Last Sunday, on February 18th, 2018, International Downhill Federation (IDF) Board members held the Annual General Meeting to present the 2017 season overview and financial statement as well as the goals, work plan, budget and event schedule for the 2018 season.
Watch the AGM 2018
New Board members elected in 2017
In January 2017 the new IDF Board was elected. 5 of the 7 elected members were new to the Board. The IDF President Federico Barboni explained that they needed a little bit of time to get the required know-how to move forward with the work but they managed to achieve all their goals.
Increase in events expected to grow the number of memberships
The Board member Mike Girard, explained that they recognized the decreased number of athletes racing the IDF from 2016 to be coinciding with the decrease in events. Therefore, one of the IDF’s main goals was to increase the number of events and which should hopefully result in the growth of memberships.
In the meanwhile, the King’s Gate race in Austria has been canceled, so instead of 18 there will be 17 races in 2018; 7 World Cup and 16 World Qualifying.
Compared to last year, there will be in total 5 races more, while the number of World Cup races increased by 2.
In Europe, there are now 5 races; Kozakov in the Czech Republic, Verdicchio in Italy, Transylvania in Romania, Velefique in Spain and Sanki in Russia. You can find the full IDF 2018 schedule here.
The negative financial outcome for 2017
The biggest expenses IDF had last year were the purchase of a new timing system, which was around 10k dollars and another 10k dollars was spent for the repairing and maintaining of the old timing system which they plan to sell or part out occasionally.
Furthermore, IDF increased a money prize for champions to 10.6k dollars and as for the first time a money prize was awarded to the Juniors class.
Due to the decrease in events and memberships, IDF collected less sanctioning and membership fees but managed to save a bit on Travels Airfare and other expenses, like IT, Consulting and Accounting. However, IDF ended the year with almost 5,500 dollars debt.
Despite the negative financial outcome, IDF Board thinks positive about the new season and has already accounted the debt in the 2018 budget.
Early schedule and Early Bird registration to the rescue
One of the main goals IDF wanted to reach and it succeeded, was to release the 2018 schedule in October and instead of the “Priority registration”, which they found not to be efficient anymore, they did the “Early bird registration” and offered a limited number of discounted event tickets.
With the “Early bird registration”, they wanted to ensure enough riders will register in order to be able to organize the event. Overall nearly 100 tickets were sold across multiple events.
Paid media partnerships
As Max Vickers, the current IDF Secretary explained, last year IDF explored paid partnerships with independent media producers at Newtons Nation, Kozakov and Killington in order to ensure quality and consistent media production which was then used for promotion on social networks, the event coverage on the IDF website and other news outlets.
This paid media partnerships not only allowed us to offer better media coverage while the events were occurring but they also started an archive for us of media that we now have access to. So, with this media we tend work with other outlets, like news outlets, so this past year we had some videos that transmitted globally on BBC and we worked with the Olympic Channel to create a 35 min documentary which is going to be published this coming May. ~ Max Vickers, IDF Secretary
IDF wants to expand their media reach in order to attract the possible corporate investors, so in 2018, they plan to spend 8.5k eur for marketing and promotions, which is around 19% of the planned budget.
Main investments the IDF has planned for 2018 include prize money increase to 12,500 dollars, the improvement of the finish-line camera system, starting system and the enforcement tools for technical inspection, sending 3 IDF representatives to all World Cup events as well as the improvement of the races promotion and social media through collaboration with independent media producers.
Collaboration with World Skate
IDF started collaborating with World Skate, the skateboarding world governing body recognized by International Olympic Committee. World Skate aims to put all skateboarding discipline under the same umbrella and work for structure the skateboarding at national and regional level.