Van Deer Skis Resolves Drama Around Red Bull Logo

Julia Schneemann | | Industry NewsIndustry News

Van Deer

Austrian ex-ski racer Marcel Hirscher’s ski brand Van Deer has been embroiled in a clash with the International Ski & Snowboard Federation ‘FIS’ during the 22/23 season over the logo displayed on the skis. Marcel Hirscher had gone into a joint venture with Red Bull for the Van Deer brand and the skis were launched last year with much fanfare. Van Deer-sponsored athletes include Norway’s Slalom specialist Henrik Kristoffersen and British skier Charlie Raposo.

FIS however never approved the Van Deer-Red Bull logo, as the presence of Red Bull’s crimson bovine did not comply with FIS guidelines. This resulted in the brand’s athletes being forced to cover up the logo for any and all FIS races, including World Cup events and World Championship races. Despite repeated attempts to resolve the disagreement, FIS ultimately never approved the logo as it was considered advertising for Red Bull and even threatened to withdraw an athlete’s license, if they failed to cover up the logo.

The Red Bull logo shown blacked out by tape on professional ski racer Henrik Kristoffersen’s Van Deer skis. | Picture: Van Deer Red Bull Sports Instagram Page

FIS points out that Article 2.1 of the FIS regulations, which refers to advertising on clothing and equipment, states that any identification of a manufacturer or of a sponsor on clothing and equipment must be in conformity with the FIS rules “Specification for competition equipment” and “Specifications for commercial markings.” The latter specifically states that “Companies which are typically not engaged in equipment manufacturing but produce certain equipment items mainly for the purpose of advertising shall not be allowed to benefit from the Manufacturer’s Identification privilege.”

As discussions between Van Deer and FIS reached a dead-end, the ski manufacturer decided to rebrand its competition models of skis for the 23/24 season, which will henceforth be marketed as “Van Deer Racing.” Going ahead with just the Van Deer name for pro racing skis should eliminate any issues for the upcoming season.

The name Van Deer is a combination of Marcel Hirscher’s last name, which means ‘deer’ in German while the ‘van’ is a nod to his Dutch heritage. His mother is Dutch and his nickname is “The Flying Dutchman.” Marcel Hirscher has won eight World Cup Championships during his career, making him the most successful male champion by that measure.


Henrik Kristoffersen
Henrik Kristoffersen won the 2023 World Championships in Courchevel and Meribel, France in Slalom. | Picture: Henrik Kristoffersen Instagram Page


Related Articles

Got an opinion? Let us know...