Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Mikaela Shiffrin Wins World Cup Giant Slalom in Kronplatz

After finishing fifth in 2017 and failing to complete the first run in 2018 at the Audi FIS Ski World Cup Kronplatz (ITA), American Mikaela Shiffrin proved that the third time was the charm on Tuesday as she claimed a decisive 1.21-second victory over Tessa Worley of France. It was Shiffrin's first win at the Italian resort, and she was thoroughly pleased to have finally mastered the demanding Erta slope.
Tessa Worley gave the closest challenge in order to collect her third podium in the past three giant slalom races. Although Shiffrin moved into the lead of the giant slalom season standings with her win, Worley sits a close second at only 10 points shy of the top slot. Federica Brignone, who finished sixth on the day, is third in the standings at 45 points back.
Ideal slope conditions with firm snow meticulously prepared by the organizers offered an equal opportunity to nearly the entire starting field. Marta Bassino was in tears to finish third in front of the home Italian crowd, matching the very same result she secured at the venue in 2017.
Romane Miradoli of France was the biggest mover of the day, finishing in 19th place after starting with bib 61. Four additional skiers from outside the top 30 also finished in the points.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

9th win for Marcel Hirscher in Adelboden

The slalom showdown from Adelboden took place today under continuous snowfall but whatever the conditions, Marcel Hirscher seems to master the Chuenisbärgli the best. He took his 67th World Cup win ahead of Clément Noel and Henrik Kristoffersen.
Like in the last Audi FIS Ski World Cup in Zagreb, Marco Schwarz laid down the fastest second run but couldn't bring it down in the second leg. This opened the door for the podium, and as usual, Marcel Hirscher pushed hard to ski the fastest splits from top to bottom in the second run. This allowed him to celebrate a 9th World Cup win and the 16th podium in Adelboden, a record among male athletes.
But also other contenders grabbed the opportunity and Clément Noel is one of them. Two 4th places on the World Cup Tour and a sensational 4th place at the Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, the young French athlete confirms and claims his career first World Cup podium, by finishing in second place in Adelboden.
In second place after the first run, Henrik Kristoffersen managed to stay on the podium despite a mistake in the upper part and earned the third place of today’s race. It’s his 5th slalom podium on the Chuenisbärgli, a personal record for him. But the Norwegian star is eager to find the top spot of the podium again. His last win came in the slalom in Kitzbuehel, one year ago.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Marcel Hirscher Wins World Cup GS in Adelboden

It was a very exciting race, full of goosebumps moments, on the Chuenisbärgli in Adelboden. The Audi FIS Ski World Cup giant slalom race ended with Marcel Hirscher grabbing a 4th win in this discipline on this course, winning ahead of Henrik Kristoffersen and Thomas Fanara.
After the first run, Norwegian tech whiz Henrik Kristoffersen was leading a tight field, with Marcel Hirscher (+0.12) and Alexis Pinturault (+0.18) not far behind. So all racers had to push hard in the second round, and the master in this game is Marcel Hirscher. He overcame his small deficit and even expanded his lead to set the fastest time of the second run. The Austrian takes a 66th career win and remains the record holder in Adelboden, with an impressive total of 8 wins (4x GS, 4xSL).
Henrik Kristoffersen found his way back to the podium thanks to two strong but not flawless runs. With this podium, he also defends his second place in the discipline standings, after three races off the podium (Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Alta Badia PGS, Alta Badia GS).
The third place went to the oldest athlete on the start list (37 years old). Frenchman Thomas Fanara claimed a second podium this season, after finishing 2nd in the giant slalom in Alta Badia. In 6th place, +0.44 behind in the first run, he was able to ski the third fastest time in the second run and moved up three spots.
Marco Schwarz, the winner of the City Event in Oslo, finished in 7th place in today’s giant slalom, out of his bib number 67! It’s only his 17th giant slalom in career and by far his best result in that discipline.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Freeride World Tour 2019. First Stop: Hakuba, Japan

Date: January 19-26, 2019; Location: Hakuba, Japan

In 2019, FWT athletes will return to five of the most challenging and pristine freeride venues the globe has to offer.
50 of the world best (in four categories 10 Ski Women, 22 Ski Men, 7 Snowboard Women, and 9 Snowboard Men) will battle it out at five world-renowned venues spanning three continents for their chance to stand on the podium. With such an extraordinary pool of athletes, FWT19 is shaping up to be an extremely exciting and high-level competition.
Following the fourth stop in Vallnord-Arcalís, Andorra only riders holding enough points will have the opportunity to compete in the final stop in Verbier, Switzerland in March.
With an incredible lineup of riders already confirmed - from hungry rookies, hard-charging veterans and legendary wildcards such as Tanner Hall (USA) and Victor De Le Rue (FRA) - the FWT19 is going to be an epic show.  Travis Rice (USA), also, will return to Hakuba once again to challenge the world’s best at stop number one of FWT19. Taisuke Kusunoki (JPN) will join the first event of the season as a wildcard. 

