(Source: langrenn.com (12/21/2010), Translated by Patrick Stinson)
10.3 Million Dollars to Norwegian Cross Country Skiing
The Norwegian Ski Association signs a new agreement with Aker ASA.
Aker ASA is the main sponsor of the Norwegian Ski Association (Norway’s USSA) for the 2010/2011 season. The financial assistance will be channeled to the Norwegian National team members and their clubs. Overall the cooperative agreement has a financial value in excess of 10.3 million dollars over four years.
“This is enormously good. That this money is going to the parent club is a really good thing. $9,000 is more than our municipal budget,” says Petter Northug.
On Thursday he won the National title for the 15K freestyle.
“The collaboration is ground breaking, and the sponsorship agreement is the largest so far for the sport for cross country skiing. We are proud to have Aker along with the team. Aker stands for innovation and expertise, and is a unique partner in the development of Norwegian cross country skiing. Our common focus is that the National team will be the best option, both in sport and commercially, for Norway’s best cross country athletes,” says sports manager Åge Skinstad of the Norwegian Ski Assosciation.
Astrid Jacobsen agrees.
“The debate around having a commercially-based team is in a way created by the media as far as it’s impact on the sportsman-like function of the National team, but now we also have a good economic foundation. Additionally the door stands open to Aker when we are finished with our carriers with the National team. That is also worth a lot,” she says, and adds that the monthly support provided to each athlete will now be more than doubled.