(Ketchum, Idaho) October 15, 2007 -- “If the X-Games is the Super Bowl, we hope this new tour will be the regular season,” says Kipp Nelson, founder of The Ski Tour (TST).

Nelson recently announced TST has joined forces with Eclipse Television & Sports Marketing, promoters of the Jeep King of the Mountain Tour (JKOM), to form a new company, TST Investments LLC. With Jeep as the title sponsor, the merger fuses The Ski Tour’s fresh new vision for a sports and music festival with the 14-year-old ski and snowboard competition circuit.

The result? A new series of ski and snowboard events to create a “regular season” that keeps the spirit of mountain culture alive between X Games and the Winter Olympics.

“Jeep King of the Mountain is the longest standing snowsports tour out there, so it brings a great degree of operational background and expertise, as well as the long term commitment Jeep has made to these sports,” Nelson says. “The Ski Tour brought the festival component, along with professional ski competition. By combining these companies, what we have going forward is the premier circuit for skiing and snowboarding, like taking the X Games on the road.”

“We are very proud of what we’ve built over the last 14 years with the Jeep King of the Mountain Series,” says Henry Schneidman, President of Eclipse Television and Sports Marketing. “By combining our talents with those of Kipp’s team, we will be broadening our vision to a more comprehensive package. More than competition, the new tour will be about creating a brand that represents the mountain way of life.”

“Eclipse has a longstanding relationship with Jeep, which was an ideal title sponsor for us,” said Steve Brown, co-founder of The Ski Tour. “Jeep is the premier partner in the auto category. Gaining that Jeep sponsorship enabled us to broaden our scope to snowboarding and women without having to build it from scratch.”

The new tour, official tour name TBD, will feature a total of eight competitive events, including Ski Cross, Snowboard Cross, Ski Halfpipe and Snowboard Halfpipe. The Tour will stop in Telluride, Colo., Park City, Utah, Squaw Valley, Calif., and Sun Valley, Idaho. More than just a competition circuit, this new tour aims to celebrate Mountain Culture and environmental awareness with weekend long events that include top music acts, film and photography exhibits, environmental awareness symposiums, and other activities.

SNOWBOARDING, WOMEN’S AND SUMMER EVENTS ADDED

Snowboarding and women’s events will be brought into the fold, significantly broadening the scope of The Ski Tour’s inaugural format. “We started in the ski space because that’s what we thought needed the most attention, but from the start our objective was to celebrate the mountain lifestyle, so it’s ideal to be able to add snowboarding and women’s events this year,” Nelson says.

JKOM will drop the Y-Cross format to focus on those ski and snowboard events sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) with a goal of becoming the premier Olympic qualifying circuit in the U.S. Summer mountain bike events and summer music festivals will also be added.

EXPANDED MEDIA COVERAGE

Eclipse Television & Sports Marketing brings production expertise and key partnerships to the table, expanding the media package from four hours to a total of 19 hours of television time, including CBS network coverage, syndicated network TV, and the cable channel MOJO.

PARTIES, CONCERTS, SPECIAL EVENTS AND MORE

“We’re not just about the competition but celebrating the mountain lifestyle,” Nelson says. “You come to one of our events, there’s maybe three or four hours of competition, but we’re also concerned about the other 44 hours of the weekend.”

Nelson’s vision was successfully executed last winter with The Ski Tour BaseCamp Music Experience (BCME), which showcased mainstage acts like The Wailers and Blackalicious for thousands of fans, as well as après ski shows, large and small venue concerts, fashion shows, VIP parties, film festivals, photography exhibits and other entertainment events.

As a big component of the new Tour, BCME will be even bigger this year, exceeding the 40-plus artists from last season. “We want to take what appeals to people when they come to the mountains and turbo charge it for one particular weekend,” Nelson says.

“If you spend only one weekend in the mountains this year, this should be it.”

Nelson adds that this year’s theme will encompass environmental awareness and how it’s entrenched in the mountain culture, with green symposiums and other related events. “On the one hand, it’s about having fun and being frivolous. On the other, we want balance it with some more serious messages and topics to make our events even more special.”

MOUNTAIN CULTURE BRANDING

“Last year our company was branded as ‘The Ski Tour’ but the experience was much more comprehensively about celebrating mountain culture. Our brand philosophy has not changed, but with this acquisition the platform has grown to help us better achieve our ambitions,” Nelson says. “By identifying ourselves with the ‘mountain culture’ and its way of life, we seek to become a dominant mountain brand rather than just a series of winter sporting events. Everything we do in the mountains is authentic and legitimate, which supports our message. As such, we will continue to hold first class sporting events, at world class resorts, with first class entertainment produced and distributed in a first class way for all to experience.”

2007-08 SCHEDULES AND DATES

December 15th and 16th

Telluride, Colo.

Ski Cross and Snowboard Cross – Men and Women – Four Events

Two hours of network television

February 9th and 10th

Squaw Valley, Calif.

Ski Cross and Snowboard Cross, Ski Halfpipe and Snowboard Halfpipe – Men and Women – Eight Events

Two hours of network television

March 15th and 16th

Sun Valley, Idaho -- Grand Finale

Ski Cross and Snowboard Cross, Ski Halfpipe and Snowboard Halfpipe – Men and Women – Eight Events

Three hours of network television


Press Releases