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AMER SPORTS by rku10038

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									A MAGAZINE BY AMER SPORTS 3. 2006




       TENNIS
       JARKKO NIEMINEN’S
       JOURNEY TO THE TOP

       AMER SPORTS
       THE MODEL:
       A SINGLE LOCAL SUBSIDIARY

       SPORTS TRADE
       BUDGET SPORT EXPANDS
                                                                                              A MAGAZINE BY AMER SPORTS




                                                                    PART OF A GREAT TEAM
                                                                    Wilson rackets are used by the world’s top-class professionals, such as Roger Federer,
                                                                    who has four consecutive Wimbledon wins, and Justine Henin-Hardenne, who is cur-
                                                                    rently ranked third. Many young, promising players who are currently in the spotlight
                                                                    also belong to the Wilson team.
                                                                         At this year’s Wimbledon tennis tournament, we saw that Jarkko Nieminen is al-
                                                                    ready one of the world’s top players. He was the second highest placed Wilson player
                                                                    and reached the final eight. In the pages of this magazine, we’ll get acquainted with
                                                                    the everyday life of a tennis professional, as well as Jarkko’s motivation and will to win
                                                                    – which not even the crazy traveling circus can dull.
                                                                         Athletes are Amer Sports’ partners in cooperation. As well as increasing our
                                                                    company’s reputation and sales, successful top-level athletes are also an essential
                                                                    part of our product development. Even the smallest details can be a decisive factor in a
                                                                    product’s performance.
                                                                         The newest of the new in our product offering is Suunto’s collection of heart rate
                                                                    monitors, which help exercisers, fitness enthusiasts and professional sportspeople to
                                                                    reach their fitness and performance goals. The Suunto Training product series contains
                                                                    four different heart rate monitors, plus sport-specific additional equipment. With the aid
                                                                    of the Suunto t1, t3 and t4 heart rate monitors, keeping fit has never been so easy!
                                                                         Amer Sports’ technically-advanced, performance-enhancing products are sold in
                                                                    tens of thousands of stores around the world. Our experts are on hand to serve all types
                                                                    of retailers from sport-specific specialized stores to large chains. The first Intersport
                                                                    Budget Sport store, whose concept is to provide discounted products, was opened in Fin-
                                                                    land in the spring. On pages 12–15, Franz Julen, CEO of the world’s largest sports equip-
                                                                    ment chain, will be telling us about the new step this store represents and Intersport’s
                                                                    sustainable business concepts.

                                                                    Maarit Mikkonen
                                                                    Communications Manager




               The magazine is published   Alma Media             Editorial Secretary           Address Source
               quarterly in Finnish,       Lehdentekijät Oy       Outi Rinne                    Amer Sports’ Register
               English and German.         P.O. Box 502,          AD Mika Soikkeli              of Shareholders
                                           FI-00101 Helsinki,                                   and Customers,
               Editorial Staff             FINLAND                Cover photo                   Amer Sports Corporation,
               Editor-in-chief             Tel. +358 10 665 102   AFP/Lehtikuva                 P.O. Box 130,
               Maarit Mikkonen                                                                  FI-00601 Helsinki,
               Amer Sports Corporation,    www.lehdentekijat.fi   Composition and Repro         FINLAND
               Communications                                     Faktor Oy
               Department, P.O. Box 130,   Producer               Printed by Libris Oy          Changes of
               FI-00601 Helsinki,          Markku Rimpiläinen                                   addresses
               FINLAND                     markku.rimpilainen@    ISSN 1459-5095 (print)        amer.communications@
               Tel. +358 9 725 7800        lehdentekijat.fi       ISSN 1795-2247 (online)       amersports.com




2   |   Next
    Next 3.06: Contents
 4 NEXT HOT. Salomon’s Sonic Shield and             22 RESULT. Introducing Tommy Ilmoni,
    Arc'teryx’s Scorpion jackets are designed           Amer Sports’ new Vice President,
    for the demanding skier.                            Investor Relations.

 6 PROFILE. Jarkko Nieminen tells us what           24 CYCLING. Mavic’s yellow support car is
    a tennis professional’s life is really like.        already an institution at the Tour de France.

10 NEXT PRODUCT. Introducing Suunto’s               29 CLASSIC. Wilson has been the Official
    new t series fitness devices.                       Ball of the NFL since 1941.

11 NEXT GUIDE. Advance information                  30 SOCCER. An increasing number of soccer
    on the Cycling World Championships                  matches in Latin America are being played
    and the Ryder Cup, which will be played             with Wilson balls.
    at Kildare in Ireland.
                                                    33 US OPEN. Wilson organizes the
12 SPORTS TRADE. Intersport intends                     tournament’s most eagerly anticipated
    to open 60–70 Budget Sport stores,                  celebrations.
    says CEO Franz Julen.
                                                    34 NEWS. Salomon’s alpine skiing team
16 AMER SPORTS. Amer Sports’ and Salomon’s
    local subsidiaries are to be consolidated.
                                                        is confirmed.                                   12
18 TECHNOLOGY. Modern sports footwear
    is strictly designed for a set purpose.
                                                         IN WHICH DIRECTION IS
                                                         INTERSPORT HEADING?
                                                         INTERSPORT INTERNATIONAL’S
                                                         CEO FRANZ JULEN ANSWERS.


    MAVIC'S YELLOW SUPPORT CAR
    TRAILED THE LEADING CYCLISTS                         TOMMY ILMONI IS AMER SPORTS’
    AT THE TOUR DE FRANCE THIS                           NEW VICE PRESIDENT, INVESTOR
    SUMMER, TOO.                                         RELATIONS.
                                                                                                         4




                                                   24                                          18       22

                                                                                                         Next   |   3
          nexthot

                                                                          FOR THE BACK SLOPES. Salomon’s new Sonic Shield jacket has
                                                                           been designed for off-piste skiing on the back slopes, where
                                                                            now and again the snow is bound to come down hard. The
                                                                             jacket is made from Advantex®, a four-way stretch soft shell
                                                                               material with excellent breathability that has also been
                                                                                treated for water resistance. The exterior material does
                                                                                  not contain a separate membrane (which usually de-
                                                                                   creases breathability). The zips are also waterproof.




               AWARD-WINNING HEART RATE MONITOR. In August, only
               a week after it was launched, Suunto’s new t3 heart rate
               monitor and GPS POD combination received an award at the
               ISPO Trade Fair in Munich. The ISPO jury praised the t3 for its
               broad range of functions and usability in particular. With the
               aid of the Suunto GPS POD, you can track speed and distance
               traveled when, for example, skating, crosscountry running or
               crosscountry skiing.




                                                                   CLASSIC LINE. In the latest version of the
                                                                   traditional SNS® Pilot® Classic system, the
                                                                   ski boot is connected to the binding on two
                                                                   axes, providing excellent control and a pow-
                                                                   erful kick. The elasticity of the binding can be
                                                                   steplessly adjusted.




4   |   Next
                                                                                                         FOR COLD WEATHER. Salomon’s B52 shoes have been
                                                                                                         designed to keep feet warm in temperatures as low
                                                                                                         as minus 30 °C. The Contragrip sole remains flexible
                                                                                                         and provides a secure grip even at the lowest tempera-
                                                                                                         tures. The Thinsulate lining has an additional Gore-Tex®
                                                                                                            “Koala” membrane, which provides extra insulation
                                                                                                                and also makes the shoe waterproof.




                                                                                                           THE PERFECT TREADMILL. Precor’s new Experience
                                                                                                           Series of treadmills combine stylish design with an
                                                                                                           exceptionally durable and user-friendly structure.
                                                                                                           Cardio Theater entertainment attachments put the
A JACKET FOR THE HEIGHTS. If you’re wearing this jack-                                                     finishing touches to the package. The Experience Se-
et, you don’t need to stop skiing when the weather turns                                                   ries’ durable products have been designed for contin-
bad. Arc’teryx’s new Scorpion jacket has been made for the                                                 uous and problem-free fitness facility use. Pictured is
demanding skier in demanding conditions. The jacket is                                                     the Precor C954i Treadmill.
made from the new Gore-Tex® Soft Shell High Loft material,
which combines a plush fleece liner with a soft and flexible
Soft Shell exterior. The Scorpion pants have been made from
the same material. The jacket includes waterproof zips, a
Recco® reflector and a Storm Hood.




                                                               TOUR STANDARD. The Wilson Open tennis shoe shoots for the apex of design. Perfect
                                                                  breathability, support, fit and shock absorption have all been packaged in an extremely
                                                                      lightweight shoe. The Open is part of the Wilson Evolution line, which contains
                                                                           shoes designed to meet the specific needs of players of all standards.




