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Men’s Alpine World Cup 2023/24

wnyskier

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You have to play the cards you’re dealt, dude.
He holds a good hand:
- Arguably the best male SL skier in the world
- Strong popularity and social media presence (yes, that's important for your brand in the modern world)
- Personal sponsorship from Oakley, Red Bull and Atomic
- Dual citizenship with Brazil

It's not a stretch to see him do an AJ Ginnis and run as a team of one, just like HK, MH, MS, etc.

Not sure what cards NSF holds, but I'd wager they've made a mistake and doubled down rather than folding.
 
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4ster

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I’m not so sure Braathen’s retirement is solely related to NSF. Maybe that was the final straw but it seems there may be a bigger underlying issue we know nothing about that contributed to his decision :huh: .
 

arkay

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He holds a good hand:
- Arguably the best male SL skier in the world
- Strong popularity and social media presence (yes, that's important for your brand in the modern world)
- Personal sponsorship from Oakley, Red Bull and Atomic
- Dual citizenship with Brazil

It's not a stretch to see him do an AJ Ginnis and run as a team of one, just like HK, MH, MS, etc.

Not sure what cards NSF holds, but I'd wager they've made a mistake and doubled down rather than folding.
So you think he’ll continue skiing? That would be a win for fans for sure. Let’s bring him to the US and give him citizenship. He can model all he wants and dominate GS/SL.
 

arkay

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I'm guessing it's funding channels drying up and the ensuing panic from the national governing bodies (NGBs). The last time these federations were so strict in terms of athletes being "on brand" was in the days when all prize money was laundered... er, "handled and doled out accordingly" by the sports federations.

Y'all remember that, right? Back when Stenmark was deemed a "professional" because he had contracts that allowed him direct payment from his sponsors in "violation" of the IOC code it caused a bit of chaos because he couldn't defend his medals in 1984. Stenmark (and to a lesser extent Girardelli) opened the flood gates for sponsor badges on speed suits, helmets/headgear, etc.

Suddenly branding became one of the biggest parts of NGBs. The once restrictive ski pools opened up - I remember when it was borderline scandalous that ÖSV athletes could now get material from Rossignol, Völkl, and the like. It became a feast when the global economy was strong, no doubt. There were competitive contracts for on-hill and off-hill clothing, official cars, official snack foods, the lot of it.

Now with the global economy hitting the brakes - as well as the overall uncertainty for winter sports and the lumbering beasts that are the various FIS global tours - the NGBs are trying to keep the wheels on the sponsor gravy train. And now that many of them have bloated in terms of staffing (U.S. Ski and Snowboard is a very middle manager heavy body, to put it gently, and FIS isn't much better) there are more paychecks to fill and, well, the money has to come from somewhere.

And when you get into the more slim-and-trim federations like the Norwegians they really panic when folks want to do something outside of the sponsor pool. ALS was able to get away with things back in the day, and HK's dad was willing to take the baby and the bath water to get the NSF to bend and allow him to be a team of one. Braathen didn't have that level of sway, great results notwithstanding. I can only imagine how much it affected his emotional health: the kid is successful AF and he's levied a fine for modeling a clothing brand that is very popular in Scandinavia. All because he saw a chance to have some fun and get some extra money he gets punished - no wonder he said enough is enough.

Let's see what happens with the other Norwegian alpine stars. If they continue to improve and the NSF continues to turn the screws it could be... well, it could really shake things up.

I could honestly see alpine ski teams go the way of professional bike racing. They used to have national squads, at least until the brand factory teams arrived in the 1950s and 1960s. Nowadays you only see a national squad at the development level in most pro cycling, with national teams coming together for World Championship and Olympic events. Otherwise they all ride for trade teams, mix-and-match in terms of nationality. It works, and it could very well be the only way to keep many forms of ski and snowsports competition - be it alpine, nordic, freestyle, snowboarding, whatever - viable in the long run.

Just my $0.02...
Could Braathen cut a deal with the federation and donate $100k? The fed looks the other way and he does his modeling. His personal soonsors kick in some extra cash. The net result is everyone wins.

Braathen risks becoming irrelevant in a few years.
 

James

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I’m not so sure Braathen’s retirement is solely related to NSF. Maybe that was the final straw but it seems there may be a bigger underlying issue we know nothing about that contributed to his decision :huh: .
I agree. Saying when he quits it’s the first time he’s been happy in 6 months is a clue.
Who knows. His last video he mentions a creative meeting in Milan Italy, but can’t say what it is.
He could race for Brazil in the Olympics in two years I suppose.
 
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4ster

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IMG_3772.jpeg

ODERMATT
HK
SCHWARZ
 

Cat1210

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I’m not Norwegian but I’ve followed the conflict between the skiers and the NSF for a while. It’s actually been going on for three years now. The alpine team (with Kilde and Braathen leading) + Klaebo sued to have control of their image rights, of which they currently have none. They have won twice with the legal committee of the NSF but the NSF board refuses to admit they have lost and keep dragging out the process. The skiers haven’t signed a contract in 2-3 years because it’s so one sided in favoring the NSF. The NSF board does not consult with the athletes at all on contracts and prevents them from making money from or promoting any brands that are competitors of their sponsor brands. The NSF board is completely in the wrong here and they are going to ultimately lose, but it has cost them Braathen (and I don’t believe Klaebo is currently skiing either). From what I’ve read in Norwegian media, everyone is on Braathen’s side and most are hoping he goes and skis for Brazil, if that tells you anything.
 

James

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This tells you something. Youtube
IMG_1435.jpeg

By the time you get the team, family and friends, you’re done.

Braathen hasn’t posted much this year, has about 6k. That’s not much, but he hasn’t gone after it.
 

JCF

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So...maybe.... there's a chance..... Kilde will get married and join the US ski team ? ogsmile
 

DocGKR

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Schwarz was next level aggressive compared to everyone else. Odermatt, Pinterault and Kristoffersen all looked very smooth--go old guys! It was nice to see River Radamus putting it together; Brian McLaughlin also did well. Alexander Steen Olsen was quite impressive. It looked like Loic Meillard decided to ski with free-heel bindings....

Meillard.jpeg


Still lots of Red Bull helmets--oh the FIS horror.

Red Bull.jpeg
 
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dbostedo

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Still lots of Red Bull helmets
I thought the only issue was when they were painted like a red bull can (shown below), which makes the whole thing one giant "logo". I think the one pictured may be OK, though I admit I haven't read many of the details of the issue.

1698599165801.png
1698599252936.png
 

DocGKR

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Yup, but both say "Red Bull" and both are blue and silver.....lot's of drama over nothing.

A lot like the Van Deer issues.

There are so many other important things to deal with, it seems ludicrous for FIS to be worried about trifles.
 
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4ster

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Too bad about the cancellation, it was setting up for a contenders battle in run 2. Great to see Pintu skiing well & Ford even with some big mistakes on the pitch looks like he may be on his way back! 4 US skiers qualified for the 2nd run in GS, can't remember the last time that happened if ever!

Picabo was even better today in the broadcast booth, hope she sticks around. I had the pleasure of skiing a morning with Picabo about 15 years ago & it was a good time! She makes a pretty nice short turn for a Downhiller :ogbiggrin:.
Schlanger never even mentioned Shiffrin even when Kilde was shortly on course :geek:.
 

RiesenSL

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Maybe Soelden rescheduled to Val d'Isere in early December? It could've gone to Hinterglemm as has in past, except this season, those are the Finals. And I don't think Alta Badia has ever added an extra GS.
 
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