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Equipment Recommendations - Disclosure

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
As if yesterday's spirited thread on displaying instructor credentials was not enough…

I noted that lots of people hit the site requesting advice on what equipment to purchase. I myself asked for some help recently.

I've noticed that some posters advocate a specific brand or model.

This leads me to question whether or not there is any financial benefit for endorsing one brand or model.

Please know that it is not my intent to offend anyone at all. I feel very strongly about lots of stuff I've used and I am happy to recommend lot's of things and I am not paid to do it.

I do not object to being a compensated endorser. I do not mean to imply that any recommendation is less valid because a financial arrangement exists.

My own desire would be to know if a person endorses a ski or other equipment because (s)he is compensated to. This belief is based on the intent to be a more informed consumer of information.

I am just curious as to Epic Ski's position on disclosure of any financial arrangement related to the brands or models being endorsed.

...and I wanted to add some grist for the mill.

Ski Patrol, please let me know if I've gone onto a closed trail.
post #2 of 14
I'm not sponsored by anyone but me, but so far my experience with Head / Tyrolia has been very good, so I tend to gravitate towards their products. However, I would be glad to be an official product tester or team member for any brand
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Yeah, how can I get to be a paid endorser? I've got three little snowrats who want their ski jones. Never mind about actually feeding them.

If you were paid, would you let people know?
post #4 of 14
This is a non-issue. Some of our most informative reviews come from folks here who either sell skis for a living or are connected with particular companies. In my experience, they are not only transparent about their status, but they'll offer critical stances about a ski they carry, and support for a ski they don't.
post #5 of 14

My experience

Just this summer I got on my horse about talking to companies about an area rep program/sponsorship deal. Basically, I compiled many e-mail addresses of major companies (Volkl, K2, Rossi, etc...) and smaller companies (Elan, 4FRNT, Movement, etc...) and sent out my resume and a cover letter stating my interest in working for them.

I don't suggest this way for larger companies because I only heard back from one out of many. I think the best way to approach them is to get to know the sales rep and/or local area rep and find out about opportunities through them. Otherwise I think that your request may end up at a dead-end.

I got lucky and was contacted and offered positions by Elan and Movement. I chose Movement because they represent more of what I like to do with skiing than Elan does. I'm not knocking Elan, and the gentleman that I talked with was great, it just wasn't for me.

I am an "ambassador/sponsored", which means I am the local contact for Movement to build positive word of mouth and expand the brand identity in my area. In short, I get free stuff!!!!!!!!!

I had always wondered if just a regular full-time ski instructor would ever get the chance to do something like this and never thought myself worthy of "sponsorship", I wipe 3 year old's noses and can't spin more than 360 for God's sake. But my motivation to put myself out there and be positive was what got me the opportunity.

I've signed a contract that says that I get free stuff (2 pairs of skis w/bindings, poles, helmet, hoodies, t-shirts, and other promotional stuff) and I cannot ride anything else than Movement while under contract, which is fine by me. But I am not paid, I just get the gear.

It took a bit of trust on the description of gear because I have never actually skied them before (risky I know) but I feel confident that they will be rad.

So you might want to take that into consideration before trying this yourself. It is possible if you want it bad enough.



**Disclaimer-I am not trying to promote or demote any particular brand here, just thought I would share my current experience with the same issue that was asked.**

-nerd
post #6 of 14

Very good question!

There are people who post here are ARE on factory payrolls. But the majority of the affiliations are folks who are "area reps", these are people who aren't paid, but will get gear at a substantially discounted price to promote that particular brand at their area. There are also instructors will fall under these perameters.

Are there people here with gear agendas? Yep, but quite frankly, it is more out of love of that brand than the amount of money they will put in their pockets.
post #7 of 14
I have no idea who any of the reps or sponsored instructors are or any but a couple of the dealers are. It would be useful to know when member X recommends ski Y, that he or she has a business relationship with that brand.
post #8 of 14
I recommend what I like. If I don't recommend it, I either have not skied it, or don't like it.

But, just because *I* don't like it does not mean it is bad.
post #9 of 14
SkiNerd:

If you're an ambassador, do they send you a few pairs to demo for folks?

I mean spreading the word by skiing Movements on Mammoth is one thing, but if you can't try them out...

I stumbled upon Movement skis last year when trying to find alternate options to the continuing mass produced products and the eventual move overseas for production of many of the brands. Only thing was that nobody carried Movement skis last season. A Racer's Edge in Breck had a rack of them in March, but they were for the shop workers who were debating whether to carry them this season.

