No offence to the rest of the show cast but it’s magnetic charm of Petter Northug that attracts audiences.
Aired last night on TV2 Norway, Landskampen show that pitted some of the top stars of Norwegian skiing and biathlon against their Swedish counterparts was a runaway success.
40% share of the national audience in primetime is something television bosses and advertizers/sponsors dream about.
In case you’ve forgotten: modern cross country skiing runs on money from television & sponsors.
It’s essential for all involved to build best athletes into objects of adoration and to keep public interest in them on top level throughout the year.
It’s a death knell for business that underpins the system, to win the world championship and then to disappear into remote training camp till the next season comes.
It is quite the opposite to keep appearing on national television in whichever capacity. It keeps one’s personal brand going strong – but it also quite directly helps xcskiing as a whole by bringing spectators to the stadium and viewers in front of TV at race time.
Going back to Landskampen success, Petter Northug Jr. best skiing days might be behind him – but his personal brand is shining stronger than ever and it continues to serve the skiing in its battle for hearts & minds. Cheers to that.