I didn't mean Head's loss monetarily, one way or the other. I meant in terms of cred, mostly. Underlying reputation.
Most likely, this stuff was pretty well described by @Muleski.
@SkiMangoJazz, I agree with you - not sure I'd have wanted Bode around my womenfolk! He's a bit like the hero in the movie Legends of the Fall, the one his brother was so jealous of, selling moonshine on the sly; the guy it took a grizzly bear to take down, and even then only when he was old. (Played by Brad Pitt.)
I don't know, but it seems that it would be a truly improbable miracle if Bode were able to come back on Bomber skis. Kid's movie stuff, Disney. (Providing he isn't stealing secrets or skis from Head.)
Like a childhood Elizabeth Taylor or Mickey Rooney winning the Grand National on Flicka sort of feel good thing, and nothing that would reflect poorly on Head if they allowed it. One in a million odds. That this spontaneous, willful, amazing Natural could actually make good in the ski industry in this way (on Bombers), after making good so incredibly at racing with Head (and other skis). Heck, that Head CEO ought to just ask for front row seats and a little love to come his way (and a big "Thank you"), if such a thing would happen.
For me, what I most like about skiing, perhaps, is it allows spontaneity, naturalness. So much in our lives is regimented and controlled by others, one way or another. But not as much with skiing, at least not on the hill. To many, Bode is pretty much an embodiment of this... freedom.
Arguably, racing is usually more regimented than other forms of the sport, including other elite forms of the sport. And a lot more controlled by how much money the skier families and the sponsors have to throw into it. Not like basketball, where kids just play, at least at first.
But skiing shares in "the freedom of the hills," at least to many, myself included.
Head skis as a profitable company benefits from a driven race program, how? Reputation? An aura of fun and success that carries over to their recreational skis? By association with the best skiers? Doesn't this reputation and aura of fun/success get messed up with a Corporation vs. The Natural court fight, just to suppress his next miracle, however improbable?
Very few of the general skiing public really care about racing, but I guess many more in Europe (not talking about myself or longtime racing ski folk). But they do care about the romance of ski racing: Anna Fenniger (the Cheetah Girl), Lindsey Vonn (Best Woman Skier of All Time), the Herminator, Tomba La Bomba, Bode (so unpredictable, so natural), along with the other colorful greats now and in the past. An aura of success equates to feel good skiing, and turns to confidence about the brand, in Europe especially, but also over here a little. That is pretty flimsy stuff compared to spoiled sport, nasty Ego trip, precision stuffed shirt Suits out to prove a point about a contract, for the benefit of whom?
That's why I mentioned all the feel good but pie-in-the-ski stuff around a Bomber Bode comeback. Head just wants to rain on that, for what? To inspire fear in their other, younger contract-skiers? So much for the romance of skiing for Head, on Head skis. Yes, they may be good skis, but now they will have the shadow of maybe being the villain for many, including the press - ruling by the fine print letter of the law - by fear, instead of "big hugs" and "we're in this together, guys." Not so much fun anymore, if this goes on, seems likely.
And it's a shame, mostly: has Head had that kind of heavy-handed, "shadow" roll, up to now, with others or with Bode, it's top U.S.star for so long?