I would think that part of the reason for an ambassador is to generate interest in the product, but if the product isn't readily available to the consumer, then what?

I think Movement skis look cool, but I'd definitely want to try a pair first, since looks can often be decieving.

So, long question short: what exactly does your role as an ambassador entail?

And if I come down to Mammoth, will you get me on a pair of Movements?

PS
For the record, I plug my AK No Ka Oi's quite a bit. But I'm in no way affiliated with the company. They were just great last season in terms of customer service. I emailed them inquiring about their skis, they promptly emailed back and set me up with a free demo when I visited Kirkwood. So I will go out of my way to tout their product because it's been a solid ski so far and they were great about creating a dialogue between customer and company. Ditto for Blizzard, whom I contacted regarding their skis. They're customer service was fantastic.
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
SkiNerd:

If you're an ambassador, do they send you a few pairs to demo for folks?

I mean spreading the word by skiing Movements on Mammoth is one thing, but if you can't try them out...

I stumbled upon Movement skis last year when trying to find alternate options to the continuing mass produced products and the eventual move overseas for production of many of the brands. Only thing was that nobody carried Movement skis last season. A Racer's Edge in Breck had a rack of them in March, but they were for the shop workers who were debating whether to carry them this season.

I would think that part of the reason for an ambassador is to generate interest in the product, but if the product isn't readily available to the consumer, then what?

I think Movement skis look cool, but I'd definitely want to try a pair first, since looks can often be decieving.

So, long question short: what exactly does your role as an ambassador entail?

And if I come down to Mammoth, will you get me on a pair of Movements?

PS
For the record, I plug my AK No Ka Oi's quite a bit. But I'm in no way affiliated with the company. They were just great last season in terms of customer service. I emailed them inquiring about their skis, they promptly emailed back and set me up with a free demo when I visited Kirkwood. So I will go out of my way to tout their product because it's been a solid ski so far and they were great about creating a dialogue between customer and company. Ditto for Blizzard, whom I contacted regarding their skis. They're customer service was fantastic.
Dookey67,

This is my going to be my first season doing it, so I don't know how things "usually" work, but...

They will send me Demo stock mid-season, right now I'm waiting for my own stuff.

It's frustrating that the skis are hard to find but we are only just emerging from Europe and we only began making skis since 1999. Even this season is going to be sparse. All of the shops in Mammoth have already done their buying for the winter, but we're going to try and get a shop to buy mid-season so they are available.

My role as an ambassador is to be a communication link between the sales rep and the shops that are interested in purchasing MVMT in the future. It is also to build positive word of mouth, through working on the hill and demos, in the community of Mammoth because MVMT doesn't want to do a big marketing campaign. They would rather be more personal and grass-roots about it.

It's also a tough brand in a way because we don't make an intermediate or beginner ski, it's all advanced and expert. Shop buyers have to be dedicated park/pipe/powder.

**I don't know if this infringes on anything rules about solicitation here on EpicSki, but keep in touch and I can let you know when I get my demo stock and I'll be more than happy to take some turns with ya........you do like wedge turns, right?**



Any other questions are more than welcome


-nerd
post #11 of 14
i think i can still manage a decent wedgy. does that mean mean you're gonna shove me in school with the 3-year olds? sadly i'd probably impart bad skiing habits on them rather than aid them in conquering the mountain.



which Movements are they lacing you up with?
post #12 of 14
I must confess that they had FREE demos at the demo hut on Blue Mountain Collingwood the YEAR BEFORE LAST. Last year they wanted me to pay them $30 bucks to demo skis. Maybe I should stop pointing people at the skis I demoed when they meet the requirements, until the free demos come back:.
post #13 of 14
the only time i've ever heard of free demos is when a company shows up on the mountain for a "demo day." Most of the companies do them, even the smaller ones like Prior. and most list when the demo days are on their websites. granted since quite a few of the ski companies haven't updated their websites for 2006/07 yet, you'll probably have to wait another month before they start posting their demo day schedules
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
which Movements are they lacing you up with?
Don't worry about the 3-year olds, as long as I make funny faces we're sweet.


I ordered the:

169 Flame/MVMT 614 Binding (solid carver)

179 Kamasutra/MVMT (looks like a rad park ski)

191 Goliath (108 underfoot is just too sexy to ignore!!)


I'm so excited...



-nerd
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