The brand is definitely here to stay – that’s the name of the short documentary that was shown on Friday. “I’m living my dream,” Marcel Hirscher said. But the covers will likely remain with the Islamic Salvation Front over the use of the logo.
Race director Anton Geiger confirmed, “Discussions with the FIS mean that we will cover parts of the logo until further notice.” “We’re pretty sure we’ll lead with the logo at some point. We’ll see how long that takes.” The long-time ÖSV coach and official stressed that the fight will not be fought on the backs of the athletes. This means that athletes will not be at risk of being disqualified or having their licenses revoked. The Islamic Salvation Front lifted these penalties last season if the logo was fully visible in races.
But the reports didn’t hurt sales. When the World Cup winter started last season, some products were sold out. The new ski is named H-POWER and also aims to live up to the slogan “Racing for All”. “We are very proud of the new model,” says Hirscher. Because he and his business partners expect further growth, a new CEO, Jonathan Weyant, has been appointed. The former head of Völkl, Marker and Dalbello has only been in office since the beginning of October.
Hirscher experienced the first year of Van Deer-Red Bull sport very extensively. The former Alpine star admitted he was more nervous at home than during his private missions. “I hope things get better over the years.” The main focus of his attention was Norwegian Kristoffersen, who fulfilled Hirscher’s prophecy with his triumph in the slalom in Garmisch-Partenkirchen last January. “This ski will win World Cup races,” the Salzburg native said at Van der’s September 2021 presentation. In February 2023, after an impressive comeback, Kristoffersen became slalom world champion for the first time in Courchevel.
The young father was in a good mood and motivated for the upcoming season, which begins a week later in Sölden with a giant slalom on the Rettenbach Glacier. “The setup was really good, and the materials worked great,” the father of one said. He wants to win as many races as possible. “It could always be better.” Hirscher and Geiger tended to lower their expectations. “For me, it would be an incredibly cool story if we can pick up where we left off last year,” Hirscher said.
The Salzburg native explained that there are currently no plans to integrate more athletes of Kristofferson’s caliber into the stable. Hirscher: “We will remain fairly small so that we can implement and provide this service and this professionalism.” The young Swedish man, Fabian Ax Schwarz (19 years old), is new, as are Kristofferson, his fellow Norwegian, Timon Hogan, and the Briton, Charlie Raposo. Hirscher regularly receives requests from interested men and women, which he then has to postpone. “We are a manufacturer,” he emphasized. “It will be very selective with the athletes we work with.”
Open issues need clarification
It will also have to wait to merge into the ÖSV ski pool. Before the next transfer window happens, “a few things need to be cleared up,” Hirscher said. “We are a smaller company, which means we have to split our commitment a little bit,” Geiger explained. ÖSV indicated that the Augment brand should be used primarily to equip young skiers and combined skiers. “We’re investing a lot in it.”
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