DailySkier.com contributor Oda Bekkestad shares her views on how Norway leads the world on marketing in cross country skiing.
….The other day my editor emailed me explaining how fascinated he was with how fashionable the Norwegian skiers are. Catlike helmets and Oakley shades are all the rage when it comes to accessorizing your outfit out on the course. Whatever Northug wears, we want to wear, right? How have these trends come about and why are sportswear important to us?
In Norway you rarely see skiers without Oakley shades on race weekends. The brand has become extremely popular after Petter Northug started wearing the bright shades a few years back. A pair of Oakley shades retails for about $200 dollars, depending on lens and design, so the trend isn’t particularly cheap. In comparison you can get a pair of Bliz shades for about $70. They are both colorful and unique in their design, but Oakley are still far more popular.
Heidi Weng is the brand ambassador for Bliz…
…while Northug and Klæbo are sponsored by Oakley. Are we simply drawn to Oakley because of the character and status of these two Norwegian men? Or do we actually prefer the colorscheme and design that the brand provides?
Another trend among skiers in Norway are the Catlike helmets. Worn by numerous skiers on the national team, the helmet has become the go-to roller ski piece of equipment for athletes. The headpiece retails for anyything between $200- $400, while we all know you can buy a perfectly wearable helmet for about $50. The good thing about Catlike is that they have actually made helmets a trend. Who would have guessed that would ever happen?
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Lastly, there is a new trend popping up on the roller ski courses throughout the country of Norway, which are the IDT roller skis. This is a wild guess, but I suppose the fact that these skis can be provided in the color pink doesn’t decrease the sale. Who wouldn’t want a pair of pink roller skis? Even Klæbo owns a pair of those!
The skis retails for about $330, which is a reasonable price. They are co-designed by the Olympic and world champion Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg and have become the go-to roller ski for several successful athletes around the country.
There are numerous other trends that become obvious once you set foot on a Norwegian skiing course. Swix spandex, Alpina boots and Triac poles are all used by most competitive skiers in the country. The brands have targeted the top skiers in the country, hence all of us constantly seeing the products on display. We are constantly exposed to Klæbos pink rollerskis and Northugs Oakley shades. One thing is certain; there are some talented people working in the marketing department of these brands.
However, a dedicated skier spends about 500-800 hours each year dressed in spandex and skiing boots. Why wouldn’t you look fashionable while completing all that training?
As training itself is quickly becoming a trend among the general public, fashion will naturally follow. Norway is setting the standard when it comes to fashion within the world of cross country skiing. I wonder if the Americans are going to give up green roller skis and multicolored spandex to follow?