Ski Marketing From World Cup Podiums

AlpedHuez

Rolling like River
Skier
Joined
Mar 4, 2020
Posts
359
Location
Oakland/Tahoe expat in London
Can someone please explain the manufacturer marketing strategies or tactics for skiers swapping out their FIS skis at the finish area/podiums for consumer/cheater skis? The pattern I seem to observe is Head give their speed athletes a SuperShape or e.Race/e.Speed to hold for the camera shots, and Atomic give their speed athletes a G9. But then in Slalom finish area / podiums, Atomic still give their athletes a G9 — and not an S9 - while Head give their athletes an e.SLR.

I understand that the manufacturers are trying to push out skis that the widest audience can buy, but why do they choose GS skis to market at Slalom and tech events, and crossover skis at the speed events?
 
Last edited:

Philpug

Notorious P.U.G.
Admin
SkiTalk Tester
Joined
Nov 1, 2015
Posts
28,296
Location
Reno, eNVy
Can someone please explain the manufacturer marketing strategies or tactics for skiers swapping out their FIS skis at the finish area/podiums for consumer/cheater skis? The pattern I seem to observe is Head give their speed athletes a SuperShape or e.Race/e.Speed to hold for the camera shots, and Atomic give their speed athletes a G9. But then in Slalom finish area / podiums, Atomic still give their athletes a G9 — and not an S9 - while Head give their athletes an e.SLR.

I understand that the manufacturers are trying to push out skis that the widest audience can buy, but why do they choose GS skis to market at Slalom and tech events, and crossover skis at the speed events?
For the average viewer, it really doesn't matter, all they need to see is Head or Atomic or Rossignol. Secondly, it is technolgy ie plates, bindings, constructions that they don't want televised or visable for the competing brand.
 

fatbob

Not responding
Skier
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
3,366
It's just product that looks like what the consumer sees in ads or can see and buy in the store. Those that are nerdy enough to get down to what a particular podium model is exactly more than know that it is not the race product and probably have better ways of determining if a ski is for them then seeing it (falsely represented) on a podium.

FWT product is AIUI a bit more like the stuff consumers can buy.
 

Primoz

Making fresh tracks
Skier
Joined
Nov 8, 2016
Posts
1,398
Location
Slovenia, Europe
Secondly, it is technolgy ie plates, bindings, constructions that they don't want televised or visable for the competing brand.
That really doesn't matter ;) If you want, you have plenty of chances to get way better photos and videos along the race of any part of equipment you want, then you would get on medal ceremony. I have seen plenty of team members on course set with high speed cameras etc. (no rule for "no tripods on course" for these guys contrary to media). And I'm not talking about consumers "high speed" cameras, but real beasts costing few 100k eur. You can guess from which team most of them were :)
Main thing is, DH skis are too long, so you don't have company logo on right place, as area where logos are, are normally cut off. Same goes for SG, and partially for GS. And SL skis are too short.
Another thing is, your race skis are gone after you come to finish line so they are measured to see if they fit rules. Noone wants to wait for this to happen before medal/flower ceremony starts. One more thing with this is, that during medal/flower ceremony you might hit skis with something, so you certainly don't want your winning pair have bent edge or something similar. So race team managers from company have few pairs (or single skis) in finish to give to racers. They have few pairs in wan, and they take them out. On the end it doesn't matter if it's SL or GS like ski, it matters that company's logo is on. Sometimes they actually put ski they want to push to sell, but in general all what matters is that it's company logo present, and that it's actually ski you can buy in store.
 

S.H.

USSA Coach
Skier
Joined
Nov 14, 2015
Posts
596
Location
New England --> CO
That really doesn't matter ;) If you want, you have plenty of chances to get way better photos and videos along the race of any part of equipment you want, then you would get on medal ceremony. I have seen plenty of team members on course set with high speed cameras etc. (no rule for "no tripods on course" for these guys contrary to media). And I'm not talking about consumers "high speed" cameras, but real beasts costing few 100k eur. You can guess from which team most of them were :)
Main thing is, DH skis are too long, so you don't have company logo on right place, as area where logos are, are normally cut off. Same goes for SG, and partially for GS. And SL skis are too short.
Another thing is, your race skis are gone after you come to finish line so they are measured to see if they fit rules. Noone wants to wait for this to happen before medal/flower ceremony starts. One more thing with this is, that during medal/flower ceremony you might hit skis with something, so you certainly don't want your winning pair have bent edge or something similar. So race team managers from company have few pairs (or single skis) in finish to give to racers. They have few pairs in wan, and they take them out. On the end it doesn't matter if it's SL or GS like ski, it matters that company's logo is on. Sometimes they actually put ski they want to push to sell, but in general all what matters is that it's company logo present, and that it's actually ski you can buy in store.
I was going to say ... it's about getting the company name/logo right next to the athlete's face more than anything. The people likely to be influenced by this type of marketing are concerned with the brand, not the model ...