                                                                                                                                                        Next    |    5
               Jarkko Nieminen
               −   Born in 1981 in Masku
               −   185 cm / 78 kg
               −   Started playing tennis at four
               −   Won the Junior US Open in 1999
               −   Became a professional in 2000
               −   Amazed the tennis world in October 2001 by making
                   it to the final in the first ATP tournament of his career
                   in Stockholm
               −   Made it to the third round of the French Open the
                   following season
               −   Narrowly lost a semi-final place to Lleyton Hewitt in
                   the US Open quarter finals in September 2005
               −   First ATP tournament win in January 2006 in Auck-
                   land, New Zealand
               −   Lost to Rafael Nadal in the Wimbledon quarter finals
                   in summer 2006
               −   Has played on center court at all the Grand Slam
                   tournaments and has beaten players such as Andre
                   Agassi
               −   Left-handed, has the best two-handed backhand
                   on the circuit, plus an exceptional ability to control
                   the game and change his own game to upset his
                   opponent’s rhythm




6   |   Next
A working man’s journal
Jarkko Nieminen has climbed in the team Wilson almost to the top of the
tennis world. Before him lies a last and decisive attempt on the summit.
■ Text by Tommi Aitio
■ Photos by Lehtikuva




T
         his we know about the life of tennis pro-          “I’ve always wanted to improve my own game
         fessionals: the great victories and sting-    rather than slogging it out in the same place for
         ing defeats in full-to-bursting stadiums,     years. However, I would definitely have stuck it
the trophies held up on high and hefty paychecks,      out on the Satellite circuit for a year or two more.
their faces smiling out from advertisements.           I raise my hat to those players who are tenacious
     This is the side we don’t see: insanely           enough to keep on trying in the Satellite tourna-
early wake-up calls and dashes to the airport,         ments for many years, even though their results
the continuous packing and unpacking of suit-          don’t improve,” ponders Jarkko Nieminen on his
cases, tedious waits in airport security queues        way to, yes, the airport.
and lounges, 40 different and yet identical hotel
rooms around the world each year.                      Five Wilson rackets
     And then you still have to play brilliantly,      and an equipment bag
day in, day out, to surpass your own and your          A typical workweek in a tennis professional’s life is
supporters’ expectations, and train to remain in       just beginning. Jarkko Nieminen has woken early,
tiptop shape for almost fifty weeks a year.            been to a sponsor’s product launch and demon-
     All this Jarkko Nieminen has wanted since he      strated a little tennis, and then rushed back to his
was a little boy, and all this he has, by the age of   home in Helsinki to pack his tennis gear.
24, achieved. He has made his dream come true -             He’s managed to be at home for almost two
the same dream that he’s shared with thousands         hours. That’s quite a while, as he often doesn’t
and thousands of other promising tennis players        even make it back to Finland between competi-
who have never reached the goal.                       tions, but shuttles between one tournament city
     Although the crazy traveling circus is ex-        and the next.
hausting, and the specter of those deadly hotel             The globetrotter knows that packing a lot
rooms lurks around the corner every night of           of gear just means trouble. Jarkko Nieminen
the tour, Jarkko Nieminen is a happy man. He           swears by traveling light: a racket bag, equip-
knows that he represents the tip of the iceberg        ment bag and laptop case suffice, even when he’s
among the group of players trying to make it to        leaving for a tour of the USA lasting weeks.
the pinnacle of professional tennis. The majority           “I usually take five rackets with me. They’re
of them will have to slog it out for years in small    identical, but with time you get to recognize which
tournaments, earning peanuts, and entertain-           one’s which. At the moment, all my rackets are
ing an ever-further fleeting dream of meeting          new, and I haven’t given them any distinguishing
Lleyton Hewitt in the quarter finals of the US         marks,” replies Jarkko Nieminen to a question
Open in an evening-lit Arthur Ashe stadium.            about superstition and always starting a game
Or seeing Tim Henman on the other side of the          with the same racket. According to an urban ten-
net on Wimbledon’s imposing Center Court. Or           nis legend, Pete Sampras carried over 30 rackets
crushing Andre Agassi at Roland Garros in front        with him, but always started a match with one
of thousands of astonished spectators.                 and the same racket.                              q


                                                                                                        Next   |   7
          When he faced Sampras                                       This is a dream that can only be realized        win a match, I’m satisfied that I was able to win
          Nieminen still has a way to go to match “Pistol       once every four years. Nieminen represented            even though I wasn’t playing my best tennis.”
          Pete’s” achievements. And he doesn’t even rate        Finland at the Athens Games two years ago, but
          Sampras as the best player of all time – he would     dropped out in the second round. He was recov-         With both hands
          plump for Switzerland’s Roger Federer.                ering from an illness and not on top form, but         The last call and time to get on the plane. Again.
               “I can’t say whether Federer is the best play-   didn’t want to miss the Olympics – one of his          But a working man doesn’t complain, he just
          er of all time, but he does have the characteris-     childhood dreams.                                      spoons up the last of the yogurt and heaves the
          tics of the most perfect tennis player ever.”               “For me, representing your country in the        red racket bag onto his back.
               According to Nieminen, the “Federer Ex-          Olympics has always been a mark of the best                A professional never leaves the tools of his
          press” has no weaknesses, only strengths. De-         that an athlete can achieve.”                          trade to be chucked about by airport staff and roll
          spite his 14 Grand Slam victories, Sampras had              One of Nieminen’s dreams came true in Jan-       around in the hold.
          his weak spots. He never won the French Open          uary this year when he took his first ATP tourna-          “Once in the United States, I had to prove
          and was never otherwise particularly brilliant        ment victory in Auckland, New Zealand. It was a        I was a tennis professional in order to take my
          on clay. In Nieminen’s opinion, being a master        great achievement, but an even greater one may         rackets with me into the cabin. At the time, I
          on all surfaces is what makes Federer such a          have been climbing back to the top in spring 2004      thought that if I really wanted to highjack this
          perfect player.                                       after his injury in Monte Carlo. Nieminen’s then       plane, then maybe I would have taken with me
               Even so, Jarkko Nieminen’s role model when       promising ascent in the ranking list dipped into       slightly more dangerous weapons than tennis
          he was younger was Pete Sampras. A large post-        an out-of-control free fall that sent him plum-        rackets.”
          er of Sampras in the Australian Open hung on the      meting to No. 142. Many believed that that was             Jarkko Nieminen is wrong there. In his
          wall of his room at his home in Masku.                it. Jarkko knew that his best games were still         hands, a tennis racket is a weapon of mass
               “I had only just taken the poster off my wall    unplayed and his dreams unrealized.                    destruction – just ask Andre Agassi. When Nie-
          when I faced Sampras in Australia in 2002. I’d              “My most important goal is to play better.       minen gets to hit his two-handed backhand
          never been so nervous as I was waiting to step        I’ll keep playing as long as I feel that I can still   shots with full force down the line, you start to
          into the stadium. We lined up in the corridor         improve my game. This is a results-based sport,        reckon he probably has to have a permit to carry
          leading from the changing room to the stadium.        where only a win matters. If I play badly but still    that lethal weapon. ■
          Then I heard the tournament announcer intro-
          duce the players and the doors to the stadium
          opened. Bright light shone in from the doorway
          and the noise from the crowd was insane. I was
          quite paralyzed with nerves.
               “We’d been playing for under five minutes
          and I was already down 0-3. I lost the first three
          games in a row. In the fourth, I broke Sam-
          pras’ serve and suddenly all the nerves disap-
          peared.”
               The 2002 Australian Open was only Jarkko
          Nieminen’s third ATP level tournament. He met
          his idol later again that season, this time at the
          Miami Masters in the USA; but by then, playing
          against Sampras no longer felt special.
               “He was just one more opponent among
          many.”
               Jarkko Nieminen had become a profession-
          al, a working man in top-level tennis.

          Dreaming of Olympic gold
          Jarkko Nieminen orders two rye bread sand-
          wiches, two yogurts and three fruit juices from
          the airport café. There’s still fifteen minutes un-
          til it’s time to go. Enough time to run through the
          current season and any unfilled dreams.
                “To win a Grand Slam tournament and the
          Olympics in the same year,” says Jarkko Nie-
          minen on his current goals.                           Jarkko Nieminen’s autograph was in demand at Wimbledon.



8   |   Next
                                                                                                                              MARIN CILIC, CROATIA
                                                                                                                              born August 28, 1988
                                                                                                                              195 cm / 78 kg
                                                                                                                              A good grip on the Futures
                                                                                                                              circuit and a fabulous semi-
                                                                                                                              final place in the Gstaad ATP
                                                                                                                              tournament have raised the
                                                                                                                              young Croatian player, who
Julian Finney/Getty Images/All Over Press




                                                                                                                                                                Jamie McDonald/Getty Images/All Over Press
                                                                                                                              was born in Mostar, Bos-
                                                                                                                              nia-Herzegovina, into the
                                                                                                                              ranks of the top 200 best
                                                                                                                              players on the profes-
                                                                                                                              sional circuit. Bob Brett,
                                                                                                 These                        who once guided Boris
                                                                                                                              Becker to the top of the

                                                                                              players are                     world, is coaching Cilic,
                                                                                                                              one of the tennis world’s
                                                                                                                              most promising players.
                                            NOVAK DJOKOVIC, SERBIA                            also worth                      A climb onto the TOP100 list
                                                                                                                              is still feasible this season,
                                            born May 22, 1987
                                            188 cm / 74 kg
                                            Djokovic, from Belgrade,
                                                                                               following                      as the tall Croatian has all
                                                                                                                              the physical characteristics
                                                                                                                              of a top-level player.
                                            started tennis at four and
                                            turned professional at 16.
                                            He was the youngest TOP100
                                            player in the 2005 season
                                            and this season joined the                        JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO,
                                            ranks of the 30 best players                      ARGENTINA
                                            with a win in Amersfoort and                      born September 23, 1988
                                            a place in the final in Umag.                     196 cm / 78 kg                  TATIANA GOLOVIN, FRANCE
                                            He reached the quarter fi-                        South America’s next great      born January 25, 1988
                                            nals at Roland Garros. This                       tennis star was the fastest     175 cm / 60 kg
                                            extremely athletic all-round                      climber of the 2005 season.     This Moscow-born player
                                            player is at home on all sur-                     During the year, he rose no     moved to France with her
                                            faces, but names hard courts                      fewer than 900 places on        parents as a child, and from
                                            as his favorites. Djokovic’s                      the ranking list and ended      there to Florida in the USA,
                                            weapon is his physique and                        up the season’s youngest        where she trained for six
                                            a two-handed backhand that                        TOP200 player. Like Mariano     years in Nick Bollettier’s
                                            slams right down the line.                        Zabaleta, the young Argen-      legendary tennis academy.
                                            He has long been the num-                         tinean from Tandil is rare      She made her Grand Slam
                                            ber one player for his coun-                      among South American            debut in 2003 at the French
                                            try in the Davis Cup.                             players, as he feels more at    Open with a first-round
                                                                                              home on hard courts rather      loss in the singles. The fol-
                                                                                              than clay. No wonder, as        lowing year, she won the
                                                                                              “Palito’s” childhood idol       mixed doubles at Roland
                                                                                              was Pete Sampras. Dur-          Garros with country-
                                                                                              ing the current season, Del     man Richard Gasquet.
                                                                                              Potro’s catch has included      Golovin has reached
                                                                                              two Challenger level tour-      two singles finals,
                                                                                              nament wins, plus the first     but not yet managed
                                                                                              ATP level semi-final place      a tournament win.
                                                                                                 of his career in Umag. He    Her ranking in the
                                                                                                     is speeding towards a    TOP30 now seems
                                                                                                         ranking in the top   established.
                                                                                                            100.
                                                     Ian Walton/Getty Images/All Over Press




                                                                                                                                                                Jacques Munch/AFP/Lehtikuva




                                                                                                                                                               Next                                          |   9
         nextproduct
                                                The Suunto                                                ■ Text by Ilkka Järvimäki
                                                t1 tells you                                              ■ Photos by Suunto
                                                how much
                                                energy you’ve
                                                consumed
                                                during your
                                                training
                                                session.




