In a closing press conference yesterday, FIS Secretary General Sarah Lewis, 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Organizing Committee President Ceil Folz, Head of Sports Rights for European Broadcast Union Ingo Hannesson, and U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association President Tiger Shaw announced a successful World Championships that exceeded goals and expectations set by the Organizing Committee, including record attendance for ski racing in the United States and unmatched television production quality for the sport worldwide.
“Between racing in Beaver Creek by day and Medals Ceremonies and concerts in Vail by night, the Vail Valley welcomed more than 200,000 spectators during the two weeks of the 2015 World Championships,” said Folz. “This number not only greatly exceeds our attendance during the 1999 World Championships, and our goal for the event, but is significant for ski racing in the United States, putting us at unprecedented numbers.”
Ingo Hannesson addressed television production quality and ratings during the World Championships, which included 70 hours of live coverage over the course of 14 days, and live broadcasts in 27 countries.
“The organizing committee defined high quality television production as one of their goals early on, and we feel we’ve met that and then some,” said Hannesson.
“With HDTV coverage with 5.1 Dolby surround sound, 200 camera positions to cover all events, two CAMCATS and five hyper motion cameras, the quality exceeded previously set standards for the sport not only in the U.S. but throughout the world.”
Folz went on to report record social media results for the World Championships, including 40.1 million social media impressions since February 1, as well as the official event hashtag, #Vail2015, trending as a top 10 topic on Twitter. In addition, Folz reported athlete participation from 68 nations, more than 1,200 accredited media covering the event onsite, occupancy rates of roughly 95% on weekends throughout the Vail Valley during the event window, and the support of more than 2,200 volunteers.
One hundred percent of volunteers committed 60 hours, though most will have worked 80-100 or more. Total combined hours for volunteers reached 175,000, which started at volunteer headquarters back in October and will continue well after the Championships end today with event cleanup and break down.
In total the Championships also pulled more than 36.3 billion PR impressions since July 1. This coverage was largely positive and included excellent coverage of venues and courses in media outlets worldwide. The Organizers were pleased to report solid course conditions that held up throughout the two weeks, with great feedback from athletes on course preparation.
“We are grateful for the many organizations and individuals who helped make this World Championships a reality and a success in Vail and Beaver Creek, and in particular a thank you to our volunteers who donated their time and energy to make this a memorable event that went above and beyond our expectations,” said Folz.
“From the FIS perspective we’re thrilled with the Championships, said Lewis. “Top level performances by the best athletes in the world on outstanding courses has been supported by packed crowds who have really engaged in supporting all the athletes and contributed hugely to the excitement broadcast over the world. The Organizing Committee can be proud of their achievements and the marvelous volunteers who have certainly been at the heart of the championships, carrying out their work with great pride and pleasure.”