Red Sox photo
Will Major League Baseball give snowsports a boost this 2013/2014 season? By introducing the equipment and stylish accessories of skiing and snowboarding to the general sports-fan public in last night’s World Series finale, resorts across the US are expecting a 12% jump in skier days this upcoming winter. How much of that boost in lift ticket revenue will end up in Red Sox co-owner John Henry’s pocket, however, is still the subject of intense Sportscenter debate.
Last night, in the final inning of Game 6 of the World Series, with Koji Uehara working down the last few Cardinals batters, David Ortiz emerged from the innards of the dugout in a black ski helmet and a pair of Nike-branded Dragon APX goggles, readying for the impending champaign party and the real possibility of drunkenly slamming his 250-pound frame into an unforgivingly firm Boston brick wall. Ortiz would later switch to a pair of Oakley Airbrakes, both to assuage the nerves of his actual eyewear sponsor and because Oakley’s proprietary high impact-tested lens material is the only guaranteed way to protect against errant champaign cork mis-fires.
The phenomenon of World Series champaign party ski goggle use dates back to the San Francisco Giants’ 2010 World Series win, where a Giants outfielder was seen employing a pair of Oakley Catapults to protect his eyes from the Dom Perignon falling from the ceiling as if the sprinklers were turned on. That prime-time endorsement of snowsports equipment was largely credited with the 10% year-to-year rise in snowsports participants between the 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 seasons, according to a seriously hypothetical set of opinions held be me.
The bump of “The Ortiz Effect,” along with that of Johnny Gomes’ use of both ski goggles and a GoPro in his locker room celebration, is still up for debate, but with the Red Sox having won their first World Series at Fenway in god knows how many years, the effect is expected to be highly localized to the New England region. Rumor has it the MLB will be developing signature ski helmet packages that will be featured prominently in Dick’s Sporting Goods across suburbia and targeted towards lazy sports fan. The Gomes pro model will come with Oakley Crowbars, a Giro Shiv helmet, a GoPro pre-loaded with clips from the Red Sox locker room and a detachable Abe Lincoln beard, while the David Ortiz pro model will feature an airbrushed Dominican flag paint job and speakers that shout out Ortiz’s signature curse-riddled catch phrases when the helmet’s Bluetooth interface detects an inappropriate public venue. Roughly 1% of baseball fans are expected to make the transition from casual ski helmet wearers to actual snowsports participants, which would add another 1.5 million to the ranks of the lift ticket-buying public - a serious boon for an industry seeing flat growth.
The Red Sox themselves are no strangers to sniffing out a good branding opportunity either. It’s rumored that Sox co-owner John Henry just last night cajoled Boyne Resorts to pay a $10 million licensing fee to have Ortiz show up at Loon Mountain on opening day to proclaim “This is our fockin’ mountain!!!” before ceremoniously firing the gondola up. Our sources tell us it’s going to be wicked crowded, guy.
Ed. note: this just in: our public relations team has informed me that there is a 0-4% chance of the entire Red Sox team showing up in their pro model helmets to the November 15th premiere of Way Of Life at Boston's House of Blues. There is a similar chance of David Ortiz emceeing the show and proclaiming that "This (Way Of Life) is our fockin' ski movie!!!" Buy your tickets now!