Fischer was using a non-race ski for a while (but it had nice bright yellow bases)
 

JohnnyG

Getting on the lift
Skier
Joined
Nov 1, 2017
Posts
248
Location
Ottawa, ON
Win on Sunday, sell on Monday. Typical sales marketing.

When Jerry sees the Head G9, he can go buy them and look like Jerry can win the World Cup.

You can do it Jerry. Keep calm and Jerry on.
 

HardDaysNight

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Posts
819
Location
Park City, UT
Win on Sunday, sell on Monday. Typical sales marketing.

When Jerry sees the Head G9, he can go buy them and look like Jerry can win the World Cup.

You can do it Jerry. Keep calm and Jerry on.
Riding a lift at PCMR today I sat next to a guy on a set of rental Elan Ripsticks on each of which was a sticker proclaiming his name in large red letters: “Jerry”. Every time I looked at them I started laughing. It was juvenile I know. Perhaps my good humour had something to do with the fact that we’ve had over 30” of fresh snow in the past three days.
 

wooglin

Getting off the lift
Skier
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Posts
236
Location
New Hampshire
Riding a lift at PCMR today I sat next to a guy on a set of rental Elan Ripsticks on each of which was a sticker proclaiming his name in large red letters: “Jerry”. Every time I looked at them I started laughing. It was juvenile I know. Perhaps my good humour had something to do with the fact that we’ve had over 30” of fresh snow in the past three days.
Did he have them on the right feet?
 

Johnny V.

Half Fast Hobby Racer
Skier
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
800
Location
Finger Lakes/Rochester NY
Riding a lift at PCMR today I sat next to a guy on a set of rental Elan Ripsticks on each of which was a sticker proclaiming his name in large red letters: “Jerry”. Every time I looked at them I started laughing. It was juvenile I know. Perhaps my good humour had something to do with the fact that we’ve had over 30” of fresh snow in the past three days.
Did he ask why you were laughing or were you able to keep it quiet enough?
 

JohnnyG

Getting on the lift
Skier
Joined
Nov 1, 2017
Posts
248
Location
Ottawa, ON
Riding a lift at PCMR today I sat next to a guy on a set of rental Elan Ripsticks on each of which was a sticker proclaiming his name in large red letters: “Jerry”. Every time I looked at them I started laughing. It was juvenile I know. Perhaps my good humour had something to do with the fact that we’ve had over 30” of fresh snow in the past three days.
He's your Jerry of the day.
 

Muleski

Skiing the powder
Industry Insider
Joined
Nov 14, 2015
Posts
4,364
Location
North of Boston
I had a younger buddy who worked on the WC tour, right out of college, as a VERY lowly service assistant "grunt" with a bunch of tasks. I know that at one point, when he worked for Lange, part of his job was to grab the the athletes' "real boots from them, and hand them pair of the latest production plug boots to hold over their shoulder {held together with the Lange power strap...which none of them used} for the photo ops.

One race day, things were out of control busy and he missed that "task". I think the two guys who were photographed on the podium were Eberharter and Maier, maybe Rahlves, too. They were all in Lange, but NOTHING that looked like the average Lange plug. Their boots were carbon fibre. They were painted a touch darker blue. The Lange logo was painted on them {and often touched up with model paint.} The liners? All made of smooth black leather. All foamed. I believe all actually custom made by Stroltz. And yeah, they used this thing called a Booster Strap. So....NOT GOOD to have those pics snapped.

My buddy almost got fired, but they paid him nothing and he worked like a dog. He stuck with them for the season.

We have another friend who worked in a similar role for Rossi, basically doing really crappy work that the techs would not do. One of the toolboxes that he travel with with full of boot parts, decals, model paint {brush and spray} and his job was to make sure that Tomba's Lange boots always looked like the current model, though the shells were all the wrong color. They also as I recall had some fiberglass reinforcement inside the cuffs that had to be hidden. Those things NEVER got near the podium.

Tomba had a nice contract with Scott poles, but hated the grips, so the poles that he actually used were Scott shafts with Grippon grips, which I think had older leather Kerma straps....all doctored color wise, and all ripped out of his hands not to be seen near the cameras.....or hopefully not.

The ski piece was always easy. Easy quick swap.

I've always thought it was pretty funny as who would begin to think that what "they use" is close to what the rest of us could obtain through a normal distribution chain...OR that what they use is actually the same thing that they are seen with. It's not.

I recall being invited to watch Hirscher train, early season {a tough invite to get, tough company, through a friend} and watching them dial in his whole setup. Pretty interesting. My mutual friend made the comment that not one piece of his setup was as cosmetically set up....nothing was what it appeared to be. And kind of obvious up close. And no cameras permitted.

All I've got.
 
