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The incredibly-smart content Tom Wallisch starred in at Seven Springs.

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UPDATE (May 2022) – This record was recently broken by Jesper Tjader, but I think it’s interesting to compare the campaign around Tom Wallisch’s record to this one. Lots of lessons to learn.

Virtually every major resort has at least one sponsored athlete.

A skier or snowboarder who may not spend every day of the season at their mountain, but who represents, extends, and carries the brand wherever they go as professional athletes.

Typically, the way resorts use these names and faces directly is through park edits or on pow days. But consider this video for a moment.

You might say that this video goes beyond just an edit. And it does so in three specific ways.

  1. It brings in the athletes other sponsors for something bigger than any one sponsor might do alone.
  2. Multiple jumps/tricks are set aside and the focus is placed on one record-setting trick.
  3. The narrative isn’t about the trick as much as it’s about the person doing the trick.

It’s the combination of those elements that earned the video above 700,000 views (to contrast, all of Sunday Rivers videos on their channel combine for just under 1,600,000 views).

And it’s that same combination that I want to discuss today.

Tom Wallisch + 7 Springs
About 7 months ago I wrote about how Tom Wallisch and Seven Springs had formed a near perfect partnership. With such a talented athlete under their umbrella, it became a waiting game to see how they’d end up using him.

It didn’t take long.

But notice the tone of this video? There’s none of the typical park edit music, they’ve used a dramatic TV-esque voiceover instead of a brah frying a few sentences, and there’s not a single flip, spin, grab, ___-on or ____-off.

If it makes you feel like this wasn’t make for core skiers…well…you’d be right. This was made for much broader and much more valuable exposure than that.

It was made for TV.

So let’s tie this all together with a single paragraph that tries to put this entire concept into a single thought.

Seven Springs had a skier capable of doing things that would appeal to an audience beyond core skiers. So, whoever started the wheels in motion, created a record (which people love), told a story about trying for the record (which people love), and brought in other partners to help make it happen and get the maximum reach it could.

Personally, I think it’s a brilliant move that’s extra brilliant for a reason I haven’t seen mentioned yet: RISK.

Realistic Requests
I love that this trick didn’t put Tom in a position of extreme risk like other records may have. The absolute worst, while more than viewers at home might be used to, is nothing Tom isn’t completely comfortable handling and mitigating.

Which is huge because this story is going to be seen by thousands of non-skier kids all over the country.

If it inspires them to try this sport – and it surely will on some scale – the fact that Tom was sliding a rail means that the gap between their motivation and what they can do their first season is much, much, much smaller than almost any other ski coverage like the X Games or Olympics.

While that seems small, it’s not. At all. In fact, this video may be the healthiest mainstream ski coverage the sport has seen in years.

About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

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