                                                Suunto t1, t3 and t4
                                                Keeping fit has never been easier
                                                The Suunto t6 has quite quickly secured its position among sportspeople and
                                                goal-oriented exercisers. It has offered its users the chance to analyze the effect
                                                of their training on their fitness, and also to plan training.
                                                     The new heart rate monitors in Suunto’s t series – the Suunto t1, t3 and t4
                                                – have taken advantage of their big brother’s tested and proven features to make
                                                analysis of training effect even easier. They show the loading of every training ses-
                                                sion using the Training Effect scale of one to five.
                                                     Training Effect indicates how powerfully training is improving maximum en-
                                                durance fitness. Depending on the model the heart rate monitors in Suunto’s t
                                                series determine this value on the basis of heart rate, fluctuation of the intervals
                                                between heart beats, and breathing frequency. The higher the loading of a training
                                                session, the higher the number that appears on the screen.
                                                     The Suunto t1 displays real-time information about heart rates and energy
                                                consumed. The Suunto t3 also saves data from every training session, monitors
                                                fitness development and shows the training effect on a scale of one to five. The
                                                Suunto t4’s Suunto Coach even advises its users on how to plan their training. It
                                                makes suggestions for an optimal program for the next five days and adjusts its
                                                advice on the basis of the training carried out.
                                                     A broad range of additional equipment is available for the Suunto t3 and t4.
                                                The Suunto Foot POD – which is attached to the shoe – measures a runner’s speed
                                                and distance, the Suunto PC POD wirelessly transfers training data to a computer,
          Suunto’s new t series wristops        and the Suunto Training Manager software analyzes training on the computer.
          are small and flat. Pictured are      The Suunto GPS POD measures both distance and speed for all outdoor sports
          the Suunto t3 (left) and Suunto t4.
                                                and activities.
                                                     The Suunto t series’ heart rate monitors and additional equipment come in a
                                                variety of handy packs for different uses: the Home Training Pack, Running Pack,
                                                Marathon Pack, Duathlon Pack, Cycling Pack and Multisport Pack. By choosing
                                                the comprehensive pack designed for their sport, athletes and exercisers get all
                                                the measuring devices they need in one go – from heart rate monitors to Suunto
                                                PODs and attachment solutions. ■




10   |   Next
                                                                                                                nextguide
               Books                              very beginning, “The Her-
                                                  minator’s” career has been
                                                  full of challenges, top per-
    HERMANN MAIER, KNUT                           formances and failures. In




                                                                                                                                                           David Cannon/Getty Images
    OKRESEK, LANCE ARM-                           2001, a motorcycle accident
    STRONG: HERMANN MAIER:                        threatened to end his career
    THE RACE OF MY LIFE                           in one go, but this colorful
                                                  character got back on his
    The multiple Olympic winner                   skis and began competing
    and World Champion, who                       again, ever more hungry for
    lives in Flachau, Austria,                    victory. Maier’s auto-
    first took to the piste when                  biography, “The Race
    he was just three years old                   of My Life”, recounts the
    and was competing for the                     ups and downs of the alpine
    first time at five. From the                  skier’s life and career.




               Online
                                    Paul Zimmer




q   Padraig’s advice. On the
    website of Padraig
    Harrington you can read
    tips that even club players
    will find interesting. For
    example, Harrington reveals
                                                                                                  This year, the Ryder Cup will be
    why he has developed his
    own original putting style.                                                                   played at the picturesque Kildare
    www.padraigharrington.com                                                                     golf course in Ireland.

q   50–50–50. American ultra
    runner Dean Karnaze will
    attempt to run 50 marathons
    in the 50 states of the USA
    in 50 days. The adventure                                                                             What’s on?
    begins on September 17 and
    ends at the New York City
    Marathon on November 5.
    www.endurance50.com
                                                                                               SEPTEMBER                        OCTOBER
q   Fighting for clean sport. The
    World Anti-Doping Agency                                                                   SEPTEMBER 19–24                  OCTOBER 15
    (WADA) has been battling                                                                   ROAD WORLD                       AMSTERDAM MARATHON
    against doping since 1999.                                                                 CHAMPIONSHIPS                    The world’s fourth fastest
    The organization, which is                                                                 The Road World Champion-         marathon route. Brazil’s
    funded by sports organiza-                                                                 ships in Salzburg, Austria,      Vanderlei Lima, who came
    tions and governments of                                                                   end the 2006 cycling season.     away with Olympic bronze
    the world, seeks to make                                                                   Supremacy will be gauged         after dramatic vicissitudes
    top-level sport cleaner and                                                                with individual time trials      in Athens, will be taking the
    more credible.                                                                             and a general start road race    measure of Tanzania’s Fa-
    www.wada-ama.org                                                                           in the men’s, women’s, and       biano Joseph, the half mara-
                                                                                               junior men’s and women’s         thon World Champion, at the
q   Safety in the snow. Skiing                                                                 under-23 age categories.         Amsterdam Marathon.
    outside marked pistes can
    often be risky. Steep slopes,                                                              SEPTEMBER 22–24                  OCTOBER 28–29
    large masses of snow and                                                                   RYDER CUP                        CROSSCOUNTRY
    a suitable trigger can cause                                                               Europe meets the United          SKIING WORLD CUP
    serious avalanches. Being                                                                  States. Golf’s traditional       Winter draws near. The
    knowledgeable about snow                                                                   Ryder Cup will be played at      Crosscountry Skiing World
    and its dangers is the best                     Not even a rejuvenated Andy Roddick        the K Club in Kildare, Ireland   Cup begins as early as Octo-
    way to prevent accidents in                     could keep Roger Federer from              on the last weekend in           ber in fairly urban surround-
    wintery conditions.                             retaining his U.S. Open crown. He          September. Europe’s best         ings. Sprint skiers will be
    www.recco.com/pdf/                              won his third straight U.S Open title in   golfers will be defending        competing on artificial snow
    whitebook.pdf                                   convincing fashion, 6-2, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1.    their win in 2004.               in the center of Düsseldorf.




                                                                                                                                                   Next        |                       11
          Expert authority and service remain
           Intersport’s core competence
          Intersport International’s CEO Franz Julen believes that the demand for expert advice and
          skilled service in the sports retail business will continue. In addition, the Intersport Group
          is planning to open 60–70 of its new Budget Sport discount stores.
          ■ Text by Tapio Nurminen
          ■ Photos by Kreetta Kuokkanen, Werner Bachmeier




          T
                  he headquarters of Intersport Germa-            Although the headquarters of the world’s         pert service. In the grocery trade, German bar-
                  ny in Heilbronn are like a state within     largest sports retail chain are in Bern, Switzer-    gain basements are shaking up markets around
                  a state. It is from this massive building   land, its national licensees, such as Intersport     the world and revolutionizing the structure of
          complex that operations for Intersport Interna-     Germany and the affiliated retailers working with    the trade.
          tional Corporation’s (IIC) largest single market    them, form the core of Intersport.                       “Polarization will gather momentum in the
          are directed. In the seemingly never-ending             In Germany, if anywhere, it’s natural to speak   coming years in the sports retail business as
          warehouse, you finally realize what Intersport      of the polarization of the retail trade. Opposing    well. Those who attempt to be a little bit of both
          Germany’s EUR 2.2 billion in annual retail sales    each other are the discount stores competing         – specialist stores offering expert service and
          mean in practice.                                   with prices and the specialist stores offering ex-   bargain basements that compete solely with



12   |   Next
The dominant color in Budget Sport stores
is bright orange. Pictured are Suunto products
in the first Budget Sport store, which opened
in Vantaa, Finland in May.




prices – will not survive,” says IIC CEO Franz
Julen, whose German has an endearing Swiss
accent.

Discount store a new step
The first Budget Sport store operating under a
“hard discount” concept was opened in Finland
in the spring. The core competence of this con-
cept is about providing discounted products. The
Budget Sport concept sees Intersport entering
into brand new territory. Although every highly
successful Intersport retailer also has aggres-
sively priced campaign products, advice and
service are and will remain the core expertise of
each and every traditional Intersport store.
     The Budget Sport outlets and the traditional     48-year-old Swiss Franz Julen has headed up IIC since 2000.
Intersport stores will not cannibalize each other.
Today’s customers are extremely flexible.
     “The same person can visit Budget Sport          last eight years, Intersport has set
to buy themselves affordable running socks,           up operations in 14 countries. 44 new            “We will never become
but will go to Intersport to buy the best possible
trainers for their style of running,” says Julen.
                                                      stores have been opened in the Bal-
                                                      kan countries, Croatia, Slovenia and
                                                                                                       a centralized organization.”
     “We intend to open a total of 60–70 Budget       Serbia alone.
Sport stores in 6–7 countries. Their sales surface         “In practice, we have progressed
will measure about 1,500 square meters.”              in our expansion at a rate of two countries per         Tough competition in textiles
     That said, he emphasizes: “Regardless of the     year,” adds Julen.                                      According to Julen, one can identify consistent
expansion of Budget Sport, Intersport remains              “Maybe the rate has even been a little too         product groups in the sports equipment trade in
the top priority for the Group. We seek to bear       fast. One country a year would be ideal. Then           which trends and customer behavior run quite
our responsibility for both customer groups, but      you’re able to both coordinate things better with       parallel, regardless of the country in question.
under no circumstances do we want to dilute the       the new licensees and support them more ef-                  “The markets for equipment, that is hard-
Intersport concept.”                                  ficiently. In spite of this, we have been extremely     ware, are very international and congruent, al-
                                                      successful,” says IIC’s CEO, casting a self-critical    though in certain countries certain sports do, of
Global in 2015                                        eye on the situation.                                   course, dominate. The ice hockey department is
The 48-year-old Swiss has worked for IIC since             With the exception of the Baltic countries and     noticeably larger in Finland, while in Germany
1998, and has headed up the company since             Portugal, Intersport has spread across the whole        soccer is number one,” says Julen, giving a cou-
2000. Before joining IIC, he had a long career in     of Europe. Canada is already in the bag, but the        ple of examples.
sport: coaching his brother Max, who won Olym-        USA is still being kept at arm’s length.                     On the other hand, when it comes to textiles
pic gold in the Giant Slalom in 1984, and working          In recent years, there has been a lot of dis-      and certain footwear categories, a division can
as a sports reporter, in sports marketing and as      cussion within IIC on whether Intersport should         be made between a ‘Latin’ and a more ‘northern’
the managing director of Völkl International.         remain a mainly European chain or go global.            attitude. In Germany, Switzerland, Austria and
    Under Julen, the Intersport Group has                  “Our target is to be global in 2015 and have       the Nordic countries the functionality of products
steadily increased its retail sales and now has       sales on five continents,” confirms Julen.              is paramount, whilst in Mediterranean countries
4,800 affiliated stores in 32 countries. Last year,        “We will initially focus on the Asia and Pacific   more value is placed on look and style.
retail sales reached EUR 7.73 billion, which was      region. We have a very good chance of success                According to Julen, Intersport’s strength
5.4 percent more than in 2004. One avenue for         there, while the USA is a tougher cookie,” he           will continue to be in more performance driven
growth has been expansion abroad. During the          adds.                                                   sports, where customers really benefit         q


