PARK CITY, UT (Dec. 12, 2016) – The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) and Toyota have reached an agreement that makes Toyota title sponsor of the U.S. Grand Prix. Now in its 21st season, the U.S. Grand Prix is the longest running winter action sports tour featuring the best skiing and snowboarding athletes in the world.
Toyota’s sponsorship of the U.S. Grand Prix puts it at the forefront of the official Olympic qualification series for snowboarding and freeskiing. Toyota, the world’s top automaker, is committed to advanced mobility, with a fleet of vehicles that support the snow and outdoor lifestyle of skiing and snowboarding.
"Toyota has long enjoyed a significant presence in winter sports," said Ed Laukes, Vice President, Integrated Marketing Operations, Toyota. "Adding the Grand Prix sponsorship to our portfolio is a tremendous opportunity for us to continue to grow our relationship with the fans that are so passionate about the sports of snowboarding and freeskiing."
Through the USSA’s partnership with the Olympic network NBC, the U.S. Grand Prix continues to have some of the strongest broadcast ratings and digital impressions in the winter action sports market. During the 2015-16 season, 6.972 million television viewers tuned in over the three-stop tour, including 1.375 million viewers during the Polartec Big Air at Fenway, the highest rated winter action sports program last year.
High levels of engagement are expected to continue over the next two seasons leading up to the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. The 2016-17 U.S. Grand Prix schedule includes halfpipe and big air snowboarding competitions at Copper Mountain, CO Dec. 14-17, snowboardcross and skicross at Solitude Mountain Resort, UT Jan. 19-22 and halfpipe and slopestyle events at Mammoth Mountain, CA Feb. 1-4. The halfpipe skiing, slopestyle skiing and slopestyle snowboarding events at Mammoth will be the first of five Olympic qualifying events. NBC and NBCSN will provide over 10 hours of broadcast and streaming coverage for this season’s events.
“Our strong TV ratings plus significant digital and social media growth over the past few years has greatly enhanced the Grand Prix property as a showcase for brands like Toyota,” said Michael Jaquet, USSA’s chief marketing officer. “With a significant, long-term commitment from a strong brand like Toyota, we expect to see even more growth in our future. As the exclusive home to Olympic qualification for U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing, and with the addition of big air snowboarding to the Olympic schedule, the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix becomes the series to watch and follow through the next three seasons.”
The Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain this coming weekend will feature a host of Olympic medalists including U.S. Olympic champions Kelly Clark (Mt. Snow, VT), Jamie Anderson (South Lake Tahoe, CA), David Wise (Reno, NV) and Maddie Bowman (South Lake Tahoe, CA).
2016-17 TOYOTA U.S. GRAND PRIX SCHEDULE
Copper Mountain, CO
Dec. 14: Halfpipe snowboarding qualifications
Dec. 15: Halfpipe skiing and big air snowboarding qualifications
Dec. 16: Halfpipe snowboarding finals
Dec. 17: Halfpipe skiing and big air snowboarding finals
Solitude Mountain Resort, UT
Jan. 19: Snowboardcross qualifications
Jan. 20: Skicross qualifications and finals
Jan. 21: Snowboardcross finals
Jan. 22: Snowboardcross team event
Mammoth Mountain, CA
Feb. 2: Halfpipe skiing and slopestyle snowboarding qualifications
Feb. 3: Slopestyle skiing and halfpipe snowboarding qualifications
Feb. 4: Halfpipe skiing and slopestyle snowboarding finals?
Feb: 5: Slopestyle skiing and halfpipe snowboarding finals
2016-17 TOYOTA U.S. GRAND PRIX BROADCAST SCHEDULE (schedule subject to change)
* live streaming is available on NBCsports.com/live or via the NBC Sports App
Copper Mountain, CO
Fri. Dec. 16
The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association is the national governing body of Olympic skiing and snowboarding. It provides leadership and direction for tens of thousands of young skiers and snowboarders, encouraging and supporting them in achieving excellence. By empowering national teams, clubs, coaches, parents, officials, volunteers and fans, USSA is committed to the progression of its sports and athlete success. Established in 1905, USSA receives no direct government support, operating solely through private donations from individuals, corporations and foundations to fund athletic programs to assist athletes in reaching their dreams. The organization is based at the Center of Excellence, it’s high performance training facility, located in Park City, UT. For more information, visit www.ussa.org.
Toyota (NYSE:TM), the world's top automaker and creator of the Prius and the Mirai fuel cell vehicle, is committed to advancing mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands. Over the past 50 years, we’ve produced more than 30 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 44,000 people (more than 34,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (1,500 in the U.S.) sold more than 2.8 million cars and trucks (nearly 2.5 million in the U.S.) in 2015 – and about 80 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 20 years are still on the road today.
Toyota partners with community, civic, academic, and governmental organizations to address our society’s most pressing mobility challenges. We share company resources and extensive know-how to support non-profits to help expand their ability to assist more people move more places. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyotanewsroom.com.