By Teemu Virtanen
As the 10th anniversary season of Visma Ski Classics is rapidly approaching, the CEO of the brand David Nilsson has taken the all-encompassing Pro Tour trailer to the shores of Monaco. The annual sports exhibition Sportel, where various rights holders meet media outlets and broadcasters to negotiate about distribution deals. The three-day event is a perfect platform to conduct business and meet global players in one location.
David Nilsson, and his Wsportsmedia – the operating company of Visma Ski Classics, has actively promoted Visma Ski Classics at Sportel and met with a great number of potential new media outlets. The interest has been promising and the trailer has certainly caught everyone’s eye at the event. He admits that it has been hectic three days without much rest but certainly worth the effort.
“Most companies have small stands here,” Nilsson says over the phone while getting ready to wrap up his busy day. “But we decided to bring the trailer as it was convenient since it usually stays in Central-Europe over the summer. It really represents our brand and shows people what we stand for. This exhibition is a great place to meet with broadcasters and to find out what’s going on in the sports world in terms of media. I’ve seen a lot of new players, smaller OTT services, that are stepping into the arena, but live sport events still seem to be the best content that traditional TV media can get. Streaming services may rule in entertainment content, but traditional TV is strong when it comes to sports, particularly live broadcasts.”
TV exposure is certainly a key factor for the success of any sport, and for Visma Ski Classics it has ensured the quick ramp-up for the brand. The upcoming Season X is going to be bigger and better than the ones preceding it. David Nilsson is really positive about the fact that small cross-country ski nations are very conspicuous this coming winter. There are many Pro Teams from France, Germany and Italy. Central-Europe seems to be more active than ever before.
“It has been a long ten-year journey for us,” Nilsson admits. “We have built a quality brand and now it is time to take the next step and expand. As a sport brand, we are just a baby compared to all the big leagues in the world. But we are on the right path, and the number of Central-European teams is very encouraging. These teams most probably won’t win any of our events this season, but they will learn and hone their skills. They have the passion that will take them further, and I believe that we will see some rising stars even among this year’s young skiers. I’m also delighted to see so many young athletes in our tour, and so many of them are women. I’m confident that Season X starts a new era for Visma Ski Classics, and the next 10 years will take us to a completely new level.”