The FIS 2023 alpine schedule makes the USA a big winner

ASPEN, CO. MARCH 15, 2017 – FIS World Cup Final, Downhill, Men.
Photo: GEPA Images

FIS considerations for assigning events

The FIS takes many factors into account when allocating World Cup races. Regional importance is high on the list. They also weigh heavily on the public profile of the host resorts. Regionally, FIS sees the US as an underdeveloped fan base and considers Palisades Tahoe and Aspen as high profile locations. Fulfilling these two critical considerations helped create the opportunity to host the two additional US racing series.

It is an advantage that FIS views the United States as an underdeveloped resource and a significant snow sports market in a large economy.

ASPEN, COLORADO, USA, 19.MAR.17 – ALPINE SKIING – FIS World Cup Finals, Slalom, Men. Photo: GEPA Images

The Past Reality in the United States

The United States hosts World Cup races every year. Beaver Creek and Killington’s ability to generate early-season snow and provide quality early-season race surfaces have made them popular stops on the Tour. However, the events take place in late November and early December, before most US skiers have started their season and turned their attention to the sport.

For the remainder of the season, few American viewers wake up to watch European races live in the middle of the night. Many of those who ultimately care about and watch the reps are already aware of the results before they watch them. These realities weren’t a recipe for a growing US fan base.

New ways to present the sport

The agreement between the FIS and the USSS means the FIS Alpine World Cup will return in February with racing in Palisades Tahoe, California and stops for racing in Aspen, CO in early March – racing at resorts US spectators are familiar with and in Timeslots suitable for US sports enthusiasts.

Welcome partnerships

US Ski & Snowboard sees these additional opportunities as groundbreaking for the United States. They also recognized that it takes a partnership to make them happen. Sophie Goldschmidt, President and CEO of US Ski and Snowboard, told Ski Racing, “I want to express our sincere gratitude; We are very grateful for our relationships with the resorts, organizing committees and other partners. Without them these events would not take place. They gave us the best chance of getting these events. . We are true partners who share the risks and opportunities. We cannot thank them enough.”

Benefits for the home team

Goldschmidt points to three of the most exciting things she sees hosting events in the US.

ASPEN,COLORADO,USA,18/MAR/17 – FIS World Cup Finals, Giant Slalom, Men. Alexander Aamodt Kilde. Photo: GEPA Images

Goldschmidt comments: “First, it provides additional opportunities for fans and the next generation of skiers to see the best athletes in the world live. Some of these people become inspired and motivated to participate in the sport, and many become lifelong fans. Everyone leaves a winner.”

She continues: “Secondly, it will allow us to connect with our partners. These new events allow us to showcase our sport to our current stakeholders. Additionally, the races and associated celebrations will allow us to encourage new commercial partnerships and individuals to get involved with USSS and our sport. These events multiply the opportunities for partners to step up and see the value of working with our athletes and us. It’s more compelling when you have competition on your home soil than having to brace yourself for a race across the globe in a different time zone.

“Third, we know it helps our athletes develop and perform. It’s common for athletes to find new levels of performance while competing at home. They often experience an extra boost and perk that is difficult to duplicate. We believe that a home race can improve their career path, especially for our younger athletes. We believe it will help them create opportunities and achieve higher athletic performance. Additional race locations can also offer our athletes development and training opportunities before and after the races,” says Goldschmidt.

The challenge of fiscal responsibility

Goldschmidt is known for her acumen in sports business. She is aware that the USSS has previously hosted some exciting events that brought losses to the organization. She clarifies that if the additional races were not economically viable and sustainable, she could not support hosting them, no matter how exciting. Determined to learn, Goldschmidt says: “We have many other initiatives. Priority one is supporting our athletes and working with our stakeholders to support participation and the growth of our sport. But as long as we can achieve a sustainable economic position, I think hosting world championships for all sports and genders is strategically important for the reasons mentioned.”

Leave a Comment