Madshus Launches Unique Development Team
On September 25, Madshus launches the brand new Team Madshus Norway, a unique development team consisting of 4 young talented cross-country skiers and biathletes with their eyes set on the top of the World Cup podium.
Madshus service reps and the marketing department have handpicked the athletes they invited to Team Madshus Norway.
“The criteria for making Team Madshus Norway are brutal. These young athletes must possess clear medal potential and have a strong portfolio of race results among the very best in Norway. We are looking for elite skiers with podium finishes in the Norwegian Cup and the Norwegian national championships,” says Per Wiik, Global Marketing Director with Madshus AS.
The racers who are invited to join Team Madshus receive World Cup level support and equipment.
“They get the equipment they need to perform at the top international level, both at the World Juniors and the U23 circuit. Team Madshus offers them an opportunity to build a world-class ski park, which will give them a competitive advantage at the senior level,” Wiik explains.
Special service crew
One aspect that sets Team Madshus apart from other factory teams is that the young racers have their own Madshus service crew.
Team Madshus Norway will assist the racers with resources, experts and mentors that can help develop a competitive advantage both in the mental and the physical game. Building successful athletes takes more than just racing service at major events, Wiik says.
“We want to teach them what they can do themselves to optimize their equipment, help them learn how to take care of their equipment and tune their skis, how to handle media and how to negotiate with other equipment manufacturers,” Wiik explains.
Stian Grønås, a former Norwegian national team wax coach and a seasoned racing rep with Madshus, is the Team Madshus coordinator. Additionally, the cross-country skiers and the biathletes also have their own service reps that will follow them through the Norwegian nationals and the Norway Cup from December through March. Henrik Sørli will be responsible for the cross-country skiers, while Ivar Michael Ulekleiv is the biathlon rep.
Furthermore, Thomas Alsgaard, Ole Einar Bjørndalen, Emil Hegle Svendsen, Kristin Størmer Steira and Ingvild Flugstad Østberg are among the team ambassadors who will serve as mentors for the athletes and help and support the future champions throughout the season.
Leading up to the season, Madshus will organize a kick-off camp for the racers at Sjusjøen near Lillehammer from September 25-27, where all the team mentors and experts will be present and everyone can get to know each other. The camp will cover both training theory, actual workouts, media sessions and social events, Wiik says, adding that he hopes the camp will be motivating to everyone involved.
After the season kick-off, the team will meet again at events and races throughout the season where they will be taken care of by their own service crew. The individual racers and their coaches will handle the regular day-to-day training programs.
Team Madshus Norway has several goals, both for the athletes and for Madshus.
“We want to provide the racers with opportunities to succeed, and we are proud to be a part of their journeys. We want to take part in shaping the champions of the future and be a part of their public image,” Wiik says.
His goal is that the Team Madshus racers will dominate at the elite level in Norway. That will have a ripple effect for Madshus as well, positioning the Madshus as the leading brand at the top racing level.
“It is important for us to position our brand and strengthen our image by being present at the major arenas and the major events,” Wiik says, explaining that the Team Madshus Norway project is designed to increase brand loyalty among athletes and the other agents on the racing circuit.
“We want our racers to be good ambassadors for our brand, and we want to support them by giving them the resources and tools they need to reach their goals. We hope that being invited to Team Madshus Norway will be a natural goal to strive for and a measure of excellence among young racers,” Wiik says.
“Establishing such an institution will create brand loyalty and strengthen our image in the racing community.”
Team Madshus Norway was established in 2011, and is currently 100 percent funded by Madshus. The company covers race support, mentors, camps and equipment for the racers on Team Madshus Norway. However, over time Madshus might be interested in extending the program and inviting other sponsors to join the team.
“Currently, Madshus is funding the team entirely as a national outreach and marketing program. But we have been communicating with other companies that might consider joining the team in the future, and we are working with external sponsors that have corporate values that support healthy minds, bodies and environment,” Wiik says.
- Established: 2011 (based on previous Team Madshus models)
- Men – Cross-country: Morten Teksnes, Håvard Solås Taugbøl, Andreas Molden, Mathias Borgnes, Håvard Nymoen, Kristian Græsli, Hallvard Løfald, Eirik Sverdrup Augdal. Biathlon: Bendik Aketun, Erling Aalvik, Johan Erik Meland, Øystein Ulekleiv, Anders T. Lyngstad, Jarle M. Gjørven, Fredrik Stigum Kvikstad, Isak Flo Bødal, Lars Svaland, Lars M. Gjørven, Anders B. Nilsen.)
- Women – Cross-country: Barbro Kvåle, Hilde Landheim, Marte Bjørnsgård, Ragnhild Karset, Thea Murud, Sigrid Nordgården, Ingeranne Nakstad, Stine Shonhowd, Ane Blomset Johnsen. Biathlon: Eveline Thune, Nina Støver, Maren Wangensteen, Karoline Birkeland, Maru U Dahl, Marion Rønning Huber, Rikke Hald Andersen, Frida Strand Kristoffersen, Marie Nørstebø, Guro Linth Ruud.)
- Support staff/service crew: Stian Grønås, Henrik Sørli, Ivar Mikael Ulekleiv
- Mentors: Thomas Alsgaard, Ole Einar Bjørndalen, Emil Hegle Svendsen, Kristin Størmer Steira, Ingvild Flugstad Østberg