                                                                                                                                                           Next    |   13
          from advice. These include winter sports, soccer,    day in and day out, fight for customers and their       is determined by each country’s licensee, and the
          running, tennis, fitness and outdoor.                own profits. They apply this entrepreneurial            final third is left to the retailers, who know their
              “But at the same time, we should also be         drive to their business. In the future, however,        own local markets.
          strong in textiles – sports textiles in particular   individual retailers will have a more consistent             Elements that are common and required for
          – and for this we’ve still got some homework to      business model within our Group.”                       all retailers include displaying the Intersport
          do. Competition in the textile trade is intense,          Although the individual Intersport retailer        name above the store entrance and store interi-
          and it’s also in constant flux and changes hap-      remains key, the Group’s business during Julen’s        ors, which are dominated by the color blue and
          pen quickly. We must be able to react to these       time has become more vertical. The chain has            an expert authority approach. The rest can be
          changes faster than we do at present. When it        taken on more and more of the characteristics           decided on by the country’s local licensees.
          comes to textiles, no-one has the same market        seen in franchising.                                         “Regardless of whether a store is located in
          share as, for example, Atomic has in skiing,”             “In spite of this, we will never become a cen-     Vienna or Helsinki, the customer must feel that
          says Franz Julen.                                    tralized organization like, for instance, McDon-        he is inside an Intersport outlet, even if the stores
                                                               ald’s. Being close to markets and customers is          don’t all look exactly the same,” Julen explains.
          Sustainable concepts                                 everything to us.”                                           IIC’s CEO also has a clear concept of the sig-
          The organization of the Intersport Group might            This decentralized strategy is especially ap-      nificance of partnerships with goods suppliers.
          not be ideally streamlined for making quick stra-    parent in decisions on the product range and in              “We’re probably not the easiest customer in
          tegic decisions. That Julen also admits. But in      the shop formula.                                       the world, but on the other hand, our operations
          spite of this, he stands firmly behind the current        The aim is that a third of an Intersport store’s   are not swayed by financial quarters and stock
          organization structure.                              range comes from IIC. Of course, the key national       exchange prices. This means that we can take a
              “The unquestionable cornerstone of our           licensees play an important role when it comes          sustainable and long-term approach to our busi-
          Group comprises the individual retailers who,        to these decisions. Another third of the selection      ness. We can leverage our purchasing clout. We
                                                                                                                       drive a hard bargain, but we have a lot to offer to
                                                                                                                       innovative brands – a long-term approach, close
                                                                                                                       proximity to customers and the opportunity to
                                                                                                                       skilfully sell technical and premium products.”
                                                                                                                            Franz Julen smiles and admits that a Swiss
                                                                                                                       makes an excellent manager for this sort of ‘over-
                                                                                                                       ly democratic’ organization at whose core lies the
                                                                                                                       profit produced by individual retailers.
                                                                                                                            “In Switzerland, we have three different cul-
                                                                                                                       tures and three languages. At Intersport, you
                                                                                                                       need to be able to listen to different cultures.
                                                                                                                       At the headquarters in Bern, where 14 different
                                                                                                                       nationalities are represented, you cannot make
                                                                                                                       decisions on behalf of the licensees and their
                                                                                                                       retailers. We have to try a lot harder to convince
                                                                                                                       the licensees of our decisions and win them over
                                                                                                                       to our side. Decisions made in this way also hold
                                                                                                                       better and last longer,” Julen explains.
                                                                                                                            “Maybe that’s why IIC has always been led by
                                                                                                                       a Swiss,” he adds. ■




                                                                                                                       Franz Julen in the showroom at
                                                                                                                       Intersport Germany in Heilbronn.



14   |   Next
Discount prices are
prominently on display
at Budget Sport.



             Next    |   15
          Increasing the efficiency and improving
          the service capabilities of sales companies
          Amer Sports’ and Salomon’s background office will be transferred                                          applies to all of our sports – expert to expert
                                                                                                                    approach. For our customers, the new structure
          to joint local subsidiaries, but their sales teams will be kept separate.                                 represents the next level in service. Retailers
          This overhaul seeks to improve service capabilities.                                                      can get a wider range of products through Amer
                                                                                                                    Sports’ sales and distribution channel. The ran-
          ■ Text by Markku Rimpiläinen
                                                                                                                    ge comprises sports equipment and apparel for
          ■ Photos by Taavetti Alin/KL, Magnus Weckström
                                                                                                                    our key sports. What’s more, it also includes



          U
                   ntil now, both Amer Sports and Salomon       Setting sights on efficiency                        product offerings for all seasons.”
                   have had their own sales companies in        and service capabilities                                 In winter sports, Salomon’s and Atomic’s
                   all the major markets for sports equip-      The new single local company model features a       strong sales organizations will remain sepa-
          ment. Soon the structures will be realigned. The      simpler structure that is geared towards achie-     rate.
          companies will transition to a single local subsi-    ving higher operational efficiency – and the sa-         “An Atomic sales representative won’t sell
          diary model in most countries.                        vings and synergies that will follow. Another,      Salomon skis, or vice versa. We will tighten our
               “We will transition to a country-based orga-     equally important objective is to improve sales     focus and strengthen the position of our interna-
          nization, with one legal entity in most countries,”   efforts and service capabilities.                   tional brands,” Kauniskangas promises.
          says Kari Kauniskangas, Senior Vice President,             “After restructuring, we will be able to of-        “We’ll support the sales of both brands 110
          Sales and Distribution, Amer Sports.                  fer our retail customers an improved operating      percent. Both Atomic and Salomon have full ski,
               Each of these countries will be headed up        model whose cornerstones are excellent service      boot and binding collections. The brands are po-
          by the country manager. Back office functions         and expertise. We absolutely seek to be spe-        sitioned differently in terms of their image, but
          will be consolidated as far as possible. However,     cialists in each and every one of our business      they both have racing and free ride skis. Their
          the sales organizations handling each brand or        areas. If we sell skis or tennis rackets, we must   collections are extensive and need to be sold by
          business area will be kept separate.                  have the credibility to back us up. The same        specialists who really know their business.”



16   |   Next
Three geographical segments                                                                           ricas, which includes Latin America. Asia Pacific
The implementation of the new sales compa-                                                            is headed up by Matt Gold, EMEA by Francois
ny model is already under way. Personnel have                                                         Fauroux.
moved to shared premises in many countries,
such as the Czech Republic, Canada, Australia                                                         Aiming at the top
and South Korea.                                                                                      For historical reasons, Amer Sports and Salo-
     Amer Sports Winter & Outdoors Americas                                                           mon have previously operated in different ways.
has been established in the United States. The                                                            “We sought higher efficiency by using a sin-
sales functions of Salomon, Atomic and Suunto                                                         gle organization for numerous brands within
in the USA will be integrated into this unit. Ho-                                                     a country. Salomon grouped its sales compa-
wever, Wilson’s and Precor’s sales organizations                                                      nies under the umbrella of larger territories.
will continue to operate as separate units in the                                                     Now that we have entered a new situation, it’s
United States.                                                                                        management’s task to find the optimal operating
     “This is because the US is the home market                                                       models for the new structure. That’s why these
of both Precor and Wilson. In addition, they are                                                      changes are being implemented.”
both very large,” says Kauniskangas.                                                                      The ongoing changes seek to improve Amer
     Mike Dowse has been appointed as Gene-                                                           Sports’ profitability and efficiency. Operating
ral Manager of Amer Sports Winter & Outdoor                                                           methods will be harmonized.
Americas.                                                                                                 Kauniskangas says that when economies of
     Individual sales companies have been grou-     “We absolutely seek to be specialists in each     scale start to kick in, Amer Sports will be able to
ped to three large geographical segments: Amer      and every one of our business areas,” says Kari   step up its market share both locally and globally.
Sports Asia Pacific, Amer Sports EMEA (Europe,      Kauniskangas, Senior Vice President, Sales and        “We want to be one of the world’s largest
Middle East and Africa) and Amer Sports Ame-        Distribution, Amer Sports.                        suppliers in this business.” ■



                                                                                                                                                    Next    |   17
                User requirements drive
                          sports shoe product development
                It’s claimed that sports footwear is the world’s second most researched
                and developed item of sports equipment – only Formula 1 racing cars
                beat them when it comes to R&D.
                ■ Text by Ilkka Järvimäki
                ■ Photos by Wilson, Salomon




