FREESKI INDUSTRY GATHERS TO SHED “BASTARD CHILD” REPUTATION

Carte Blanche: The Freeski Summit, presented by Origin Design + Communications, wraps International Freeski Festival

MONTREAL, QUEBEC, September 23, 2009 — Freeski industry athletes, manufacturers, filmmakers and media gathered last Sunday to attend Carte Blanche: The Freeski Summit, lead by Origin Design + Communications as part of the International Freeski Film Festival (IF3). The event focused on discussions surrounding the role attendees have in marketing the sport and on shedding the bastard child inferiority complex that appears to be limiting the industry’s growth.

The event served as a more serious wrap-up to IF3’s five days of movie screenings and parties, and discussions centered around two panels featuring an impressive line-up of speakers including freeskiing phenom Simon Dumont; freeskiing's godfather Mike Douglas; athlete agent Michael Spencer from EGO Sports Management; Mike Nick, Director of Marketing from Orage; Scott Jewett, Director of Marketing at Red Bull; and Martin Giroux, the Sales and Marketing Director for Mont Saint-Sauveur International.

Panelists discussed the role of athletes in marketing the sport, the role of brands and retailers in both creating and responding to consumer demand, ideas for growing participation and overcoming barriers to entry into the sport, trends in the business, and the lack of a cohesive organization that would bring all segments of freeskiing together. The response was an encouragingly passionate audience discussion.

Several key take-aways came from the session including the need for more athlete involvement; focus on removing barriers to entry into the sport; collaboration and communication between sponsors, athletes and media in communicating freeski's message to the public; and innovative marketing strategies such as athlete outreach, learn-to programs, urban events, and amateur comps to expand exposure. While the discussions created some lively debate, the prevailing message and rallying cry for the day appeared to be, "Rise up freeskiers. Unite. Stand proud. Together we will shed our bastard status!"

For additional information contact Marie-Josée Legault of Origin Design + Communications at 1 (514) 842-5252 or mj@origindesign.ca.

Origin Design + Communications is a Montreal - and Whistler-based advertising agency specializing in mountain sports and resort tourism. An authority in skiing and snowboarding marketing, Origin operates as the creative agency of record for Whistler Blackcomb, Tourism Whistler and Salomon Canada and its client list includes Mont Saint Sauveur, Jay Peak Resort and Atomic, among others. Origin offers strategic marketing, branding and creative services, including full-service web design and development, social media marketing and experiential marketing expertise. For more information go to http://www.origindesign.ca.

IF3 - the International Freeski Film Festival has become known as the “Cannes Film Festival of Skiing,” bringing together athletes, filmmakers, industry leaders and fans for the exclusive world premieres of top ski and freeski movies, concerts, parties and meetings. The Festival’s goal is to showcase the talent freeskiing has been fostering over the years; to create public awareness of skiing's new dynamic emergence and to grow awareness for the progression of the sport. For more information go to http://www.if3.ca.


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