Martin Sundby reveals what he considers to be the Golden Age of cross country skiing – and how to bring it back
” Cross-country skiing was worth the most in Kroner ( i.e. in money) and in viewership at the time when Tobias Angerer, René Sommerfeldt and Axel Teichmann were grabbing the podiums. Then the international cross-country had a great time”
In interview with a Norwegian Dagbladet a 33 year old World Cup winner makes no bones about what would need to be done to bring that blessed time back:
“The cross country skiing had a great position when Germany was on the top. The best thing that could happen now would be a German winning the World Cup . Internationally, we as a sport are not as strong anymore and we need to be trying to do something about it:
The 800-pound gorilla in the room is, of course, a huge success the sport of biathlon is experiencing in the recent years – in so many ways because it’s so popular in Germany, thanks to brilliant performances of the German athletes.
Reporting about the viewership the races of The 2017 IBU Biathlon Championships in Hochfilzen, Austria, the European Broadcasting Union did not feel like hiding its elation, particularly when it comes to Germany: “….audiences figures rose beyond 5 million at several times during the event and was, at all times, above its 30% market share”
With viewership numbers like that, small wonder that German companies are crowding to become biathlon sponsors. In fact, these days all Main, Premium and Title sponsors of the International Biathlon Union come from Germany.
With cross country skiing that queue of sponsors is markedly thinner – since great Angerer and Teichmann retired, Germany did not have any international podiums.
Is that relevant& You bet it is – Johaug, Bjorgen and even Sundby himself might be millionaires – but they are not anywhere near the financial success of the biathlon great Magdalena Neuner, who made over 5 million Euros during her career – and keeps on making at least half a million Euros per year long after she hung her rifle.