                T
                        he situation is quite absurd: only a few dozen drivers in the       densities are required to provide the best cushioning. Similar ex-
                        world get to take advantage of the research invested in those       amples are to be found from one sport to another.
                        F1 rockets, while the advanced technology of sports shoes
                is enjoyed by billions of people around the globe.                          Functionality at the fore
                     And sports footwear has indeed advanced. You don’t need to go          The demands placed on sports footwear are high: they must fit many
                back more than a few decades to find one and the same shoe being            structures of foot and type of biomechanics, need to be optimally
                used for all purposes: running, playing games, walking, cycling             suited to the conditions and purpose they are intended for, and often
                and numerous other fitness activities. The current situation is al-         also need to be very stylish.
                together different: many athletes and sportspeople and exercisers               When it comes to footwear development, the perspective has
                have dozens of pairs of shoes, each for a different sport.                  long been podiatric. Experts have studied the feet of athletes and
                     The effort that sports equipment manufacturers are putting into        exercisers, how they work and how they get injured. On that basis,
                footwear design, manufacturing and sales has never before reached           they have constructed shoes to fit different types of feet, and sup-
                the level it is at today. One reason for this is that the number of         port, guide and improve the motion of the foot as well as possible.
                people participating in sports and exercise has increased in recent             A newer approach to footwear design can be called functional:
                years to a huge and financially very significant proportion.                a sports shoe should function correctly for both its user and the
                     Another factor that has influenced development is the broad-           specific activity it was designed for.
                ened range of ways in which people exercise and the division of
                sports into many different subcultures – all requiring their own spe-       Wilson Evolution shoes cater to a player’s level
                cial equipment. In tennis, for example, various seasonal surfaces           Wilson Evolution shoes are the first ever tennis footwear whose
                including clay, grass and hardcourts all require their own kinds of         design has been driven by the user’s playing level and the require-
                shoes. It is no longer realistic to think the ordinary person running       ments that entails. Wilson’s product developers spent innumerable
                or training to keep fit could get by in all conditions with a single pair   hours at tennis courts researching the movements, shots and body
                of shoes. Their cupboards yield at least separate running shoes for         mechanics of players of differing levels in various game situations.
                basic training, faster races, crosscountry and winter training. And         The differences were both perceptible and significant. On the basis
                then there’s the question of the runner’s weight – different midsole        of what they saw and experienced, the makers of the Evolution



18   |   Next
                                                                                     1                         1. 360-degree ventilation in
                                                                                                               both the shoe’s sole and upper
                                                                                                               provides comfort.



The Wilson Evolution Open has been
designed to meet the exacting demands
of the world’s top players. The Evolution
series’ best tennis shoe absorbs shocks
along the entire length of the sole, and its




                                                                                   2
round shapes increase agility. All material
choices have been made with the focus
on creating a well-fitting, lightweight and
breathable shoe.

                               2. Lightweight materials and                                                                        3. The EVA and rubber mix in
                               structures make the shoes                                                                           the midsole and outsole is an
                               fast and agile.                                                                                     efficient shock absorber and
                                                                                                                                   guarantees good grip on a variety
                                                                                                                                   of surfaces. EVA is the plastic
series divided tennis players into three categories: beginners, mid-                                                               polymer ethylene-vinyl acetate.
level players and advanced players.                                                                                                In foam form, it’s used in sports




                                                                                              3
     Each of these three groups has a distinct playing style and                                                                   shoes as a shock absorber.
movements. For example, beginners mostly stand on their heels
when hitting the ball, so that the greatest pressure is centered on
the rear of the shoe. Midlevel players on the other hand stand with
their weight spread more evenly over the entire sole of the foot, and
need support and cushioning in this area. Advanced players make
efficient use of the whole foot, so all features need to be optimized
throughout the entire shoe.
     Shoes suitable for the needs of players of varying standards
were designed by adjusting six variables: shock absorption, support,
weight, breathability, protection for the toes and the shape of the
outsole. The flagship products of the Evolution collection - the men’s    should ideally offer more support, and therefore the sole of their
Wilson Open and the women’s Wilson Tour - offer greater shock             shoe is more angular and stable.
absorption and more support structures than the Wilson Backdraw
for beginners. Top-level shoes are also lighter and more breathable       Salomon’s trail running shoes
than those designed for less demanding use.                               have been designed for tough conditions
     A good example of the small details that affect a shoe’s char-       Although Salomon’s latest running shoes work well on all sorts of
acteristics and how to take note of them is the shape of Evolution        surfaces, they are still mainly used for off road running, in which
shoes’ outsole, or the radius of the edge of the sole. How round the      uneven and slippery terrain place huge demands on footwear and
shoe’s edge is directly affects how easy it is for a player to move and   the technical solutions employed. Shoes for use in demanding
change direction quickly. This type of agility is vital for competitive   conditions need to offer a lot of stability on uneven terrains and an
players, which is why the top models in the Wilson Evolution collec-      optimized shock-absorption, and must also protect the feet from
tion have a very round edge. The shoes of midlevel players, however,      such things as stones, branches and sometimes also damp. q



                                                                                                                                                          Next   |     19
                                                                                             greatest amount of cushioning is to be found in Salomon’s Trail
                                                                                             shoes, which work best on relatively easy surfaces that don’t place
                                                                                             as many demands on the shoes’ support as rough rock.
                                                                                                 The protective structures in Salomon’s shoes are the toe guard,
                                                                                             the midsole’s support layer, which prevents painful jabs through
                                                                                             the sole, and the surface material, which stands up to tough use.
                                                                                             The amount of protection, its location and strength depends on
                                                                                             what each model of shoe is to be used for. The toe guard of the XA
                     Salomon’s Quickfit lacing combined with the Sensifit structure          Pro shoes, for example, is far more supportive than that in the Trail
                     lets you adjust the fit of your shoes with just one tug of the laces.   shoes. Four different Running Contagrip outsoles, mixing different
                                                                                             compounds and lug geometry ensure that shoes grip well on the
                          The elements used in Salomon’s footwear support and guide the      surfaces on which they are most used.
                     foot. They consist of the midsole’s 3D Advanced Chassis structure,          One of Salomon’s most visible technical solutions is Quickfit
                     the more compact EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) rubber mix that           Lacing, whose kevlar/aramid lace tightens around the asymmetri-
                     corrects for over-pronation, and the OSP (overlap stabilizing pow-      cally placed fastenings. Quick and supportive lacing is combined
                     erband), which is anchored to the midsole in the shoe’s midsection      with an external Sensifit structure to bind the foot to the shoe ex-
                     and circles behind the heel, making the heel cup extremely stable.      tremely quickly, comfortably and precisely. The ends of laces can be
                     The 3D structure seeks to bring the foot close to the ground and        conveniently hidden in a small pocket in the tongue of the shoe, so
                     support the motion of the foot. Because of this, the structure is       as not to get tangled in branches or twigs along the path.
                     mainly featured in shoes used on very uneven ground.                        This is how product development has taken into account even
                          Salomon has developed its own SCS structure (Salomon cush-         the smallest details of how and where a shoe will be used. The XA
                     ioning system) for shock absorption. Its viscoelastic material effi-    Pro 3D represents more than 3,500 hours of running tests with top
                     ciently absorbs any shock directed at the foot. The most cushioning     athletes all around the world.
                     is located in the heel of the shoe, because that’s where most of the        Some of Salomon’s footwear has models designed especially
                     force is directed when running. The SCS element that is located in      for women. These have softer midsoles and support structures than
                     the forefoot area works like a spring and improves the efficiency of    the men’s versions. They are also tapered to give a narrower fit. The
                     the push from the toes and the roll of the foot when running. The       color scheme is also more appealing to women. ■


                     The 3D structure in Salomon’s XA Pro footwear controls the bend
                     of the foot, protects it from sharp stones, and provides support
                     over demanding terrain.




 Salomon XA Pro 3D




20   |   Next
Exercise is pleasant and motivating
when you have comfortable shoes
that are suited to your sport.

                                      Next   |   21
         result



                           A short step for an analyst
                           Tommy Ilmoni started out as Amer Sports’ Vice President, Investor Relations at the beginning
                           of August. He was no stranger to the company – he has analyzed Amer Sports for a long time.
                            ■ Text by Pekka Rinne
                            ■ Photo by Rami Lappalainen




                           T
                                    ommy Ilmoni has worked in the investment business for                   As an outsider, an analyst can never gain access to a company’s
                                    ten years – the whole of his working life. In fact, in terms of    inner circle. Business secrets are not revealed to him, not even “off
                                    the number of years he has clocked in on the job, he is one        the record”. Now Ilmoni is at the source of the information.
                           of Finland’s most experienced stock analysts. Ilmoni joined Amer                 “I can now see where the numbers are really coming from.”
                           Sports from SEB Enskilda, where he served as Head of Equity                      When analyzing a company, Ilmoni pays the most attention to
                           Research.                                                                   its strategy and long-term success factors.
                                Ilmoni had not become bored of his job. But occasionally he                 “I first critically review the basic long-term factors: how profit-
                           found himself thinking that if he wanted to leave the world of bank-        able the company is, its growth opportunities, competitive factors,
                           ing, there would be a couple of listed companies he might like to join.     the competence of the management, and its track record, by which
                           One of them was Amer Sports – so when the company offered him               I mean what it has achieved and failed at. In addition, I compare the
                           an attractive position, the decision was quite easy to make.                company to other players in its business. When you’re working as
                                In other words, deciding to join the team was no great leap for        a stock analyst, once you’ve locked the long-term view into clear
                           him. One thing changed completely, though. Ilmoni no longer gives           focus, you then have to consider the short-term news flow as well.
                           buy and sell recommendations concerning Amer Sports.                        It’s not worth recommending buying shares in a company that’s do-
                                                                                                       ing poorly in the short term, even if it’s a good company.”
                           Correct and consistent
                           Heading up investor relations includes communicating with ana-              Greater difficulties in providing first-half guidance
                           lysts and investors.                                                        Analysts and investors do not like it when profit and loss forecasts
                               ”Analysts must get a correct and consistent view of Amer Sports.        err in any direction.
                           To this end, they have to have the right tools to work with – ones that          “The view held by analysts is that Amer Sports is very conserva-
                           are grounded in reality. Amer Sports’ investor communications have          tive in its guidance and has also kept to it,” says Ilmoni. “Guidance”
                           been handled well. I believe that my background will enable us to           is the company’s view of its short-term earnings trend that it com-
                           hone our IR further.”                                                       municates to investors.
                               Ilmoni is also responsible for Amer Sports’ Business Intel-                  The seasonal variations in Amer Sports’ operations became
                           ligence unit, which analyzes the markets and competitors. That’s            more pronounced following the addition of Salomon’s winter sports
                           where his background is a big help.                                         equipment to the mix. “When the profits are made in the latter part
                                                                                                       of the year, it becomes harder to provide stock guidance in the first
Key Figures                                                                                            half of the year.”
                                                                                                            Amer Sports’ first-half result slightly exceeded market
                                                            PRO FORMA                      PRO FORMA   expectations. “After the good first half, we dared to slightly raise
                                              1–6/2006       1–6/2005      CHANGE %            2005    our minimum EPS estimate. The range is now EUR 0.95–1.05, up
     NET SALES (MEUR)                              739.2          689.9              7       1,732.0   from EUR 0.90–1.05.” ■
     EBIT (MEUR)                                     –7.4         –14.2            48          117.1
     % OF NET SALES                                    –1            –2                           7
     EBT (MEUR)                                    –18.7          –24.7            24           93.1
     EPS (EUR)                                     –0.19          –0.23                         0.87   Tommy Ilmoni is into many sports. He plays tennis and enjoys both
                                                                                                       crosscountry and alpine skiing, jogging, cycling, and working out at
     The January–June interim report can be found in its entirety at www.amersports.com.               the gym. One of his favorite hobbies is chess.



