Van Deer-Red Bull Sports wanted to present the company logo on a ski from their own production for the first time in a FIS competition in the night giant slalom in Schladming. Shortly before the race, however, a threatening letter was received from FIS President Johan Eliasch, according to which Van Deer driver Henrik Kristoffersen could even lose his racing license if that actually happened. “That’s why we said, keep picking,” explained Anton Giger, one of the company’s managing directors.
“The background was that we received a letter where Henrik was promised that if he drives with the logo he could lose his license. For us, of course, the athlete comes first, so we don’t risk anything,” said the man from Salzburg, who joined the company of ex-ski superstar Marcel Hirscher last year. One does not want to use the athletes – which also include the Norwegian Timon Haugan and the Briton Charlie Raposo in the alpine area – as a “plaything”. “It is not so important whether we drive with the logo today or in a week or two.” The return to the old policy was then decided at very short notice. A quarter of an hour before the start of the race on Wednesday, 5.45 p.m., Van Deer-Red Bull Sports had sent out a press release announcing that they would not be using the adhesive tape. “Since the ski with the current design is now commercially available, all FIS regulations will be observed after consultation with experts,” it said. “We had an open and constructive exchange with the FIS managers throughout the season,” Giger was quoted as saying in the next paragraph when, within the meaning of the FIS rule corset, advertising is carried out for other brands. After the entry, Red Bull holds 50 percent of the Hirscher-founded Van Deer. Since then, both deer and bull have been vying for attention in the logo. “We follow the rules very precisely, and one rule says that the design has to be commercially available. It wasn’t like that in October, now it’s definitely like that. In principle, you can buy it like this in the shops, even if most of them are sold out,” explained Giger. “According to the experts, we have fulfilled all the requirements and we want to ski normally with these skis.” At the weekend, the German Andreas Wellinger wants to use Van Deer equipment to jump to maximum heights while ski flying at the Kulm. “I focus on skiing,” said Henrik Kristoffersen after his fifth place in the giant slalom. “It was the same ski. Of course I wanted to ride with the logo because it looks good. But it’s not my decision,” the Norwegian clarified.