US ski teams down to one name
The leaders of the U.S. skiing and snowboarding team decided one name is better than three. They are putting all their athletes under one umbrella and renaming their organization “U.S. Ski & Snowboard.”
It’s a subtle change designed to streamline a national governing body that has nearly 50,000 members and sends about 100 athletes to the Olympics every four years. The idea is to make clear that all those athletes — Alpine skiers, freestyle skiers and snowboarders — are part of the same team.
They will also use a single logo instead of the three that were previously used for the different disciplines.
“We had a complex brand structure with not a lot of strategy behind it, necessarily,” said CEO Tiger Shaw. “It got me to thinking, how do we clean this up?”
The move is made in hopes of boosting endorsement dollars, by allowing the biggest sponsors to have a piece of all the snow athletes instead of only a certain segment. Shaw figures apparel and equipment brands that are strongly tied to one discipline — for instance, Burton Snowboards — will continue their sponsorships in those specific areas.
“The purpose of doing this is commercial and revenue driven,” Shaw said. “If we do a better job more powerfully portraying strong brands and national teams, it’s more interesting to donors and more valuable to partners.”
US Ski & Snowboard will also introduce rebranded social media channels and is selling a limited amount of apparel with the new logo.
The team won 17 medals, including eight golds, at the Sochi Games, and many of its best-known athletes, including Shaun White and Lindsey Vonn, are expected to return for Pyeongchang.