USST to launch freeski brand, partner with The North Face

The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association will announce today that it is creating a new Freeskiing brand in anticipation of slopestyle and halfpipe skiing being added to the Olympics in 2014. The North Face will be the official apparel sponsor of the team.
Author:
Publish date:

At the Big Air event in Civic Center Park in Denver on January 25th, 2011, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association announced that it is launching a freeskiing team, and partnering with The North Face to outfit them. 

“It will be called US Freesking,” Tom Kelly, the USST vice president of communications said of the new group of athletes the team will be sponsoring and developing. “We wanted to create something that would be different than the skiing and snowboard teams -- something built around slopestyle and halfpipe competitions -- and that’s when we started working on forming this brand.”

Kelly added that idea developed out of the International Olympic Committee’s aggressive approach to add halfpipe and slopestyle skiing, as well as slopestyle snowboarding, to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. He said that although the new disciplines have yet to be officially added to the schedule, “That decision will be made after the decision by Jacques Rogge (president of the IOC), but the IOC Executive Board has already given him a green light.”

In-house, the USST organized a focus group to look at forming the new team, with valuable input from freeskier Jen Hudak, one of the world’s top halfpipe skiers and a resident of Salt Lake City, just down the road from the team’s Park City headquarters. Once the decision was made to go ahead, the USST started talking with The North Face about sponsoring the program.

“The program with TNF is interesting,” said Kelly. “They’re very interested in investing in this area, and as you know, this segment of the industry is booming. We will be announcing Tuesday that we have signed an eight-year deal with them.”

The USST partners with Spyder -- which Kelly said has also signed a new eight-year deal -- to outfit the Alpine Team, and Burton apparel for snowboarding. Kelly said that as far as creating a World Cup level circuit for slopestyle and halfpipe skiing, for now those events will be integrated with snowboarding’s Grand Prix series, which already made a stop in Copper Mountain, Colorado in December, and will hit Mammoth Mountain this spring.

With the ink just dry on the deal, and the official announcement still to be made this afternoon, Kelly said that specifics such as just what the uniforms might look like and which athletes will be on the inaugural freeskiing team will be forthcoming. – Peter Kray

On Oct. 6, 2010, veteran journalist Peter Kray joined the SNEWS team and is now editor of the new SNEWS WinterSports channel. We trust you are enjoying the full offering of WinterSports news. Be sure to email your friends and let them know the best WinterSports news has arrived -- just in time for the winter season. Got WinterSports news? Send your WinterSports news to Kray at pkray@snewsnet.com. Subscribers can also post WinterSports news releases directly to the SNEWS website. Email us at snewsbox@snewsnet.com to learn about posting your own news releases, or for any other questions or comments. We love to hear from our readers!

Related

USSA_Hudak_freeski_050411.jpg

USSA uncorks new freeski branding

The symbol of American skiing’s generation next got its official unveiling from the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) on May 2 in New York. Featuring a halfpipe-shaped “U,” and a specially created free-flowing font, the new U.S. Freeskiing logo effectively brands the ...read more

TNF_Kishtwar_Jacket042610.jpg

The North Face Kishtwar jacket

Ever since soft shell garments were introduced, people have struggled to define the category, though it’s generally agreed that soft shells are typically water-resistant, somewhat soft to the touch, highly breathable, and relatively stretchy. Because soft shells are so ...read more

TNF_RadialTR.gif

The North Face Radial

Our testing team is on the trail often, pounding dirt and dust in the pursuit of fun and training. A few on our team have decided that fun involves packing in as many miles as possible into one day, which means trail running. Naturally, we burn through a lot of shoes, insoles, ...read more

TheNorthFace_Footwear.jpg

The North Face focuses on footwear

The North Face has staked its reputation on apparel and gear, and now its footwear department is catching up.The company started developing footwear in 2006, but during the last year TNF has committed to reinvigorating the department with new hires and restructuring it to mirror ...read more

Fly.jpg

The North Face Flyweight Duffel

If you travel like the SNEWS® team does – everywhere and anywhere at a moment’s notice – then you know the value of having a small duffel that you can stuff into a larger suitcase or travel pack as a just-in-case bag or a regular tote for cruising around town. We’ve tested ...read more

The North Face bringing footwear R&D in-house

While at Summer Market, SNEWS® learned, and Steve Rendle, president of The North Face confirmed, that the company is pushing the growth of its footwear category by creating a new and separate footwear department in-house.Its footwear division will act as a separate department ...read more