22   |   Next
Next   |   23
                Everyone Loves Mavic
                Mavic’s yellow support car is the unofficial mascot of the Tour de France.
                ■ Text by Teppo Kuittinen
                ■ Photos by Agence Zoom




24   |   Next
Mavic
• Manufacturer of complete wheels for track,
  triathlon, road and mountain bikes
• Product range also includes rims, rear cogs,
  brakes and chains
• A partner to many road racing clubs, teams
  and athletes in every cycling discipline
• Established in 1889 in Lyon – France
• Developed the first aluminum cycle rim in 1934
• Innovations include: – the ZMS (1993)
  – the Mektronic (1999), the world’s first
  electronic rear derailleur – the Crossmax
  mountain bike wheel (1999) – the lightweight,
  red Helium road racer wheel (1996)
  – the popular Ksyrium ready-made wheel (1999)
• Part of the Salomon Group since 1994




                                                   “M
                                                                   avic! Mavic!” cheer the French children lining Le Tour’s route.
                                                                       The children don’t recognize the cyclists who’ve just made a
                                                                   breakaway, but they do know Mavic. Mavic’s yellow support cars
                                                   have been following Le Tour’s competitors for 29 years.
                                                        Mavic is Le Tour’s official partner in cooperation, but has also became Le
                                                   Tour’s unofficial mascot. The company is as much a part of Le Tour as Le Tour is
                                                   of the French summer. Mavic is also known to friends of Le Tour the world over.
                                                   The car pops up on television screens every day during the race.
                                                        “We get detailed information on our television visibility from media agencies.
                                                   The value of this visibility pays back our investment to take part in Le Tour,” says
                                                   Mavic’s Yves Hézard, who has handled negotiations with Le Tour.
                                                        Jacques Corteggiani always drives the support car right behind the leading
                                                   group. He is a former competitive cyclist and heads up Mavic’s support services
                                                   during Le Tour. He’s driven the support car on all stages of Le Tour for 20 years.
                                                        “This doesn’t feel like work, this is a holiday for me. And definitely the high
                                                   point of the year,” says Corteggiani.
                                                        Next magazine got a lift with Corteggiani for this year’s second stage from
                                                   Obernai to Esch-sur-Alzette. At the start, in the heart of Obernai’s old town center,
                                                   you can already see that everyone knows Corteggiani. As he walks past the racers
                                                   warming up, cyclist upon cyclist cheerily greets the familiar Mavic man.

                                                   Precision driving
                                                   Driving the support car requires solid driving skills. In addition to Mavic, teams’
                                                   own support cars and the red cars of Le Tour’s organizers also follow the leading
                                                   group. Many media representatives are also whizzing around on their motor-
                                                   cycles. You have to be constantly checking your mirrors, and you also need to
                                                   know the exact exterior dimensions of your car. The narrow streets of the French
                                                   countryside often only allow about a foot between cars - if that. The most exhila-
                                                   rating ride is in the mountains, where downhills on the winding roads are taken
A group of cyclists has broken away from
the main bunch. At the Tour de France,             at almost 100 kilometers an hour.
the cyclists are followed by the organizers’           The greatest treat when sitting in the Mavic car is, however, Le Tour’s specta-
red car and Mavic’s yellow car, which is           tors. At best, the car is only a meter from the cyclists, allowing you to experience
Le Tour’s official support car.                    the support of the crowd from a cyclist’s perspective.                            q


                                                                                                                                           Next   |   25
26   |   Next
                                         Mavic men Yves Hézard (left)
                                         and Jacques Corteggiani
Mavic has its own department             are both former competitive
in Le Tour’s race village.               cyclists.




    Imagine the situation from the standpoint of the average Le Tour          experiencing the collective enthusiasm, joy and encouragement
spectator. He or she will have come a few hours earlier to enjoy a            day after day.
tasty picnic by the roadside with friends or family. After hours of
waiting, they will see the best cyclists in the world racing past. That’s     Mavic is there for everyone
enough to make anyone smile!                                                  Mavic operates a neutral support car at Le Tour: Mavic is there to
    The cyclists and the Mavic team see smiling faces all the way             help everyone. Competitors primarily receive assistance from their
to Paris. Le Tour gathers a staggering 12 million spectators to               own team’s support car. But when a competitor’s own support car
the roadsides. It’s impossible to describe the feeling you get from           isn’t around, Mavic steps in. In addition to the driver, the Mavic q




Tour de France
– a great spectacle
■ Text by Ilkka Järvimäki

Le Tour, TdF, La Grande Boucle, Tour de France
– this beloved race has many names. The Tour de
France is not only the world’s best-known cycling
race, but also one of the largest and most signifi-
cant spectacles in sport. It competes for recogni-
tion and spectator figures in the toughest league,
as it is often compared to the Summer Olympics
and the FIFA World Cup.
   The Tour de France can be seen as a melo-
                                                            The T-Mobile team’s Michael Rogers
dramatic opera. In the lead roles are the sport’s
                                                            came tenth in this year’s Tour de France.
best and highest-earning divas, and the wings are
                                                            His placing could still change as a result
bustling with large numbers of supporting cast,
                                                            of the Floyd Landis doping incident.
conductors with their batons, and - unfortunately
– also the treacherous, shady characters. The plot
of this three-week long show is full of suffering            And on what kind of stage does it all hap-         parts exuding the most drama are performed as
and joy, sweet wins and bitter defeats, some-             pen? The first scenes are played out over windy       sweat-dripping solos in the mountains, with it
times even plotting and cheating, and often great         flat country, the final spurts in groups of hun-      all culminating in a grand finale on the Champs-
heroics to boot.                                          dreds through narrow, city-center streets, the        Élysée at the heart of Paris, where you’ll also   q


                                                                                                                                                                  Next   |   27
          car also holds a mechanic. The yellow car is the only one allowed
          to follow the cyclist’s breakaways between 30 seconds and 1,5
          minutes.
               “If a cyclist falls, we stop to help and check the bike for damage.
          If necessary, we change a wheel or the whole bike. We also carry
          drinks for cyclists, in case their own support car or the organizers’
          drinks motorcycles aren’t around,” says Corteggiani.
               Mavic’s mechanics can change a damaged wheel in ten sec-
          onds. One Mavic support car contains eight rear wheels, five front
          wheels and three complete bikes.
               Mavic’s support car has proven to work so well, that the 29-
          year-long cooperation with Le Tour comes as no surprise.
               “Le Tour likes not having to worry about whether support is
          being carried out properly,” says Yves Hézard, who retired at this
          year’s Tour.
               According to Hézard, there wasn’t initially even a written agree-
          ment between Mavic and Le Tour. For a long time, things worked on
          the basis of a verbal ‘gentlemen’s agreement’. Nowadays, coopera-
          tion is sealed in ink, but Le Tour has not begun milking Mavic for
          the visibility it gets. In fact, Mavic and the Amaury Sport Organiza-
          tion (ASO), which is responsible for arranging Le Tour, signed an
          agreement at this year’s race to continue cooperation on Le Tour
          until 2012. ■


          The most stunning moment of every Tour: arriving in Paris.
          The Mavic cars, like all the other cars and motorcycles, arrive first
          to allow the cyclists a completely clear road to the finishing line.




          hear resounding cheers for the performers. The           race itself already demands an unbelievable abil-     as the World Wars meant that ten races went
          stars bow and remove themselves behind the               ity from competitors and teams to recover from        unridden.
          curtain, only to return to the same stage the fol-       a hard day and to spread their energies correctly        If everything goes to plan, the historic race will
          lowing year.                                             over the three weeks.                                 take place in 2013. The outlook for the world’s
             This drama’s audience consists of many lay-              It’s difficult for those following the race on     current political situation doesn’t indicate that the
          ers: in pride of place are the villagers whose           television to understand how much of a team           celebrations will need to be postponed, but there
          home country the caravan passes through every            sport the long cycle race really is. It’s not easy    are still clouds threatening the future of the race.
          year, and the millions of tourists who are parked        to pick out each team’s tactics, or the division of      The greatest of these come from within the
          with their camper vans along the more showy              roles, amid the jumble of shirts emblazoned with      sport: for many years – including this one – the
          stages. Hundreds of millions of people sit in front      bright markings and sponsors’ logos, but every        doping incidents that have wracked professional
          of their television sets, keeping a close eye on the     team does have them. From the perspective of          cycling and the sport’s most important event
          battle between these modern gladiators.                  the race as a whole, a key position is played not     could, at worst, mean that the interest of the
             Le Tour is compulsory viewing for all cyclists        only by the team’s number one rider, but also by      large audience, the media and partners in coop-
          in July; but it doesn’t just appeal to those who are     the helpers who must be able to keep going all        eration will take a nose dive. And this significant
          into the sport. The Tour de France also enthralls        day to ensure the safety of their leader and help     and historic event cannot live without these three
          those viewers who don’t understand anything              him to the best possible result.                      important elements.
          about sport, but who value the battle fought by             This year’s extremely interesting and varied          On the other hand, the Tour has experienced
          the world’s best cyclists against the conditions,        Tour de France was the 93rd. The first competitive    its lows many times in previous years, but has
          altitude, tiredness, pain, and their competitors.        cycling tour of France was held back in 1903.         always been able to bounce back from the dif-
             Three weeks and 3,700 kilometers asks a lot           Although its centenary was celebrated three           ficulties - and often in better shape than ever.
          from the cyclists, from some more than others.           years ago in July 2003, we’ll still have to wait a    Hopefully, it will continue to rise, cleaner and
          No-one gets off lightly, however. The length of the      few more years for the hundredth actual race,         more honest. ■



28   |   Next
■
■
    Text by Cliff Terry
    Photos by Wilson, Getty Images                                                                                          classic




“The Duke” returns
Wilson has been the Official Ball of the NFL since 1941.
The latest game ball is called “The Duke”.



