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NextSnow Search

Network puts spotlight on rising stars

The SI Kids Next Snow Search brought a slew of young international competitors, like Cameron Schuster, 13, from Whistler, British Columbia.
Courtesy Photo

— In February, the next generation of extreme athletes came to Steamboat Springs to display their talents in the 2007 Sports Illustrated for Kids NextSnow Search All-Stars event.

On Sunday, NBC will showcase many of those athletes, along with the Steamboat Ski Area, during a 1-hour program. Andy Wirth, vice president of marketing for the Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp., is anticipating the program will reach 3 million households across the country and as many as 4 million viewers. The show is scheduled to air at 11 a.m. Sunday. However, Wirth encourages people to check local listings for exact times in your area.

“We think this program is perfectly positioned to reach that younger set,” Wirth said Friday. “We are hoping to reach the 8- to 14-year-old and their family.”



The NextSnow Search drew about 70 rising stars in the sports of freeskiing and snowboarding between the ages of 9 and 15 to Steamboat Springs Feb. 2 to 3. NBC produced the program, which has a solid track record for drawing large television audiences for past events.

Wirth believes the idea behind the NextSnow Search fits with the image the Steamboat Ski Area is hoping to promote nationally and feels like the program will appeal to an important target audience.



“It had the highest single show viewership rating for a skiing program last year,” Wirth said.

Last year’s program had better viewing numbers than any Alpine and freestyle World Cup and any single event at the Winter X Games. Wirth said the Winter X Games aired on ESPN, which reaches a smaller percentage of homes in the United States than NBC.

While Wirth has not seen the final program, he expects a quality product that will entertain viewers with a combination of skier and boardercross, superpipe, slopestyle and big air. The Steamboat Ski Area bought four commercial spots in the program and is hoping to gain even more national exposure during the show.

The hope is the program will promote Steamboat’s name recognition for next season and have an immediate impact this season by catching the attention of families who still are planning a ski vacation this season.

“There is still a great deal of demand in the marketplace for this season,” Wirth said. “We want to get our name out there, so they will know who to call.”

Promoters of the NextSnow Search believe the kids in their events, including five from Steamboat Springs, best represent the next generation of extreme athletes.

The NextSnow Finals will be held in Killington, Vt., March 2 to 4. The goal of the finals is to find the best 25 athletes who will be named to the Sports Illustrated for Kids NextSnow Search Team.

-To reach John F. Russell, call 871-4209

or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com


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