THE USSA EXPERIENCED A GREAT LEVEL OF SUCCESS IN THE POST-OLYMPIC YEAR.
I am constantly humbled by the level of dedication our athletes have to their sports. The 18 World Championship medals we won this year is
evidence of our organization’s strong commitment to athletic success. Through investment in media, we were able to share the excitement
of these successes with over 24 million viewers, including live coverage of both the 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships in Vail/Beaver
Creek and the 2015 Nordic World Ski Championships in Falun, Sweden. By continuing to find strategic ways to showcase our sports, we are
working towards our bigger goal of increasing sport participation and connecting more people with our organization.
WHAT STEPS HAS THE USSA TAKEN TO BROADEN SPORT PARTICIPATION
The biggest step we’ve taken is our new membership structure. Built on a unique basis for each sport and designed with input from key
sport and industry stakeholders, the new structure is designed to make skiing and snowboarding more affordable and accessible. The
USSA community goes far beyond just competitors and coaches. Anyone who wants to engage with the USSA, whether they’re spectating,
following or participating as an athlete, will have the opportunity to become a member and have access to member benefits at a reasonable
price. We’ve also actively sought out relationships with sister organizations across the country, and are managing NASTAR, which has for
decades provided an entry point to our sports and engaged hundreds of thousands.
WHAT ROLE WILL NASTAR PLAY IN USSA’S PROGRAMS
Beginning this season, the USSA will assume operational management of NASTAR. Bringing our two brands together under one roof brings
greater awareness to the sport and value to the industry, all while encouraging participants of all ages to get involved in ski racing. It is
also an opportunity for our team sponsors to reach a whole new audience. Top athletes on the U.S. Ski Team have played a role as NASTAR
pacesetters or ambassadors. We plan to further integrate more athletes into the program and keep a strong focus on the NASTAR National
Championships, taking place this year in Steamboat Springs, CO.
WHERE DO YOU SEE OTHER OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH
After receiving recommendations from our various task forces, we identified a major growth opportunity within our nordic community. Last
spring, longtime nordic business leader and enthusiast Robert Lazzaroni joined our team as our new nordic domestic program director. In
addition to administering our domestic nordic programs, he will work closely with the USSA’s cross country task force to look for opportunities
to grow membership through the new cross country specific membership structure.
HOW WILL BROADENING USSA’S REACH AFFECT FUNDRAISING
As more and more people become aligned with the USSA, fundraising opportunities with grow. Under Trisha Worthington’s leadership,
our Foundation team was able to increase profit by 11.2% this past year. We aim to continue this upward trend through increased donor
engagement and new ways of giving, including restricted giving, which allows donors to support specific projects or teams that they are
WHAT IS THE ELITE TEAM FOCUS FOR THIS SEASON
Without World Championships in the majority of our sports, the second year of the Olympic quad presents us with the opportunity to create
greater depth in our teams. As our athletes travel the globe to compete, they will be focusing on consistent, season-long performances.
Fans will have the chance to see athletes compete at USSA’s world-class domestic events, including the Birds of Prey weekend, the Visa
Freestyle International at Deer Valley Resort and the Grand Prix tour, which includes a first-ever skiing and snowboarding big air competition
in Fenway Park. It’s going to be an exciting year!
HOW IMPORTANT ARE NEW OLYMPIC SPORTS
The International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Olympic Agenda 2020 was put together to give us a clear picture of what the future of the
Olympic movement looks like. Part of that future is making events more appealing to a wider range of audiences. The two new events
approved for PyeongChang 2018, big air snowboarding and the alpine team event, are exciting to watch and present unique opportunities
from a broadcast standpoint. These events have been held successfully before, and four big air events and two alpine team events are on
the FIS World Cup schedule for 2015-16 season. As a national governing body, we played a key roll in lobbying for these new sports and will
continue to advocate for our other sports as they make their way to the Olympic stage.
WHAT IS THE USSA’S VISION GOING FORWARD
My first year as CEO was an opportunity to really look at how the USSA as an organization could be better. We are currently working to
approve a new company mission, goals and set of values that better defines how our organization works and reflects the passion and values
of our community. Transparency and communication are and will continue to be important as we seek to achieve better alignment within our
organization. I appreciate all the feedback we’ve received from sport task forces, athletes and members. Going forward, we will continue to
listen, engage and grow with our community while establishing innovative programs to support our athletes.