It looks like I will have to eat my words about the Freeride World Tour having lost their title sponsor. The tour has just announced that they have signed a 3-year deal with Swatch that will guarantee them at least 6 major events for the next 3 season. I am glad to see that Swatch has stepped up to fill the void left by Nissan when they dropped the Freeride World Tour a few months back. It would be a shame to lose this tour as an outlet to showcase the amazing athletes who compete on it.
Here is the full press release:
Verbier, SUI – 22nd December 2011
With typical Swiss precision and impeccable timing, Swatch has signed a new three-year deal to become title partner of the Freeride World Tour. In a ground-breaking deal that will ensure six elite level Freeride events over the 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons, Swatch confirms its commitment to the thriving action sports sector.
Swatch President Arlette-Elsa Emch says: “A passion for sport is one of the long-established pillars of the Swatch ethos. With this in mind, we are extremely proud to confirm our support of and commitment to the Freeride World Tour, as its title partner. During the next three years, working alongside the Freeride World Tour, Swatch wishes to build upon the existing excitement surrounding Action sports by increasing and promoting its significance globally, in order to enrich the experience of those participating in and those watching these amazing events.”
The 2012 Swatch Freeride World Tour season will now see events in Revelstoke (Canada) and Courmayeur-Mont-Blanc (Italy) adding to the already confirmed stops in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, Røldal, Fieberbrunn and Verbier.
The Revelstoke event will also mark the next step in a rapidly evolving partnership between the Freeride World Tour organisers and American Freeskiing and Freeriding organiser Mountain Sports International (MSI). This evolution will include a co-organised event and a new global ranking system in which all results from the new Swatch Freeride World Tour, Freeride World Qualifiers, The North Face Masters of Snowboarding and Subaru Freeskiing World Tour will be included.
A little bird told me that it is highly likely that the Freeride World Tour and Freeskiing World Tour will be fully combined as early as next season. I think this is a great thing for both the athletes and the fans of the sport as long as it can be implemented without adding too much sponsor based politics to the judging.