The Freeride World Tour (FWT) is the premier big mountain freeskiing and snowboarding tour in the world, featuring the sport’s top athletes competing in the world’s best mountain resorts. Created in 2008, the FWT became even more global in 2012 following the union of North American-based Freeskiing World Tour, The North Face Masters of Snowboarding, and the European-based Swatch Freeride World Tour. Besides the successful implementation of this truly global FWT, the increase of Freeride World Qualifier (FWQ) and Junior Freeride Tour events in recent years show that the base of the sport is growing exponentially.
The FWT represents top-level big mountain riding, the most progressive and pure discipline of skiing and snowboarding. Riders use the entire mountain as their canvas, from cliffs, cornices, and chutes to powder fields and trees. FWT events have invitation-only athlete rosters but the full FWQ series allows athletes to compete in 1 to 4-star level events and qualify for the FWT the following season. All FWT competition venues are handpicked for their terrain, as well as their steepness, and offer a wide range of options to those competing.

Looking for Inspiration: Ambient Advertising

As the world of marketing gets more and more cluttered every day, it's forcing advertisers to get creative.
In marketing, the term 'ambient' means placing the ads at unusual places or unconventional places where you wouldn't expect an advertisement. The idea behind ambient advertising is to surprise consumers with its placement at unusual, unexpected or wacky ad spaces.
"The first thing that will catch your eye when you are looking at an ambient advertisement would be its unusual location. The second characteristics of such an advertising is the fact that there is no repetition.
Another thing which is important is the execution. How well the ad is being executed, or does it really creating an impact that was required for effective communication. Does it really have a wow factor? All these things are taken into consideration while designing an ambient advertising campaign" 
(The Economic Times).
"Ambient advertising can be found anywhere and everywhere! The key to a successful ambient media campaign is to choose the best media format available and combined with effective message. These kinds of ads often make someone think about a certain place or thing differently", Ryan Lum. Creative Guerrilla Marketing, 2012).

"And marketing being what it is these days, why not offer a really helpful service in the process?", said John Matejczyk. (AdWeek, 2016)
In 2016, Audi arrives at the New York Auto Show with the message that its A4 has overtaken the BMW 328i in many areas, such as power, acceleration, and technologies, such as lane assistance and CarPlay.
With a target audience of one million people attending the event, Audi wanted a surprising way to reach potential car buyers and advertising agency Muhtayzik Hoffer (now M/H VCCP) had an unexpected idea.
Audi set up a bunch of free Wi-Fi networks -Wi-Fi is often difficult to find in convention centers and is usually password protected-, so when people went to their smartphone settings to log onto the Wi-Fi, they saw that the auto show Wi-Fi was named "328 Reasons to choose A4". The other network names changed as the show goes on but there were always at least 10 networks on at a time.
Every time car shoppers logged on to the car show Wi-Fi, they were given yet another reason to buy an Audi A4. And over the course of the three-day event, they saw 328 reasons in total.

The next example is a campaign by Abby Norm, Sweden for Kvällspressen Impact.

If you want to watch know more about Ambient Advertising I highly recommend you listen to the last episode of Under the Influence by Terry O'Reilly.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Cancelled Ladies' Downhill from St. Anton to be rescheduled in Cortina d'Ampezzo

Due to heavy snowfall, the ladies' Audi FIS Ski World Cup Super-G and Downhill races scheduled in St. Anton (AUT) for 12th-13th January 2019 have been canceled.
The canceled Ladies' Audi FIS Ski World Cup Downhill from St. Anton (AUT) will be rescheduled in Cortina d'Ampezzo (ITA) on 18th January 2019, with the following programme:

  • Downhill (St. Anton), Friday, 18.01.2019, (12:00 CET)
  • Downhill, Saturday, 19.01.2019, (10:30 CET)
  • Super-G, Sunday, 20.01.2019, (11:15 CET)
The races will take place on the marvelous Olimpia delle Tofane slope. One of the most spectacular settings on the World Cup, surrounded by the jagged Dolomites and atop a gorgeous town where high-end clothing stores are intermixed with ancient stone churches, the Olympia della Tofane downhill course starts at an elevation of 2,320 meters and the Super G begins at 2,160. The finish area sits at 1,560 meters.
Cortina d’Ampezzo made its debut on the FIS World Cup with Men’s Downhill in 1969 and became a fixture on the Women’s Downhill tour for three years beginning in 1975. After a long hiatus, the venue has been an annual stop on the Women’s World Cup since 1993, hosting Downhill and Super-G races.
Cortina d'Ampezzo is one of the most charming ski resorts in Italy. Located near the north-eastern border with Austria, and surrounded by the imposing peaks of the Tofana, the Monte Cristallo and the Sorapis Dolomites, Cortina is known as the "Regina delle Dolomiti". The resort is part of the Dolomiti Superski Ski Paradise. The Dolomiti Superski pass is one of the world’s largest lift pass areas with over 1200 kilometers of maintained pistes served by nearly 500 lifts on one ticket. Cortina offers, with the purchase of a Valley Skipass, the chance to ski in the skiing area Cortina d'Ampezzo, Auronzo-Misurina and San Vito di Cadore with a total of 140 kilometers of pistes served by 51 lifts and linked by buses. Snowmaking was increased to cover 95 percent of the slopes.
Cortina d'Ampezzo was selected as one of the Top 10 Most Beautiful Alpine Ski Resorts:by the CNN.
Cortina d'Ampezzo is one of the twelve resorts belonging to the European association "Best of the Alps", which get together the most exclusive and well-known destinations in the Big Five Europe's Alpine countries.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Hublot Big Bang Zermatt Pays Tribute To the Matterhorn

Hublot is the Official Partner of Zermatt Tourism and Official Timekeeper of Matterhorn Zermatt Bergbahnen. The Swiss watch manufacturer Hublot has been a Zermatt partner for a long time.
On 25 November 2016, the Zermatt Bergbahnen AG dedicated the new Gant-Blauherd chairlift, which is now called the Hublot-Express lift.
"Having common values is the very foundation for a successful partnership. The Zermatt Bergbahnen AG and HUBLOT, both, strive to impress their clients with extraordinary and innovative services and solutions. For us, a perfect match", Markus Hasler, CEO Zermatt Bergbahnen AG.
The name Zermatt means "in the mountain pastures" (zur Matte), so naturally, Hublot wanted to respect the tradition of the area and its history by creating an original and emblematic "Chalet Boutique". Inaugurated in 2016, this boutique embodies all the principles of ‘Swissitude’ held dear by Hublot. Located at Bahnhofstrasse 27, it is reminiscent of the traditional barns of the old village of Zermatt, whose stone and timber represent its original architecture.
And now, a new model named the "Big Bang Zermatt", featuring the soul of the Matterhorn is available for purchase at the Zermatt Boutique.
One cannot think of Switzerland without thinking of the Matterhorn. One cannot think of Switzerland, of its mountain, its pastures, and its barn buildings, without thinking of slate. To pay tribute to this legendary and emblematic mountain, a source of fascination, one that inspires with its geological riches, Hublot is translating the force of the mountain and of slate onto its Big Bang model.
Deep in the ground lies a unique matter: Slate. A metamorphic rock formed under high pressure, high-temperature conditions. A powerful symbol of Switzerland and of the Valais and its mountains, it also embodies the Art of Fusion. Although slate is derived from clay, Hublot has elevated it into an ultra-resistant material under the effect of carbon. Once again, the innovation of the Watchmaking Manufacture has expressed itself.
The Zermatt region is home to many tales and legends. A new legend is that the slate in the Big Bang Zermatt is extracted from the rocky seam of the Alps that surround the Matterhorn. Two models sport the bezel in carbon and slate composite. The Big Bang 44 mm in stainless steel or 5N gold, which, under their rock, also contain the HUB4100 chronograph movement, visible beneath a sapphire back. For women, the steel bezel is set with a carat of diamonds and, beneath the engraving of the Matterhorn, its micro-blasted steel and sapphire back houses the HUB 4300 self-winding movement, with its 42-hour power reserve. The three models have a blue slate dial to perfect their Alpine look.
The Matterhorn is engraved at 9 o’clock on the small seconds counter for the 44-m models and at 3 o’clock for the set version, distinguished by its unique silhouette, its 4 faces coming together in a high pyramid called the “roof”. Standing 4,478 m tall, it peacefully watches over all the slate roofs of the village of Zermatt.

