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Brand representation on the World Cup?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Ok from what I gather, it is a very expensive endeavor for a ski company to participate in World Cup Races.  Why that is I don't know, but I was told they have to buy into it, which costs hundreds of thousands of dollars.  What I'm curious about, is why certain brands that make race skis, good ones at that, choose not to participate?  Why even make race skis then if you have no chance to show the world they can win?  I'm thinking of Blizzard, Elan and Dynastar specifically.  I know there's other smaller companies offering FIS skis, like the Hart/Blossom/Vist and Kneissl and such, but it makes sense they can't afford it, but what is the deal with those other 3? 

 

Both Blizzard and Elan have a roster of ski racers listed on the Team sections of their website, but watching the World Cup Womens GS opener, all I saw over and over was Fischer, Nordica, Head, Rossignol, Volkl, Stockli, and Atomic.  Granted a few slipped by when I couldn't tell what they were on, but I watched both rounds in their entirety and didn't see a single Blizzard/Elan/Dynastar.  The Dynastar one is especially confusing, because my understanding is they are the very same skis as the Rossignols.  So why don't they split them up between the athletes and get representation for both?  And I'm told Blizzard and Nordica come out of the same factory, so same goes for Blizzard...why aren't they racing?  And Elan?

post #2 of 12

If you go to Ski Racing's website, they post all the gear for everyone in the top 50 of each race, so you'll see some brands you might have missed while watching the race. Stoeckli, for example.You'll see Blizzard during the slalom in Finland in a couple weeks for sure. I can't remember who's on Elan at the moment, but it seems likely that at least one or two of the Slovenes would be. Does seem that Dynastar has disappeared from the Cup a bit, but not surprising given Rossignol's near-death experience.

post #3 of 12
post #4 of 12

Ski companies don't need to pay to FIS, but they need to pay to be in national pools. This means they don't just pay to ski racers, but also to racer's ski federation. In my opinion this is perfectly fine thing, since otherwise companies would pay to Vonn, Miller, Cuche etc. but kids, juniors or b-team members would be without equipment, since some 15 years old kid is not really attractive for ski company to invest into him/her... yet. With equipment pools ski federation gets extra money and equipment which goes into these areas, which are less attractive (from marketing point of view) for equipment companies.

Next... ski companies. Elan has its own racing team. They had it from beginning of their existance more then 50 years ago. It's changing from year to year, and at the moment, I would say biggest name in Elan team is Ana Jelusic. They have few guys with men team, results in slalom are way better then in GS (with 1 guy just out of top 15 last year), but I agree they don't have some big gun at the moment. Dynastar on other side has Lizeroux and few others. So you should notice them for sure wink.gif Blizzard has Herbst. What else do you want then number 1 SL racer? smile.gif So no, there's not just Head, Fischer and Atomic smile.gif

post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by FujativeOCR View Post

  And I'm told Blizzard and Nordica come out of the same factory, so same goes for Blizzard...why aren't they racing?  And Elan?


^^^ BTW this is correct...On the WC Nordica's are Blizzards with  Nordica top  sheet.....

 

Also It's too early to talk about brand representation, just after one race...

post #6 of 12

Primoz, don't you think that the smaller companies have much more of a chance to make an impact in slalom? Costs must be much lower.

post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by andy4g63 View Post




^^^ BTW this is correct...On the WC Nordica's are Blizzards with  Nordica top  sheet.....

 

Also It's too early to talk about brand representation, just after one race...


?????  Like rossi and Dynastar?

post #8 of 12

Some companies, like Blizzard, don't need to be on the WC to sell tons of race skis. The first year Blizzard came back on the US they blew up (atleast here in the East), and now a very good portion of races are on Blizzard, almost comparable to the amount of people on Volkl. Head, on the other hand, is a rather rare brand to see under someone's feet around here, and yet they dump millions into the WC signing people like Miller, Ligety, and Vonn.

 

In short, WC doesn't mandate what people who race on lower levels ski on.

post #9 of 12

Expenses for the ski companies not only come from paying ski team pool fees and paying athletes..... A lot of times most of the

expense comes from R&D and the overall service surrounding those athletes.  The costs really build up when you have a large

presence on the speed side.  There are numerous employees that are constantly testing/running in/grinding/building skis for

the athletes.  They are always building and testing new skis with different sidecuts/constructions/base materials/grinds etc...

There are companies that build great skis that you will probably never see winning speed events, especially on the men's side,

the cost is just too high and they don't see the benefit of outlaying that much money.  Blizzard and Volkl are a great example.

Where Volkl might have women on the speed side they haven't had a guy go out of a WC speed start gate on a consistent basis

since Chris Puckett (sorry the random Aussie doesn't count). Yet they have a considerable stable of WC athletes in SL.  Blizzard

is the same.  They've probably had the best SL skis on the WC for the last 3 years and have one guy skiing WC GS but not a

soul skiing speed.  Watch for Reinfried Herbst and Mario Matt to put up some solid results on Blizzard in the WC SLs this year.  It's

too bad they couldn't hold onto Marcel Hirscher, the next WC superstar that absolutely dominated every JR even and even his first

year on the WC on Blizzard. 

 

And for the most part yes the Nordica tech skis use the Blizzard sidecuts and construction.  It's not always the case but for the most

part that's true.  The Speed skis for both companies are probably the Nordica construction and sidecut.

post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post

Primoz, don't you think that the smaller companies have much more of a chance to make an impact in slalom? Costs must be much lower.

Compared to DH? Definitely. It takes much less to develop and maintain slalom team (and skis) then DH team (and skis). But thing is that "smaller" companies are sometimes not really smaller companies. Elan for example is relatively small company when it comes to today's share in WC racing, but in reality it's a whole lot bigger company then most others (with bigger and more successful WC teams) are.
 

post #11 of 12

I know at least for Elan (was standing on hill in Soelden and had to shoot few who had Elan) wink.gif With women it was only Ana Drev (Slovenia), and with men there were Gorza, Jazbec and Vajdic (all Slovenia) and then Bank (Czech) and one or two more. With Dynastar I'm sure it was at least Lizeroux (and here's proof of this), but I don't seem to find start list anymore since race was canceled, and FIS doesn't keep start list on obvious place for this race. Otherwise you can check yourself with FIS results/startlist, since there's also ski manufacturer of each racer. 

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

Ok I finally got around to watching the Mens.  I did see at least one Elan (Garza) and one Dynastar as well as a Blizzard and several Nordica.  Sure is alot more men on Salomon then the women I noticed.

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