May 18th, 2011
Marty Hall posted a comment on an article from last month on the naming of the 2012 US Ski Team. It is unlikely that many people will see the comment, and it had some information worth sharing.
Marty talks about head gear sponsorship as a way to support elite US ski racers.
I checked with USSA and confirmed that US Ski Team athletes are given full autonomy with their head gear sponsors – they can sell it, and keep all revenue. The most prominent examples, which Marty points out, are Kikkan Randall’s deal with Subway and Kris Freeman’s with Lilly.
Canada, on the other hand, has a different policy. According to Canadian Head Coach Justin Wadsworth, Cross-Country Canada has team sponsors who have bought the location. So all athletes wear hats with those sponsors – for the men it is AltaGas, for the women, Haywood Securities.
Wadsworth, a former athlete and coach with the US Ski Team, says that in his experience, the US is in the minority worldwide in making the headgear space available to athletes.