Atomic, then the marketers for those companies have done their jobs.

It's really not about advertising that exact ski. Why bother? Nobody buys race skis anymore anyway...
post #6 of 8
The brands you see may pay the top racers a million dollars a year to ski on their skis...and hold them high for the cameras at the finish. Some brands can't afford that, and some (Head?) choose to spend that money on R&D instead of this type of marketing.

Of course, the actual race skis can't be bought. What we buy as "race" skis might have the same graphics, and ski very well, but they aren't the same ski. Ditto for boots.


Ken
post #7 of 8

who you know?

Face it, many times you have to have an "in" at a company to buy a race stock ski. 95% of the shops aren't even able to get them if they are aware of them and 99% of the kids on the sales floor wouldn't even know a race stock ski if they fell over it.

Some companies (Stockli) have had many racers come up on the product and then switch over to Atomic. Hand made skis, small "niche" company and they don't give a hoot about being big, so the racers go where the $$ is.
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy
The brands you see may pay the top racers a million dollars a year to ski on their skis...and hold them high for the cameras at the finish. Some brands can't afford that, and some (Head?) choose to spend that money on R&D instead of this type of marketing.
Do they really?

Or do they instead spend the WC athletes sponsorship money marketting the idea that they spend the money on R&D ?

No one wants to see their skis on losing athletes, and it's better to think that the money is being spent on R&D than advertising. That's just good branding.
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