….This is Part 2 of interview with Thomas Drindl, Head of Fischer Nordic.
Tanja Winterhalder, Head of Sports Marketing & PR, Fischer Nordic, joins in conversation.
How many Fischer-sponsored athletes do you currently have – and how many cross country skiers among them i.e. excluding biathlon and Nordic combined ?
– More than 100, less than 1000 😉 in total – of whom approximately 35% are cross country skiers
Do you believe in promotion via personalities, influencers?
– Yes – our biggest influencers are our athletes. In Norway Fischer’s athletes like Northug or Klaebo are real idols and heroes. But e.g. in Germany – it would be different.
When Petter Northug smashes his car and every news headline in Europe and beyond is about him – is it a good publicity for Fischer or not?
– Negative news remain negative news but with Petter it´s special. 50% of the people love him no matter what he is doing, the other 50% – not so much. Or maybe only if he “behaves” like normal guys.
What’s the future?
– There is not so much money in Nordic skiing compared to other sports, on the other hand the training is one of the hardest of any sport. They really need to train every day, twice a day in order to succeed. There is not much time for investing in marketing oneself. Yet there is much to be done in order to educate xcskiing athletes as to promote themselves – and their suppliers.
We are are looking at what influencers – not necessary the very best of athletes some them, but with a large following – are doing and want to harness that trend too. Who will be reading a sports section of a newspaper in 10 years? One thing is certain – in the future when it comes to promotion, we will not expect less from our athletes – we will expect more.
Tanja Winterhalder. We haven’t done enough in explaining to our athletes that we expect them to promote those great skis and boots they get from us in a more active way. Some of them need a bit of nudge in that direction, they take our sponsorship for granted while actively promoting other, non-ski related brands on their social media. So far we haven’t written in the contracts “you owe us so-and-so many post on Instagram in exchange for out support”, but we are not blind to the world around us and these things will be changing.