Ariens® Snow Removal Products Partners With Biathletes

By Bill Kellick | Oct. 29, 2018, 4:36 p.m. (ET)

SOLDIER HOLLOW, Utah (Oct. 29, 2018) - Buoyed by strong athletic results in recent years and a growing interest nationally in the sport, U.S. Biathlon has announced new team partners Ariens® and Maloja as well as its strongest ever domestic broadcast and streaming schedule. The news was unveiled during the announcement of the return of World Cup competition to Utah’s Soldier Hollow Olympic venue for the first time since 2001.

In a clear show of the importance of the 2002 Olympic legacy, the International Biathlon Union, Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation and U.S. Biathlon will partner to host the world’s top biathletes at the BMW IBU World Cup Biathlon February 14-17 on the Olympic venue. The event will showcase top athletes from over 30 nations in the final World Cup before the World Championships in Sweden.

The U.S. World Cup will be broadcast and live streamed by NBC Sports Group. For the first time ever, the entire BMW IBU World Cup Biathlon tour will be broadcast in the United States. It’s part of a new four-year media rights agreement between the International Biathlon Union and NBC Sports Group - the most extensive coverage ever for biathlon.

“The World Cup at Soldier Hollow and season-long broadcast schedule are a great way to showcase our sport in America,” said two-time Olympian Sean Doherty. “I was just seven but I’ll never forget watching cross country skier Thomas Alsgaard sprint to the finish for gold here.”

“I recall watching the 2002 Olympics on TV as a kid and the magic of the course and this place,” said Susan Dunklee, silver medalist from 2017 World Championships. “My first time here in college for nationals I was awed going up Hermod’s Hill. It makes you feel pretty tough that the best skiers in the world ski here. We have to raise the bar and accept that level of challenge. It’s good to have a facility like this to do that.”

Global Brand Ariens® Joins Forces with U.S. Biathlon
The U.S. Biathlon Team carries a strong presence on the BMW IBU World Cup Biathlon, which features 10 stops in nine countries from November through March. This year the team will sport a new sponsor brand with the addition of Ariens®, a family-owned global outdoor power equipment company based in Wisconsin but with a growing marketplace in Europe for its innovative snow removal equipment.

The Ariens® brand will be displayed on team uniforms, capturing broadcast exposure across the tour seen by over 500-million global viewers each year. A family-owned business since its small town origin during the post-depression era in 1933, Ariens® has become internationally known as the King of Snow® with products such as its Ariens Sno-Thro(r), the best-selling brand of two-stage snow thrower in the world. The brand is owned by AriensCo, which is headquartered in Brillion, Wis. 

“The partnership with Ariens provides our athletes with an opportunity to build our brands together through the global World Cup tour,” said U.S. Biathlon President and CEO Max Cobb.

“The Ariens brand is proud to partner with the U.S. Biathlon, a longstanding successful team,” said AriensCo Chairman and CEO Dan Ariens. “This partnership offers us the opportunity to get the Ariens name in front of consumers in key winter markets, both in the U.S. and especially in Europe.” 

Outdoor Clothing Company to Grow Its Brand through U.S. Biathlon Team.
The U.S. Biathlon Team also recently announced a new four-year uniforming partnership with Maloja, an innovative global clothing company that is attracting international athletes and teams across a wide range of outdoor sports. Maloja will provide high performance competition suits, outerwear and streetwear for the U.S. Biathlon Team.

“One of the attractive elements with our new partnerships with both Ariens and Maloja was the ability to align our athletes with companies that have a great sense of their brand,” said Cobb. “Maloja was founded with a mission of celebrating the outdoor experience, which is completely in line with our athletes.”

Full Season Television and Streaming Schedule Across NBC Sports Platforms
The expansion of television and streaming represents a five-fold increase in hours from previous seasons.

The new coverage plan with NBC Sports Group will feature more than 90 hours of biathlon coverage throughout the 2018-19 season across NBCSN, Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app, OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app. It will include the entire World Cup tour plus the IBU World Championships from Östersund, Sweden March 7-17. 

“Biathlon – the art of skiing fast and shooting straight – is one of the most unique and physically demanding winter sports, and it provides iconic moments at every Olympics,” said Jim Bell, President, Production & Programming, NBC Olympics.”

“Biathlon has grown globally to become one of the most valuable sports through its innovation in bringing the sport to fans through broadcast,” said Cobb. “We now have the opportunity in America to expose millions of new fans to our sport.”

BMW IBU World Cup Biathlon coverage will also be available on NBC Sports Gold, NBC Sports’ direct-to-consumer live streaming product powered by Playmaker Media, as well as the Olympic Channel digital platforms. The new “Snow Pass” is available for purchase now for $69.99 by visiting NBCSportsGold.com.

Final Training as Season Nears
The U.S. Biathlon Team is presently in a pre-season training camp on the Olympic trails at Soldier Hollow. Time trials this week will help to define the team that will be traveling to the opening World Cup races next month.

The BMW IBU World Cup Biathlon tour opens Dec. 2-9 in Pokljuka, Slovenia.


Photo caption/credit: (l to r) Sean Doherty, Susan Dunklee, US Biathlon Chief of Sport Bernd Eisenbichler, Max Cobb and Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation President and CEO Colin Hilton speak at a press conference at Soldier Hollow on October 29, 2018. (Credit: Tom Kelly)