Dew Tour to hold one winter stop next season
Alli Sports announced the next generation of the Dew Tour (both summer and winter) today. After signing a four-year renewal with Mountain Dew—the tour's title sponsor—Alli announced that the Dew Tour would become a "Beach, City, and Mountain tour," holding stops in Ocean City, MD, San Francisco, CA and Breckenridge, CO. The most marked difference for wintersports athletes is that there is no longer a tour, rather one stop. But Alli promises that this stop (along with the two summer stops) will all be "large-scale, premium and grand-slam style" events.
Bobby Brown, the 2012 Winter Dew Tour Snowbasin slopestyle winner commented that, "Obviously it's a bummer there won't be three spots, but at the same time it makes the Dew Tour have more of an X Games vibe. I think it will be awesome."
Kaya Turski won the first, and only, women's slope Dew Cup in Snowbasin, UT, Feb. 2012.
Norwegian slope and big air star PK Hunder had this to say, "Obviously Dew Tour is a great event, so with that gone we don´t only miss out on two great events, but we also miss the only contest with a overall prize, except the AFP. On another note, we probably will have a couple of new FIS contests we have to do next year with the Olympics coming up the year after that. So I think the comp schedule will be busy enough. But like I said, Dew Tour is a great event and Breckenridge is the best stop without question. So losing two stops will hopefully mean that the one stop in Breck will be amazing."
The changes that Brown are alluding to are: a longer five-day event, more live music, expanded television programming and digital strategy and more promotions around the event. The expanded TV and web programming will be available on NBC, NBC Sports Network, nbcsports.com and allisports.com, made possible due to NBC's purchase of Alli Sports last year.
Jossi Wells wil only have to travel from his native NZ to Breck for next season's Dew stop.
“Dew Tour continues to work hand-in-hand with the athletes. They asked for a platform that would elevate their sports and we worked with Alli to deliver that,” said Brett O’Brien, Vice President of Marketing, Mountain Dew. “With the new Dew Tour, we are working to ensure that we evolve along with the action sports community. With input from the athletes, we’re developing a platform that answers their call for fewer, bigger, better events.”
One of the major gripes within competitive freeskiing is the lack of large-scale, prestigious events. Currently Winter X Games and Winter X Games Europe reach audiences both on-site as well as on an international TV level. Events like Red Bull Cold Rush and The Dumont Cup have become bigger television players due to the Red Bull Signature Series. But is creating a bigger event worth the loss of an entrenched three-stop tour? Will Alli's pooling of its resources pay off?
"I'm definitely bummed to find out that the Dew Tour has reverted to a one stop only event," says 2010-11 AFP Overall World Champion Gus Kenworthy. "Even though the one stop will be a much bigger deal than any of the previous stops—similar to X Games—I think that with the Olympics right around the corner, the more events we have, especially ones as reputable as the Dew Tour, the better."
While the two lost stops are a big blow to the individual resorts and surrounding communities (most recently Snowbasin, UT and Killington, VT), there will be an added importance placed upon FIS World Cups and World Championships in the 2012-13 winter, as it falls within the official Olympic Qualifying period for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. "One winter stop of Dew Tour will be great as it'll give the athletes a greater exposure base," says Jake Largess, Ski Team Manager for Nike. "The only large exposure they get is at X Games. Also, I'm sure there will be additional events that will take the place of the two stops that will be lost."
Sorry Simon, this is the last time you'll get to compete in this Superpipe at Killington.
“The NBC Sports Group is excited about the new model of the Dew Tour,” said Rob Simmelkjaer SVP NBC Sports Ventures and International. “This new approach is consistent with our ‘big event strategy’ and will allow us to leverage the powerful resources we have across broadcast, cable and digital. From all angles—programming, promotion, production and scheduling—the new Dew Tour fits incredibly well into the NBC Sports Group.”
The Breckenridge stop of the Dew Tour will be held December 13-16, 2012.
About the author:
Shay Williams is the Managing Editor of Freeskier Magazine. He loves cheeseburgers, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Sweden. He's likely on a plane right now—first class only.