FIS Starts New Marketing & Media Department

The International Ski & Snowboard Federation is aiming to centralise the media, broadcast, marketing and sponsorship rights & sales. Some major ski nations oppose the move.

Some of the major snowsports nations oppose the new structure as they fear it takes away their control and may impact on their finances.

They include Austria, Croatia, Germany and Switzerland.

The issue is the background to a legal challenge over the re-election of FIS President Johan Eliasch that we have reported on:

The first major appointments have been made with Christian Salmon appointed as chief commercial director and Oliver Kraus made director of global partnerships for the new marketing and media venture, M&M.

The new division will also control FIS production service and its digital rights, plus its hospitality and event service.

“The FIS M&M will be the hub of all of our commercial activities moving forward so it was critical to find elite leaders within the industry to lead us into the next chapter,” said FIS President Johan Eliasch.

“With Christian and Oliver, we have found not only the most capable leaders, but also two individuals who are passionate about winter sports and who will work tirelessly to help FIS reach its goals.”

Johan Eliasch

Johan Eliasch, image c/o FIS.

Under the current broadcasting rights structure, each country’s National Federation holds the domestic rights to the events it stages.

It then sells international rights to marketing company, Infront, that then sells them on and keeps a percentage of the profits.

The new structure means FIS will have full control over the broadcasting rights.

President Eliasch says the new structure will retain money which will then be shared with all national ski associations.

The former GB Olympic skier Martin Bell has offered his comment on the PlanetSKI Facebook page.

“World Cup races are not solely the property of the big Alpine nations,” said Martin.
“They are events created by all the athletes who compete. It’s called the WORLD Cup for a reason.
“Every now and then, an athlete from a “smaller” ski nation springs a surprise (like on on 22/1/22) and it produces a storyline that transcends the mundane battles between Austrians, Swiss, Italians, etc.
“Kudos to Eliasch for taking funds from the “big” ski-racing nations (they’ll be just fine) and spreading them around all the nations who participate in FIS competitions.”
Martin Bell with PlanetSKI's James Cove at the Winter Games NZ. Image © PlanetSKI

Martin Bell with PlanetSKI’s James Cove at the Winter Games NZ. Image © PlanetSKI

Martin’s daughter, Reece, is following in his footstep with a career as an alpine ski racer.
Next season she will be racing for GB Snowsport and competing in the Europa Cup.
Reece Bell. Image © PlanetSKI

Reece Bell. Image © PlanetSKI

In a separate development, Niklas Carlsson has been appointed as the deputy secretary general of FIS.

He is a former secretary general of the International Biathlon Union and like President Eliasch he is from Sweden.

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