Sat. Feb 4th, 2023

By Amy Tennery

Jan 24 (Reuters) – American Mikaela Shiffrin’s bid for Alpine snowboarding historical past will encourage younger followers however manufacturers could also be more durable to sway as her sport fights to get a much bigger share of the sponsorship pie, specialists say.

The twice Olympic champion secured her 83rd World Cup victory on Tuesday, shifting her previous compatriot Lindsey Vonn for the ladies’s file, in an enormous slalom on the Italian resort of Kronplatz.

She now has solely Swedish males’s slalom nice Ingemar Stenmark’s 86 World Cup victories to surpass as a way to declare the file for each women and men outright.

However whereas she writes herself into the historical past books that doesn’t imply sponsors will open their chequebooks – even for probably the most marketable lady in Alpine snowboarding.

“The business earnings of athletes in these sports activities – the highest 4, 5, six do fairly properly after which it drops off precipitously. And Mikaela is approach forward of that,” Tiger Shaw, former president and CEO for U.S. Ski and Snowboard, informed Reuters.

“It isn’t like whenever you’re on an enormous professional sports activities crew and there is 32 gamers and also you’re fairly good and also you make 10 million a 12 months – that does not occur in our sports activities.”

The 27-year-old has signed offers with the likes Barilla, Visa and Adidas, manufacturers that may be the envy of most feminine athletes in the US, the place males’s skilled sport takes an awesome share of spending {dollars}.

However even Shiffrin couldn’t make it onto Forbes’ 2022 listing of highest-paid feminine athletes, which included quite a few tennis and golf stars however few from the world of winter sport, except for Chinese language freestyle ski queen Eileen Gu.

“Even for those who’re America’s all-time biggest feminine Alpine skier, there’s simply not plenty of off-the-slopes cash available,” mentioned Bob Dorfman, a sports activities advertising and marketing professional and inventive director at Pinnacle Promoting.

“Plus, Alpine snowboarding now has to compete with freestyle snowboarding and snowboarding on the Olympics, which attracts a youthful fan base and have created a cool new group of feminine athletes competing for endorsement {dollars}.”

Story continues


In the US, Shiffrin has already eclipsed the star energy of the game’s previous celebrities, together with 1998 Tremendous-G Olympic champion Picabo Avenue, six-times Winter Video games medallist Bode Miller and even Vonn.

But she is competing for consideration from an American viewers that has turned a chilly shoulder to Winter Olympic sport.

Broadcaster NBCUniversal mentioned the Beijing Olympics attracted the smallest prime-time viewers because it started broadcasting the Video games, with 11.4 million prime time viewers, a 42% drop from 4 years prior.

“Any time you’ve a world chief in sport like this that is approaching and is trying like she’s going to simply surpass a file that was held by Ingemar Stenmark… it is a worldwide story,” mentioned Shaw.

“And it attracts folks into the game as a result of they see superb issues will be achieved.” (Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York Modifying by Toby Davis)

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