Petra Vlhova Wins World Cup Slalom in Flachau

Petra Vlhova of Slovakia overcame a 0.31-second deficit after the first run and skied the fastest second run to claim her first Audi FIS Ski World Cup slalom victory since January of 2018 under the lights in Flachau (AUT). It was her fifth career slalom win to make her the most successful female World Cup slalom skier from Slovakia after passing the retired competitor Veronika Velez-Zuzulova – who was on site to witness the emotional event.
For the first time this season, Slovakian Petra Vlhova successfully bested Mikaela Shiffrin in Tuesday’s Flachau night slalom. Vlhova has finished in second behind Shiffrin in all five slalom events since Levi 2018. On Tuesday night, it was Vlhova in the lead with Shiffrin following a close 0.15 seconds behind. The American was highly congratulatory of Vlhova's feat on the challenging second-run course.
The second-place finish ended Shiffrin’s slalom winning streak at seven. One more and she would have tied Vreni Schneider (1988-1989) and Janica Kostelic (2000-2001) for the women’s record for most world cup slalom wins in a row.Anna Swenn Larsson of Sweden was poised to collect her second career podium following the unofficial results of the race, but she was unfortunately disqualified after officials discovered she unknowingly straddled a gate through a delay on the course. Katharina Liensberger of Austria moved into third place in the official results for her career-first podium on the World Cup tour.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

5th Crown for Marcel Hirscher in Zagreb

The “slalom month” has started in Zagreb with the first of five classical slaloms to take place in January. Great conditions awaited the slalom skiers on Sljeme and Marcel Hirscher is the one that handled it the best today and crowned himself “Snow King of Zagreb” for the fifth time.
Young gun Marco Schwarz, who just claimed his maiden World Cup victory in the city event in Oslo, laid down a flawless first run and took the lead, ahead of his teammates Marcel Hirscher and Manuel Feller. Unfortunately, like Manuel Feller two years ago, he didn’t manage to bring down his second run and DNF’ed.
So the door was open for his contenders to grab the win. And Marcel Hirscher, after two races off the podium, earned his way back on the top of the podium, to grab a fifth slalom win in Zagreb. Finishing second +0.37 off the pace in the first run, he skied an aggressive second run and recovered from several tricky situations to finish on the top of the podium for the 64th time.
In second position, Alexis Pinturault managed to earn his first slalom podium since Wengen 2014. This summer already, he showed great performances in this discipline, but he struggled to show it over two runs on the World Cup. It’s his 4th podium in slalom, including two wins. With this result, he also takes the 8th rank in the slalom standings and the fourth in the Overall.
Manuel Feller rounded out the podium, earning his second podium placement in career after a 2nd place in the giant slalom in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The Austrian is well known in Zagreb, as he was holding the mid-run lead two years ago, but as his teammate Marco Schwarz today, he couldn’t finish the race then. Today the stars aligned and he could make the step on the podium.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

4th Crown for Mikaela Shiffrin in Zagreb

Mikaela Shiffrin was in a league of her own today as she clocked the fastest time in Zagreb and won the race by 1.25 seconds ahead of Petra Vlhova (second after skiing the fastest second run). In third place today came Wendy Holdener by finishing 1.75 seconds behind the winner Shiffrin.
Mikaela Shiffrin has been almost unbeatable, winning the five slalom races of the season. Her confidence is so big at the moment, which allows her to ski very aggressive and faster than everyone else. She just recorded a 36th slalom win.
Mikaela Shiffrin, who now has 52 total wins on the world cup circuit, has 1,214 points in the overall world cup title race, nearly double that of Vlhova in second place (748). Shiffrin is already the two-time defending overall world cup champion.
As in the other four slalom races this season, the second place goes to Petra Vlhova. The Slovakian athlete made the step to the very first spot of the podium for the first time both in the giant slalom (in Semmering) and in the city event (Oslo), but still couldn’t clinch a win in slalom this season.
In third place, Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener could celebrate a 19th World Cup podium in slalom. The Swiss multi-talent who is already a World Champion, a multiple Olympic medalist and a globe winner, is still waiting for her first slalom win.