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I think you have to give it time.... simple as that.
Look at Surfing for example. back in the 60's etc.... there wasn't a multi millionaire Kelly Slater... and skiing is at that point now (freeskiing that is). I am willing to bet now that the racing legends of the 80's, 90's etc.... Hermann Maier for example, is worth alot more then any freeskiier - and also has a much higher "on the street" celebrity factor from Olympic successes etc. Ski racing has been there for a long time, and some of those guys are hero's in parts of Austria, Switzerland etc etc - therefore get opportunities for corporate sponsorship / endorsement.
All this talk about Red Bull, and Nike etc etc - it's all relative to the popularity (mainstream) and exposure of the sport. The problem here is, it's all trying to be forced, everyone thinks Dumont should be paid millions etc - when let's be honest, if you're the CEO of a big company outside of skiing, you're not going to of heard of him.... if a big racer does a Phelps at the winter olympics next year and breaks records, wins everything etc etc... you can gaurantee that some company like AT&T, or McDonalds will pay them a fortune to do a national tv advert or something.
Snowboarding is just starting to get there, but then it was new and innovative to the public - it was the surfing and skating of winter - drew a huge following very quickly, Freeskiing is (unfortunately) to the gaper public, i.e. vacation skiiers, just a variation on that and is limited by that i think. It will get there, look how far it has come - just do expect to see dumont and tanner on the rich list anytime soon, the first person that breaks that in freesking is probably just learning to ski now, around age 2 i expect..... until then, just have fun, enjoy the fact that freeskiing is still under the radar and that YOU are out there now shaping it's future.
Enjoy the winter.... peace.
That said - I do wonder how much those Oakley (this is my vision?) Ad's where worth during the X Games.... and also, if Tanner, Dumont and White where all paid the same to do it... ?
Jon Olsson comes from a lot of money - he wouldn't be living in Monoco on the back of skiing alone - trust me. He would be in the Top 5 of the forbes list if he did.
He has the capital to start his own company, put on his own events etc etc - which, generate a lot of money also - he's a smart businessman - older then most in freeskiing and is using his position very wisely. He is the future of the industry and is similar to Tony H in some ways.
As i said in my post above (read it)... it's all just a bit too soon to be expecting freesking to be making athletes millionaires (although i'm sure many do pretty well), it simply doesn't have the mass (global) market following yet... remember, the public generally are blind (think gapers in Texas etc who know what a snowboard is, but not a pair of twin tips), we are all biased as we know how sick it all is etc and love it... until you get the mass gaper community (75% of the people coming to the hills and paying money) to really get into it, it will not explode like a huge revenue machine (surfing, skating, snowboarding)... think like a business people.... I use the example of surfing, my old man took up surfing and enjoys it. Most gapers / old folk already enjoy their punter skiing - they're not gonna change that for a pair of twins and the freeway kicker line.... where as snowboarding was something new and people would swap their ski's for snowboards and it exploded like that.... and kicked freesking into gear. Freestyle skiing is still seen as something for the kids.... it needs to explode on mass..... it is starting, skiing on the whole has been completely refreshed.... but i'd give it another 5 years + before it get's to Shaun White / kelly slater levels.... BUT I Personally Hope it stays as it is.... right now, it's at a perfect level... I don't want to see gapers everywhere trying to ride switch all over the hill....
Plus it also MUST become an olympic sport.... MUST.....
ok... so how about this for a starter... just out of interest, anyone know the top 5 comp's (in terms of prize money?)...and the prize money for 1st, 2nd, 3rd? post them, and imagine skier x podiumed all 5. I suppose X Games and dew Tour are up there....
Work out that prize pot, then double it.... there's a start.... IF skiier x podiums all comps - a reasonably solid example would be Jossi Wells maybe...
In other words, what is the most you could make in a year from placing at the biggest comps in prize money alone?
but really who cares; they get to ski all the time. sounds like a pretty good time regardless of fiscal woes or not.