I
     n 1922, the National Football League be-         has changed – more wide open with much more               “We have a lot of great products, but there’s
     gan playing its first games, using a Wilson      passing.”                                             not one that reinforces what our company is all
     football. The game has changed over the               The footballs are made at a Wilson factory       about more than the NFL football. Some 65 to 75
years, but the football hasn’t. As the NFL begins     in Ada, Ohio, where the 150 employees turn out        million Americans watch football every Sunday,
another season this fall, it will still be using a    more than 700,000 four-panel game balls annu-         and the TV cameras zoom in on the ‘Wilson.’ And,
Wilson football.                                      ally, with “tens of thousands” sold to the NFL,       the amazing thing is that after all those games
    “Our relationship with the NFL began in 1941      according to Considine, who adds: “It’s the only      and conditions, our football has never failed in
when George Halas and Wellington Mara asked           dedicated football factory in the world. All they     a game. Not once,” Considine smiles. “And that
the league to adopt Wilson as the official game       make are footballs. And I think that’s helped us      ball goes through a lot of abuse!” ■
ball supplier. It’s the longest relationship a com-   align strongly with the NFL.”
pany has had with a sports league or organiza-
tion. It’s amazing actually,” says Chris Considine,   Legendary moments: Johnny Unitas, quarterback for the Baltimore Colts, launches a Wilson
                                                      “The Duke” game ball into the air at the 1958 final, in which the Colts beat the New York Giants
President of Wilson.
                                                      23–17 in overtime.
    For the 2006–07 season, Wilson’s “Official
Game Ball” will become “The Duke” in honor of
football legend Wellington Mara, late co-owner
of the New York Giants whose nickname was
“The Duke”. In 1941 the NFL came out with a
redesigned football and named it “The Duke”,
which stayed in play until the NFL and the Ameri-
can Football League merged in 1969.
    “With today’s game ball, we’re highlight-
ing the gold ‘NFL’ shield a little more,” explains
Chris Considine.
    “In the early NFL days, the ball had a boxy
look and the laces were higher. The shape of the
ball has basically stayed the same, although it
has more of an aerodynamic quality. The full-
grain cowhide leather really hasn’t changed. We
monitor it to make sure we have the right amount
of pebble height. The NFL ball is a little bit big-
ger than our ball colleges and high schools use.
Pro quarterbacks usually have bigger hands and
prefer the larger size. The game itself, of course,



                                                                                                                                                         Next
                                                                                                                                                         Next   |   29
                                                                                                                                                                    29
                                                                                          ■


          Wilson's soccer game
                                                                                              Text by John Pagni
                                                                                          ■   Photos by Wilson




                               T
                                                                      he 2006 World Cup is now in the record

          plan on target                                              books with participants, fans and orga-
                                                                      nizers still discussing what went right
                                                               or wrong. But that’s soccer – or football as it’s
          Amer Sports Latin America aims to make Wilson        known in most parts of the world (see box).
                                                                   Meanwhile, Wilson is pushing ahead with its
          a force in the global game by being on the spot at
                                                               strategy to make the brand numero uno in Latin
          kick off and proactive on and off the pitch too.     America. “Although we officially launched our
                                                               soccer campaign in September 2003, we have
                                                               been active with sports products in the region



30   |   Next
                 “Sponsoring clubs gives
                 significant exposure to identify
                 Wilson as a soccer brand.”


Mexican star Jose Antonio ’Tato’ Noriega
ensured Wilson’s soccer campaign kicked off
on the right foot.




for a long time,” says Angel Rodriguez, Wilson’s     time, the country is always a strong contender.”
Regional Director Latin America.                          From this base, the campaign rapidly spread
    Senõr Rodriguez presents their roadmap.          all over South America, home to two of soccer’s
“We have 3 main goals: firstly to establish Wilson   superpowers: Argentina and Brazil, 7 times
as a soccer brand. Wilson is well-known brand        World Cup winners altogether. In Brazil, Wilson
in tennis, golf and US football, but not soccer.     is becoming a major football brand by sponsor-
Then develop a complete product line to meet re-     ing championship teams São Caetano and Pay-
gional needs. This is supported by a commercial      sandu.
strategy with a targeted marketing plan from the
                                                                                                          The Wilson Brasil ball has been a huge hit
grassroots level up to professional teams, work-     Over 70 types of soccer balls                        since its January launch.
ing with coaches and opinion leaders.”               Throughout Latin America, Wilson markets soc-
                                                     cer balls, shinguards and goalkeepers’ gloves.
Kick-off in Central America                          Over 70 types of football are made in Pakistan
Wilson’s thrust began in Central America spon-       and China for various market segments. Wilson        multi-layers of poly-cotton lining to ensure
soring competitions, clubs and players. The          is responsible for all the specifications.           shape and durability.
Central American Union of Football (UNCAF) or-           Foremost was the launch last January of              In selected countries (Ecuador, Guatemala,
ganizes regional club and country competitions       the FIFA-approved Brasil ball. It is machine-        Paraguay and Brazil) seven clubs have Wilson
from World Cup qualifiers to the UNCAF Nations       sewn in China and emblazoned with the Wilson         sponsorship made up of team uniforms, travel
Cup plus Under-20, -17 and -15 tournaments.          logo, “Brasil” and the Brazilian flag. “Brazilians   apparel and presentation materials. Their com-
    Its premier club prize is the UNCAF Club         are very proud of their team and country,” says      bined fan base is over 8 million and attracts lots
Tournament (UCT) for the champions of Belize,        Angel.                                               of media exposure. In these markets, Wilson
Guatemala, San Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica,          It complements the UNCAF Official Game           uniforms are retailed alongside the main prod-
Honduras and Panama.                                 Ball, which is hand-stitched and also bears          uct lines.
    Wilson has been UNCAF’s official ball spon-      FIFA’s logo. It has a polyurethane cover with            “Sponsoring clubs gives significant expo-
sor since 2004. “The UCT is the main competition                                                          sure to identify Wilson as a soccer brand,” says
for Central American clubs and gets appropri-                                                             Angel.“Recently, we signed a contract with Co-
ate media coverage,” explains Angel. “Mexican                                                             lombian club Junior de Barranquilla, which will
teams compete in the South America’s Copa Lib-                                                            wear Wilson uniforms from next January. This
ertadores – the European Champions League                                                                 deal will help us to grow in this market.”
equivalent.”
    In addition, Wilson has been the official ball                                                        Growing sales
supplier for the premier professional leagues in                                                          So how successful has the game plan been?
Costa Rica (UNAFUT) and Honduras (LFP) since                                                              “When we started, we sold 54,000 balls a year in
2002 and 2005 respectively.                                                                               Mexico – this year it’ll be 1.5 million! With a 15%
    “Costa Rica is one of the most important soc-                                                         share, we’re the #1 brand in a crowded market
cer nations in Central America and played in the                                                          without being the official ball, whereas our 40%
last two World Cup finals,” states Angel. ”Hon-      A group pose when taking part                        slice in Costa Rica is a smaller number. This
duras is similar. Though they didn’t qualify this    in a Wilson grassroots promotion.                    makes us one of the big three in the             q


                                                                                                                                                        Next    |   31
                                                                                           Argentina’s
                                                                                           legendary striker
                                                                                           Gabriel Batistuta
                                                                                           was a natural choice
                                                                                           for Wilson’s ’Some of
                                                                                           us live forever’ ads.




          region. Wilson is now a soccer brand in Latin            To help achieve this ambitious target, Wilson
          America.                                             employs the technological advances made by its
                                                                                                                     Soccer or football?
              “And soccer is the most important sport          R&D in other sports. For example, DSTO2 foot-         The word ’soccer’ was derived from the
          on the continent. Even if tennis is popular in       wear technology was incorporated into Wilson          game’s official name, ’association football’,
          Argentina and volleyball in Brazil, they are way     shinguards. The latest DSTO3 will be woven into       to distinguish it from rugby football. Both
          behind.                                              balls, shinguards and other products.                 these codes plus American, Canadian, Gaelic
              “In Latin America, ‘the beautiful game’ (jogo        New deals are in the pipeline and it would        and Australian rules football trace their roots
          bonito) as it’s called in Brazil, is more religion   come as no surprise to see Wilson take center         from the original rough-and-tumble ‘football’
          than sport. Everybody plays and it’s a huge busi-    stage in the greatest sporting theater of all – the   played in England in the 19th century.
          ness growth opportunity.”                            World Cup. ■                                             Students are credited with using the word
                                                                                                                     ’soccer’ first. In the 1880s most were from
                                                                                                                     the upper class and at Oxford had the habit of
                                                                                                                     adding ’er’ at the end of words, for example
                                                                                                                     ’brekkers’ for breakfast or ’Johnners’ for
                                                                                                                     John. ’Footer’ was also used, but could have
                                                                                                                     referred to either game. The abbreviation
                                                                                                                     ‘socca’ was coined by 1889, and the spelling
                                                                                                                     soccer appeared in 1895.
                                                                                                                        So it is claimed that when asked if he
                                                                                                                     wanted to play ’rugger’ (i.e. the ’rugby rules’)
                                                                                                                     a student answered “No, soccer”. David
                                                                                                                     Pickering’s Soccer Companion (Cassell, 1994)
                                                                                                                     names the student as Charles Wreford
                                                                                                                     Brown, later an England international and
                                                                                                                     F.A. vice-president.
                                                                                                                        ‘Footy’ refers to any game played with
                                                                                                                     feet, hands, head and other parts of the body
                                                                                                                     as in all the varieties listed above. ■




          Argentinian goalkeeper Christian Luchetti was sponsored by Wilson while playing in Mexico’s
          Primera División. This acrobatic shot shows his prowess and Wilson’s ball and gloves.