Last edited:

Ivan

Getting on the lift
Skier
Joined
Dec 26, 2018
Posts
127
Location
Binghamton, NY
I had a younger buddy who worked on the WC tour, right out of college, as a VERY lowly service assistant "grunt" with a bunch of tasks. I know that at one point, when he worked for Lange, part of his job was to grab the the athletes' "real boots from them, and hand them pair of the latest production plug boots to hold over their shoulder {held together with the Lange power strap...which none of them used} for the photo ops.

One race day, things were out of control busy and he missed that "task". I think the two guys who were photographed on the podium were Eberharter and Mayer, maybe Rahlves, too. They were all in Lange, but NOTHING that looked like the average Lange plug. Their boots were carbon fibre. They were painted a bit darker blue. The Lange logo was painted on them {and often touched up with model paint.} The liners? All made of smooth black leather. All foamed. I believe all actually custom made by Stroltz. And yeah, they used this thing called a Booster Strap. So....NOT GOOD to have those pics snapped.

My buddy almost got fired, but they paid him nothing and he worked like a dog. He stuck with them for the season.

We have another friend who worked in a similar role for Rossi, basically doing really crappy work that the techs would not do. One of the toolboxes that he travel with with full of boot parts, decals, model paint {brush and spray} and his job was to make sure that Tomba's Lange boots always looked like the current model, though the shells were all the wrong color. They also as I recall had some fiberglass reinforcement inside the cuffs that had to be hidden. Those things NEVER got near the podium.

Tomba had a nice contract with Scott, but hated the grips, so the poles that he actually used were Scott shafts with Grippon grips, which I think had older leather Kerma straps....all doctored color wise, and all wrapped out of his hands nor to be seen near the cameras.....or hopefully not.

The ski piece was easy. Easy quick swap.

I've always thought it was pretty funny as who would begin to think that what "they use" is close to what the rest of us could obtain through a normal distribution chain...OR that what they use is actual the same thing that they are seen with. It's not.

I recall being invited to watch Hirscher train, early season {a tough invite to get, tough company, through a friend} and watching them dial in his whole setup. Pretty interesting. My mutual friend made the comment that not one piece of his setup was as cosmetically set up....nothing was what it appeared to be. And kind of obvious up close.

All I've got.
Thanks @Muleski, great stuff. I always love reading your posts with some "insider" info.
 
Last edited:

newfydog

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Nov 23, 2015
Posts
626
I had credentials to be on the course for the WC finals one year, and a friend of mine took second in the XC sprint. I was with her as they whisked her skis away, replaced them with something with next years graphics, and was told "Remember, no matter where you go, from the interview, to the podium, the skis are always between you and the winner, not the outside hand". If they cut the second place finisher out of the photo, they'd at least get the skis in!
 

Vicmoto

Booting up
Skier
Joined
May 15, 2020
Posts
16
Location
Barcelona
In the case of Atomic I believe that there is a good reason for changing the skis. Top athletes are skiing the next year thing called “Revoshock” while the stores are still selling “Servotec” Skis. It may not be easy to deplete the Servotec stock if the new thing is already on display.
 

Rudi Riet

AKA songfta AKA randomduck - a USSS coach, as well
Skier
Contributor
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
852
Location
Washington, DC
In the case of Atomic I believe that there is a good reason for changing the skis. Top athletes are skiing the next year thing called “Revoshock” while the stores are still selling “Servotec” Skis. It may not be easy to deplete the Servotec stock if the new thing is already on display.
It's worth looking at MS' latest pic on Facebook/Instagram:

shiffrin-atomic.jpg

Photo from Facebook

Two things stand out:

1. A bunch of Revoshock equipped skis with a Servotec sticker placed atop to make the skis appear to be the older tech.

2. The Marker clone binding and the plate that accommodates it. Doesn't look like a Marker Piston plate but it has tapped screw holes for the Marker binding mount pattern.
 

Primoz

Making fresh tracks
Skier
Joined
Nov 8, 2016
Posts
1,398
Location
Slovenia, Europe
It may not be easy to deplete the Servotec stock if the new thing is already on display.
I think Atomic already gave up on that, as from what I heard, they are already dragging current stock back from dealers and stores, as there's almost zero sale in Europe and with lot of already made skis with new design for 2021/2022 season, 100.000s of this year's skis are getting back to factory to be destroyed. Most of other manufacturers were lucky and they didn't change design for next season, so when it comes to this, they have slightly less expenses, but profits are still same... almost non existing, and noone really knows what's going to be next season. This also influence racing, as race budgets will shrink real bad. Numbers I hear are pretty bad, and everyone operate with most optimistic numbers, so reality will probably be even worse.

2. The Marker clone binding and the plate that accommodates it. Doesn't look like a Marker Piston plate but it has tapped screw holes for the Marker binding mount pattern.
Plates are normal Salomon/Atomic plates, it's just the bindings that are Marker (not Marker clone, but real Marker). I don't know for anyone on Atomic/Salomon, who would do different.
 
Top