By Teemu Virtanen/Content Director
The world is changing more rapidly than ever before and we are in the brink of the fourth revolution as the experts like to call this era. Artificial intelligence, blockchain, autonomous vehicles, digital transformation, social media expansion and many other developments are shaping the foundation of our existence. Content is certainly one of the things that has drastically changed, and most of all its distribution. Terrestrial television is not the primary channel anymore as digital streaming networks conquer the world. But the fact remains that people love content and they can now produce it themselves.
Visma Ski Classics is reacting to this tremendous change and setting its sights on an enhanced digital community where all like-minded people can get the content they want, interact with each other and do some shopping as well. The brand has grown over the years and it has changed the face of Nordic skiing in many ways. So far, the tour has focused on professional aspect of long distance skiing, but recreational skiers are the ones who keep the wheels in motion. Without the masses, long distance ski events wouldn’t exist.
For that reason, Pro XC Skiing has been created, and the official launch of the new digital community and content brand happened on Wednesday this week (read the press release at https://vismaskiclassics.com/news/articles/pro-xc-skiing-the-new-digital-community-within-visma-ski-classics/)
Pro XC Skiing is a separate brand within Visma Ski Classics aiming to serve everyone who has a true passion for cross-country skiing. Naturally, the focus is first on Visma Ski Classics events and people within, but other events are a crucial part of the content offering. Eventually, the aim is to expand to cover cross-country skiing in all aspects; to become the portal where cross-country ski lovers can go daily and catch up with the latest news and videos from all around the world.
You may ask what Pro XC Skiing stands for in reality and what access you really get by joining. The answer is simple. Great content. You can read well-written articles on Visma Ski Classics website under the Pro XC Skiing section, you can watch professionally produced video clips on PLAY and Facebook and follow action on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. PLAY is the primary app for all videos including live event broadcasts and produced video clips, but Facebook will still remain an additional platform for most video content as well.
As video is the most important content form and streaming video services have altered the shape of things in our world, we should take a closer look at some of the video content segments in store for you. There are 10 Visma Ski Classics events left in the Season IX, and a lot of video content will be produced at every event. Naturally, the focus is often on a race itself, but there are many other edited segments that are more timeless in nature.
We continue with the “Driving with the Speed of Hertz” videos, and in the following weeks you will get two of these pieces per week; both male and female athletes in our sponsor car. For your viewing enjoyment, we are also going to produce event weekend recaps videos that take you behind-the-scenes of the tour and you will see what happened over the weekend at those wonderfully exotic ski locations.
Another interesting video clip that we are going to present to you is our “Video of the Week.” This is truly something unique as you get to join some of the pro teams and see our athletes up close and personal. A special theme will be selected for each week. For example, after Kaiser Maximilian Lauf you will see what happens inside the service trailers of two pro teams; Team BN Bank and Team Kaffebryggeriet.
In addition to these well-produced video clips, our regular Facebook live broadcasts will continue, and exclusive pro skier interviews can also be seen on our PLAY app. Before each race, you can get into the right mood by watching our “Commentators’ Morning Report” about 30 minutes before start (start times vary) where our commentators speculate about the race, evaluate the weather conditions and bring up interesting facts about the event in question.
Besides all these great video content pieces, there are many great articles for your reading pleasure on our website, and they will be published on regular basis. On Pro XC Skiing, you can also access to other national cross-country ski sites in different languages and connect to pro team social media sites and eventually communicate with other people around the globe.
There are many local sites and news services catering local audiences, but Pro XC Skiing is the first one in English reaching a global target group. The aim of this digital community is not to compete against these local sites but to support them and create a mutual gateway to the wonderful world of Nordic skiing and thus enhance and nurture the future of the sport.