The world of snowboarding is moving closer to a new professional unified tour following the TTR Pro Snowboarding annual general assembly meetings this past week in Barcelona. TTR, a non profit organization and owner and operator of the World Snowboard Tour, Snowboard Live Scoring System (SLS) and the World Snowboarding Points List, hosted the meeting together with World Snowboard Federation (WSF), an organization comprised of 46 member nations across 4 continents and co-owner of the WCS and SLS. Over the course of two days, 100 participants representing all facets of competitive snowboarding snowboarding, as well as top international riders like Kjersti Buaas, Torstein Horgmo and Stale Sandbech, met to discuss the future of the World Snowboard Tour and unanimously agreed that the future is now.
For the first time, the world’s top riders, event organizers, and major industry representatives, together with the snowboard nations, have agreed on one united concept for the future of the World Snowboard Tour.
With this unanimous decision, the TTR Pro Snowboarding and World Snowboard Tour have created the foundation necessary to build competitive freestyle snowboarding into the preeminent global snowboard media and communication platform. By building a mutually advantageous partnership between TTR, the riders, and the events, coupled with a compelling commercialization model, the TTR aims to build snowboarding into the most exciting winter sport and unite the snowboard community under one roof.
Grand support for new World Snowboard Tour 2.0 concept amongst events and riders
Supported by the world’s best snowboarders and the foremost international events, the members of the TTR General Assembly approved the creation of an Elite Tour and a World Qualifying Tour. With the new concept, the tour will be reduced from six to four competition levels. The three levels Regional, National and International events, in the categories Slopestyle, Halfpipe and Big Air, will make up the qualifying tour. Riders will actively compete on this level to determine who will move into the Elite Tour. The Elite tour will feature the best events in the world and will host only the top riders.
Further underscoring the support for the new tour proposal, TTR and the events, the top snowboard athletes have expressed their desire to commit to participate at all the World Snowboard Tour’s top contests. In an effort to reciprocate such support and highlight the important role that the riders play on the Tour, the TTR formally recognized the newly organized Riders Association, representing female and male Slopestyle, Halfpipe and Big Air riders and lead by an interim board until a full board can be installed, as a formal member of TTR and has been given up to 4 seats on the TTR Board of Directors.
“We are motivated to align to unify competitive snowboarding and create one consistent World Series where all the best riders take part”, says three times X Games winner Torstein Horgmo.
IMG and TTR to implement extensive development plan
Global sports and media expert, IMG, with which TTR has had a working relationship with over the last 5 years, will launch a profound partnership in marketing, sponsorship and central TV production/distribution, which will set a steady economic foundation for the flourishing of the World Snowboard Tour.
“This is an outstanding opportunity for the sport to move forward from both a commercial and media standpoint. IMG is committed to investing and growing the World Snowboard Tour in both awareness and exposure on a global scale. We plan to enhance the platform we have built over the past five years and maximise the potential the sport undoubtedly has. We see a very bright future ahead for Snowboarding.” Adam Kelly, Head of Business Development, SVP, IMG Media.
Board of TTR Pro Snowboarding strengthened
A new board for TTR Pro Snowboarding was elected, adding 10 new international members, with expertise ranging from event organization, marketing and sponsorship, to nation and rider representation.
Reto Lamm, president of the TTR Pro Snowboarding: “All the attendants were aware that the timeframe after the Olympic Games is ideal for the reformation of the World Snowboard Tour. The energy and consistency with which the concept of the World Snowboard Tour 2.0 was developed, discussed and finally decided without any dissenting votes is overwhelming. TTR is strengthening the ties between the events, riders and nations. Never before have such a solid and unified snowboard environment gotten together to shape the snowboarding future.”
Image courtesy World Snowboarding Tour