News: USSA Launches US Freeskiing Brand

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May 2, 2011

New York, New York (US Ski Team) – Freeskiing athletes from the newest Olympic sport played a key role in development of the brand identity for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association's (USSA) new U.S. Freeskiing athletic program. The design was unveiled Monday at the New York offices of DraftFCB, which collaborated with the USSA on the creative process together with sport stakeholders.

The USSA announced the new U.S. Freeskiing program in January including the events of halfpipe and slopestyle skiing, along with skicross. In April, the International Olympic Committee added halfpipe skiing to the 2014 Olympic program in Sochi, Russia.

"We are an athletic organization and it was important that the athletes in this sport be integrally involved in the development of the new brand identity," said USSA President and CEO Bill Marolt. "Freeskiing athletes have taken great pride in advancing their sport to the Olympics and showcasing it through the millions of youth who ski in halfpipes and terrain parks at resorts across America."

The U.S. Freeskiing brand identity is the sport's visual language. The creative design is wrapped in patriotic red, white and blue, featuring a badge-like US on the left with a handcrafted flowing word mark for the word Freeskiing. The design evolves the shape of traditional letters into a dynamic motion – like freeskiing evolved from breaking the rules of traditional skiing. Each letter evolves in motion.

"The design represents how we feel about ourselves in our sport," said X Games champion Jen Hudak. "There's a feeling of independence – there are no rules, you can see that in the letters."

The USSA retained noted global agency DraftFCB to coordinate the creative process after a national agency search. Together with the USSA, DraftFCB managed an in-depth process to integrate freeskiing athletes in focus groups and maintained engagement with athletes through surveys and private interviews to foster original ideas and garner feedback leading up to the final design.

The new brand identity joins the USSA's family of notable brands including the U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding. "As athletes, we've pushed for our unique U.S. Freeskiing brand and we're proud to be a part of this highly respected family of programs," added Hudak.

"Freeskiing is the most rapidly expanding market in skiing globally," said the USSA's Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer Andrew Judelson. "The brand identity developed together with DraftFCB with the athletes will greatly enhance the public awareness of U.S. Freeskiing, benefiting athletes and partners in these new Olympic sports and help us generate new revenue to support those programs.."

"No single movement defines the sport of freeskiing," said DraftFCB SVP Group Creative Director Roald Van Wyk. "So our challenge was to create a brand identity that encapsulated the constant change that freeskiing is going through - capturing the movement and evolution of each trick."

The brand identity will showcase the sport in U.S. Freeskiing television programming on NBC, Versus, and Universal Sports, as well as print and digital marketing materials. It will be available on a variety of merchandise from licensees and suppliers.

Freeskiing events are showcased annually in the USSA's Revolution Tour, Hole Shot and Grand Prix circuits, along with X Games, Dew Tour, The North Face Park and Pipe tour and Association of Freeskiing Professionals events, as well as the International Ski Federation's Freestyle World Cup.

Final approval on slopestyle skiing is pending with a decision anticipated in May or June. Skicross joined the Olympics in 2010

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