Personally I enjoy the winter olympics more than the summer games. Since I go to the slopes myself, I know how difficult many of the disciplines are. In particular I have the utmost admiration for the ski jumpers and the downhill racers; nerves of steel is an understatement!
I digress. This year the Olympic committee are hoping the winter games are a respite to Tokyo which had some of the lowest audience figures ever.
The ski industry has suffered significantly during Covid. Many resorts have simply not opened, and even if they have, travel restrictions have prevented regulars from their annual ski jaunt.
Many of the winter sports equipment companies are privately owned and often started when an avid founder decided to make their own equipment.
Snow sports are not cheap. As skiers and snowboarders have stayed off the slopes, they’ve not renewed their equipment hurting revenues.
French brand Rossignol is one of the largest companies in the industry with sales around $270m. 80% are international.
Snowboard brand Burton, which pioneered the creation of snowboarding, has revenues of around $200m but they’re flat. Burton has over 60 fully owned stores worldwide, many which have suffered severe declines in foot traffic during the pandemic. Burton is now shifting strategy from retail and wholesale to a direct-to-consumer model.
Like Rossignol, a significant chunk of Burton’s sales are international.
Hopefully the Beijing Olympics will inspire new skiers and snowboarders out onto the slopes. At least that’s what Rossignol and Burton management teams will be hoping.