32   |   Next
    Wilson celebrates
    at the US Open
    ■   Text by Markku Rimpiläinen
    ■   Photos by Getty Images
                                                                           7


    W
                ilson’s US Open Party has quickly become one
1               of the US Open’s – and the whole tennis year’s
                – most eagerly awaited celebrations. The guest
    list includes celebrities, media representatives and influen-
    tial people from the tennis world. The evening’s stars are,
    however, the Wilson players.
          Players present this year included Roger Federer, the
    world’s undisputed number one, Lindsay Davenport, Serena
    and Venus Williams, Feliciano Lopez, Ana Ivanovic, Taylor
    Dent, Nicolas Kiefer, Iveta Benesova, Paul-Henri Mathieu,
    Max Mirnyi and Tatjana Golovin. The guests were entertained
    by Chris Considine, President of Wilson.
          The party was held at New York’s traditional Marquee
    Club, where the first thing visitors encountered was an ice            6
    sculpture in the shape of a Wilson tennis ball.
2
          The evening’s music was provided by DJ Pesce from Los
    Angeles. ■

    1 Roger Federer. 2 Tennis Channel’s Murphy Jensen inter-
    views Venus Williams. 3 Tatiana Golovin. 4 Party guests at
    the Marquee Club. 5 Lindsay Davenport being interviewed
    by Murphy Jensen. 6 Serena Williams and Chris Considine,
    President of Wilson. 7 Wowow interviews Ana Ivanovic.


    4
                                                                           5


3




                                                                    Next
                                                                    Next   |   33
                                                                               33
                                                                                                             Paul Zimmer
news
                                                                            Justine Henin-Hardenne


                             Wilson powers ahead at Wimbledon                                                              Precor facilities for Hilton hotels
                             Wilson players were at the fore during the Wimbledon Grand Slam tourna-                       Precor has made an extensive cooperation agreement with
                             ment. Once again, Roger Federer played the best game and won Wimbledon                        Hilton Hotels Corporation. Fitness by Precor facilities will be
                             for the fourth time. Still ahead of him in the list of honor are Pete Sampras                 installed in hotels belonging to Hilton’s four chains. This is
                             with seven wins and Björn Borg with five. Next up for Wilson in the men’s                     Precor’s biggest agreement to date.
                             game was No. 13 Jarkko Nieminen. Out of the women, third-ranked Justine                            As a partner, Precor is more than just an equipment sup-
                             Henin-Hardenne placed highest.                                                                plier. Precor is building the facilities using its own brand: the
                                  For the first time, Wilson offered stringing services to players using                   company designs the interior decor and chooses the equip-
                             Wilson and Luxilon strings at Wimbledon. Thanks to the cooperation agree-                     ment. Precor’s touch is so strong that the facilities have been
                             ment signed with Luxilon, Wilson is the only brand able to offer full support                 given the name Fitness by Precor.
                             to tour players.                                                                                   In accordance with the agreement, all full-service Hilton,
                                                                                                                           Doubletree and Embassy Suites hotels will be furnished with
                                                                                                                           Fitness by Precor facilities by the end of next year. The first
                                                                            New wheel                                      hotels will be the Los Angeles Beverly Hilton, Honolulu Hilton
                                Janica Kostelic and Anja Pärson                                                            Hawaiian Village, New York Waldorf Astoria and Hilton, as well
                                                                            prototype                                      as the Las Vegas Doubletree Club and the Embassy Suites in
                                                                            from Mavic                                     Alexandria, Virginia.
                                                                            During the Tour de France,
                                                                            Mavic brought out a new
                                                                            prototype that will be used to
                                                                            gather practical user experi-                  Salomon–Amer Sports team
                                                                            ences with the help of, for                    at the Prague Half Marathon
                                                                            example, the Cofidis team.                     A team from Amer Sports Czech Republic took part in the
                                                                            The prototype marks a new                      Prague Half Marathon in April and came in 16th. The team’s
                                                                            step forward in technology.                    organizer, Suunto’s and Wilson’s Product Manager Vit Novak,
                                                                            There are no holes whatso-                     praises the result as extremely good in view of the circum-
                                                                            ever in the rim of the wheel:                  stances.
                                                                            the treads, center and rim                          “For a couple of weeks before the run, the weather was
                                                                            form one carbon fiber whole.                   so bad that it was hard to get the guys onto the track. Only one
                                                                                 The prototype aims                        member of the team got round to training before the big day.”
                                                                            for lightness, rigidity and                         The team’s average age was the seventh highest, but they
                                                                            improved aerodynamics. A                       beat many of their younger counterparts. “We reached the fin-
                                                                            more lightweight wheel en-                     ish line only three minutes after the team that came sixth, so
                                                                            ables better acceleration and                  better placings are definitely a reachable goal,” Novak believes.
                                                                            faster ascents in the moun-                         The half marathon was run as a 4 x 5.25 kilometer relay.
                                                                            tains. Extra rigidity reduces                  Salomon’s sales representative was team captain, and two
                                                                            energy losses. Improved                        Amer Sports sales representatives and the Czech Country
                                                                            aerodynamics have distinct                     Manager took care of the following legs. “Other colleagues
                                                                            advantages on fast surfaces                    were with us in spirit, cheering us on in the crowd.”
                                                                            and downhill sections.                              The Prague Half Marathon is part of the respected Prague
         Salomon’s team confirmed                                                                                          International Marathon. A total of 77 teams took part in this
         Salomon now has a more diverse team for the Alpine Skiing          Amer Sports                                    year’s race.
         World Cup – and it’s even leaner and meaner.
              Anja Pärson is aiming for her fifth World Championships
                                                                            whisks analysts
         in Åre. Janica Kostelic is also staying with Salomon, and          off on an adventure
         will be telling us more about where her career is headed           Although Amer Sports’ tradi-
         in September.                                                      tional CMD (Capital Markets
              Austria’s Klaus Kröll, one of the top names in the men’s      Day) event is not usually held
         downhill, will be transferring to Salomon for the coming           in Finland, this year’s was in
         season. Already part of Salomon’s downhill team is his fellow      Bökars on the Gulf of Finland
         countryman Fritz Strobl. Davide Simoncelli of Italy’s Giant        coast. The program was also
         Slalom team will be joined by Alberto Schieppati.                  out of the ordinary, as Amer
              Skiing for the Salomon team and the top-level Canadian        Sports offered participants
         men’s national team are François Bourque and Stephan Guay.         the chance to try out adven-
         Both are junior World Champions from whom we can also              ture racing in addition to the
         expect many top placings in the men’s category in the coming       usual lectures and product
         season. Austria’s Patrick Bechter and Alexander Koll are two       information. The events were
         of Salomon’s very promising juniors.                               running, kickbike, cycling,
              France’s Ingrid Jacquemod, Marie Marchand Arvier,             log carrying, abseiling, pad-
         Aurélie Revillet and David Poisson – all skiers in speed disci-    dling and archery. 36 people
         plines – are also putting their faith in Salomon.                  took part in the CMD.


34   |   Next
                                                                                                                                                     photo : Christian Chaize - design: Eric Leprince
                                                                                                                   001. ZICRAL BUTTED SPOKES




                                                                                                                         002. OVERSIZE CARBONE HUB




CROSSMAX SLR
CROSS COUNTRY RACING AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF PERFORMANCE
WITH A WINNING COMBINATION OF LIGHTNESS, RIGIDITY AND LOW
INERTIA




NEW 21 MM WIDTH UST RIM FUSION OF MAXTAL ALLOY, FORE TECHNOLOGY AND
ISM MILLING FOR OPTIMUM LIGHTNESS AND STRENGTH GENERATING LESS
ENERGY LOSS.
UST an airtight rim compatible with tube type and tubeless tires for a better grip, less flats and more control
FORE process of not drilling the rim upper bridge to give 40% more rigidity and higher resistance
MAXTAL an exclusive alloy for a lighter and 30% stronger vs 6106 aluminum rim
ISM inter spoke milling for a lighter rim and low inertia to climb faster and reduce braking distance


NEW FTS-X HUB MADE OF MACHINED STAMPED ALUMINUM REDESIGNED WITHA
WIDER ZICRAL SPOKE’S DISH TO IMPROVE RIGIDITY THEREFORE CONTROL.REAR
ISOPULSE LACING BRINGS BALANCED SPOKE TENSION AND IMPROVES RESPON-
SIVENESS.

FTS-X a further improved free wheel system for intensive MTB ride: strengthened pawls and self-locking axle
end screws to make the mechanism more hard wearing and new seal halving friction torque
ZICRAL butted front spokes 10% stronger than Inox spokes at same weight for a lighter wheel mount thus rigid
and liveliness
ISOPULSE balanced radial lacing from side to side to spread torque tension, reduce spoke stress, improve
endurance and power transfer.

Available in disc version at 1520 g or Ceramic rim brake version at 1410 g


             Extended         Mavic Inc. 17 Parkridge Road
             warranty.        Haverhill, MA 01835
             More on                                                                                              003. 21 MM UST MAXTAL RIM
             mavic.com
                 R E M E M B E R H O W Y O U R H E A R T W A S B E AT I N G
                                     B E FO R E Y O U R F I R S T K I S S ?




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The new Suunto heart rate monitors capture
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Training Effect, the real result of your                                      On a scale from 1 to 5, Training Effect 3.1 means
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