Sunday, February 21, 2010

Look Carefully at my Sponsor's Skis

Sometimes when I finally notice something it seems so screamingly obvious, I wonder how I've been missing it for years.

It was actually a snowboarder who pointed this out to me. I'd been noticing that the snowboarders always seemed to be holding their boards up after a run while they waited for their score - particularly showing the underside. Then I noticed that one of the boarders was making a real obvious point about showing the name on the board to the camera. Then I noticed it again and again and again and wow, I'm slow, but they must be doing this deliberately. They are no doubt sponsored by the board manufacturer they're riding for and this just has to be part of the deal.

Then I saw the skiers. The very first thing they do when they finish a run is take at least one ski off and carry it vertically. Now when you're a tired skier this is likely one of the least likely things you're about to naturally do. Sure enough, every single skier took one or both skis off and held them up so the brand name was visible. They make it look so smooth, but it's so strangely affected. "Can you see my sponsor's skis that they gave me?" Here let me hold them up, so you can get a better look.

This is so dramatically different from the days when skiers were required to be amateurs and a skier could not be photographed with their ski brand showing. Funny how there really isn't a middle ground, we skipped from no photographs to always being photographed. Funny how it's mostly focused on skis and snowboards. It's not like runners are required to take their shoes off and hold them up. Now that would be ridiculous, but who knows maybe that's in the future.

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