The importance of athlete sponsorship – with Melon Optics
Having just spent the last week at The British Championships, a showcase of rising British talent in freestyle skiing and snowboarding, the presence of sponsorship amongst the riders was more evident than ever. A significant number of competitors, from kids as young as seven right the way through to the 20-somethings, were proudly displaying their branded up gear to the masses.
Within this development bracket of freestyle skiing, it seems the importance of sponsorship has many layers to it – it’s not simply about getting your hands on some free gear! We recently got in touch with Melon Optics, a goggle specialist, who sponsor a number of up-and-coming British freestyle skiers, including Andy Matthew (24) and Joe Hides (21).
Here’s what the riders had to say about what sponsorship means to them:
Name: Andy Matthew
Where did you learn in the UK? Glenshee
Favourite Thing (After Skiing)? I love having fun, and after winter I try and have as much as possible while I’m not working. Any kind of “extreme sport” I love. I used to be a big fan of my rollerblading and Downhill MTBing.
What do you look for in your gear? Reliability is the most important thing for me. If the gear doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to when you’re training it can ruin your day on the hill! It has to look great too!
How long have you been sponsored by Melon? 2 winters
In what ways does being a sponsored rider help your growth and development as an athlete? It’s great, it makes you want to push yourself harder and get the best exposure for the brands sponsoring you. In return they push your image and profile out there. The more you put in the more you get back!
If you could describe Melon in 3 words, what would they be? Quality, style, freedom.
What’s your custom goggle set-up? I’m loving my new Jackson’s just now. I did have a full black set up with them but just changed my strap to a leopard strap. I’ve got 2 lenses I use in them, dark smoke for those sunny days and yellow for this flat light days!
Name: Joe Hides
Where did you learn in the UK? Sheffield ski slope
Favourite Trick? Double cork 1080 with a fat safety.
Worst Injury? Two collarbone breakages in 2011!
Favourite Thing (After Skiing)? Trampolining…
What do you look for in your gear? Style and comfort!
How long have you been sponsored by Melon? I have just signed with Melon for the second year.
In what ways does being a sponsored rider help your growth and development as an athlete? Being a sponsored athlete holds many benefits such as the ability to ski more frequently due to funding. Also sponsorship from companies such as Melon has increased my exposure which is a massive part of freeskiing.
If you could describe Melon in 3 words, what would they be? Fitting, Contemporary, Snazzy!
What’s your custom goggle set-up? I am currently rocking the black Jackson goggle with a dark smoke lens.
Ski Club members can save 10% off Melon Optics goggles, including custom built models. Click here for more information and visit the Melon Optics site now to customize and build your very own PERSONALIZED goggle set-up.