Помните наклеечки Эрика и Таннера FIS SUCKS? Эта Олимпиада тоже вызвала волну возмущения, ещё не начавшись.
Eric Iberg is a legend. He has been producing some of the most iconic ski films since the beginning of our sport and co-founded the Inspired Media movement with Tanner Hall. There is no way to adequately sum up or justify what he has contributed to the sport and industry on a whole, but chances are that he was behind one of the reasons you bought your first twin tip skis. With freestyle skiing’s debut in the Olympics fast approaching, Iberg has grave concerns for the sport:
Eric Iberg and Tanner Hall creating a revolution. Photo: Willie Boyle
“Considering all of the hard work we put into the sport, it was an awesome feeling when they said we would be a part of the Olympics. There wasn’t even a halfpipe in the first US Opens. So, I never imagined when watching Phil Larose win all these events back in the day and the inclusion of ski superpipe in the X Games in 2002 that we would make it to the Olympic roster.
When we started filming this stuff, Tanner didn’t even have twin tips on his feet and neither did anyone else. It was pretty awesome to watch something grow from absolutely nothing to an Olympic sport within 14 years, that whole idea was incredible… when it first happened. But then, beyond the announcement you read on the Internet, everything real started to come to light and we began to figure out who is really running the show. All of a sudden it was the complete opposite feeling.
Who really runs the show is the IOC – International Olympic Committee. This is a nonprofit which supposedly runs an event for amateur skiers but then turns around and, with all its non-profits below it (FIS, USSA, CFSA, and the rest of the governing bodies for each country), begins telling professionals that they cannot promote their own products during their events. They tell the world’s most qualified professionals that they cannot promote themselves while rationalizing their actions with the argument that they are keeping the Olympics an amateur event.
(Rule 40 in its entirety can be found here in the Olympic Charter
on page 77.)
They bend their rules to allow people to wear their own clothing during the World Cup instead of team outfits like moguls, aerialists… or ballet skiers. But in the next eight years, that will change. We will start seeing national team sponsors for outerwear and eventually the kids coming up on these national development programs will start to get free outerwear from whoever sponsors the team. Now where does that sponsor money go? It won’t be going to the individual athletes; it will go to the organization. All of a sudden, the nonprofits start making money off the athletes but the athletes never see a dime.
Even now, rule 40 dictates that riders cannot wear the logos of the companies who supported them unless they sponsor the Olympics. This is all well and fine for companies like Visa whose riders can promote them during the games to their heart’s content, but what about the brands who actually built our sport? What about brands like Armada who doesn’t have a couple 10 or 100 million dollars at hand to sponsor the Olympics? Suddenly, the IOC has the right to demand that these sponsors make their logos less visible – typically by reducing the size to less than 10% of the entire piece of equipment or less – hence the Red Bull athletes in unfamiliar helmets.
Point being, they are taking away the rights to promote anything that is not part of the nonprofit organization… the money pool.
What that means for the ski industry on a whole is that we cannot grow. Skiing is not allowed to make money, but these huge companies are allowed to make money off of skiing. So all of the work we have put into our sport over the last 15 years is really kind of taken away because we haven’t been able to make the 10 million dollars yet to reinvest in the highest levels of advertising.
So when everyone says, “It’s so great for our sport!” it’s easy to turn around and ask them, “Who is it really great for?” Only for the companies with the money to play the game… Ultimately, the individual athletes are left hanging unless they won gold – case and point, Shaun White. Gold makes them immensely marketable to everyone who knows the word “Olympics” but couldn’t tell you what a twin-tip ski is. I have friends with silver medals in their house but saw none of that money. It’s easier for the European countries who are smaller than the USA, but if you look at it from an American standpoint, it is insane considering the sacrifices they have to make for the Olympics. That’s not right…
We used to bare stickers that said, “FIS sucks” and stood by it. Now we are going back to everything we left and it is separating us into competition skiers and freeskiers. We are going to have kids who compete every weekend, having to go here and there just to place in comps and make a name for themselves without having time for anything else. We are going to lose this era we are in now when we have world-class competitors who still make film segments. We are seeing this even now, a lot of them put out edits but it is almost just of them training – bar Sammy, Henrik, Tom, etc.
So where does the industry put their money now? It won’t be in the pockets of the Phil Casabon, Ahmet Dadali, or anyone else out there killing it in films, it will go towards the competitive side of the sport, the marketable side. Even freeriders are affected; they are as far away now from slopstyle and halfpipe skiing as they have ever been for the last 15 years, back when we were all freeskiers.
Why should all this money go towards competitive skiing? That doesn’t make sense to me… Let’s say 10 million people in the US watch slopestyle skiing at the Olympics. Out of those 10 million people, how many of them consume ski products? 1%? But what if we were to support a ski film and that ski film was seen by 100,000+ people? How many people who watch ski movies are consumers of ski products? 100%.
So, why would we put our money into something that 99% of people don’t give a fuck about when we could put our money back into something that we know helps our industry grow?”
И если кто-то скажет, что они не правы, пускай одевает гуму и едет топтать вешки