JLevI know the challenge is always financing projects like this, maybe you've figured out a new formula? Steve Rozendaal tried but financing dried up for his "Lifted" series on Vice.
I mean one of the main challenges here is brands new unwillingness to actually spend real money on Advertising. If brands were willing to buy banners and pre-roll - and actually spend real money on it - then you wouldn't have a problem raising funds for something like this.
The problem is that many brands wish to purchase email list growth, advertorial, or pay for something that integrates their marketing directly into the content. Its almost impossible to launch a video project which doesn't cover brand athletes and subsequently charge that brand for the athlete exposure. As such, the ability to be free-form and cover the 'right' things is extremely limited.
When you keep advertising simply as advertising - then you have the freedom to create the content you want. It requires brands to accept that they buy a share of advertising, and that they will take responsibility if their ad creative doesn't work.
However, unless you J-Lev right here and right now tell me that if we start producing content like this that you'd dump all your cash into pre-roll vs. buyers guides / advertorial and facebook advertising.... then I'm at a loss for how to do it.
The only other way would be to start up a subscription model, where the end consumer is willing to directly contribute money for content they'd like to see. That comes down to the average NSer - because if we separate the transaction of money from the brands, then you could get whatever you'd want. This is how Netflix is making so much cool stuff.
I don't know the business model behind this specific video that Stept has done, but most of their projects this year have been under the 'content marketing' spend that brands are willing to do. The brand engages the content, and Stept makes it good while ticking off the boxes of sponsorship.
"Hopefully it comes back the right way in skiing too.
Less rotations. More STYLE."
Check out what I ride these days here - http://nwsc.co/M0L4UE