Press Release

U.S. Figure Skating launches 'Destination Vancouver'

Initiative to promote figure skating leading up to the Olympics

U.S. Figure Skating's "Destination Vancouver" campaign is intended to raise awareness of figure skating and encourage the sport for years to come.
U.S. Figure Skating's "Destination Vancouver" campaign is intended to raise awareness of figure skating and encourage the sport for years to come. (U.S. Figure Skating)

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(09/02/2009) - On Wednesday, U.S. Figure Skating announced "Destination Vancouver," a comprehensive marketing campaign to engage fans, sponsors and supporters of the sport of figure skating leading into the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver. "Destination Vancouver" will increase awareness of the sport and encourage the support of figure skating for years to come through a series of marketing, public relations, development and membership initiatives.

"This campaign has the overarching goal of promoting the sport of figure skating," said Patricia St. Peter, president of U.S. Figure Skating. "The support of U.S. Figure Skating and our programs is especially important in an Olympic year, when the eyes of the world will be on our sport."

"Destination Vancouver" officially launches Sept. 2 to coincide with the close of registration for and the official start of the U.S. Figure Skating qualifying season. The campaign will appear in all U.S. Figure Skating publications and correspondences, including e-mail, through the end of February. SKATING magazine, the official publication of U.S. Figure Skating, will profile each of U.S. Figure Skating's 12 Olympic gold medalists as part of the campaign, and sponsors of the organization will be invited to participate in "Destination Vancouver"-themed events throughout the season.

"Every department in our organization will play an important role in the success of this initiative," said David Raith, executive director of U.S. Figure Skating. "Although our immediate focus is on the next six months, our end goal is to gain additional support for and understanding of our sport so we continue to thrive in non-Olympic years as well."

"Destination Vancouver" includes fundraising initiatives such as the "Partners-in-Training" program. Starting later this month and running through February, individuals making a $20.10 monthly donation will receive a U.S. Figure Skating team wristband, recognition in publications and on U.S. Figure Skating Online, monthly chances to win U.S. Figure Skating-branded merchandise, athlete-autographed photos, opportunities to participate in exclusive online sessions with athletes and e-bulletins featuring updates on the U.S. Figure Skating Team as it prepares for Vancouver. Members of this program will also receive invitations to 2010 U.S. Figure Skating Team sendoffs and welcome-home events before and after Vancouver.

Revenue from the "Destination Vancouver" team wristband program, another fundraising initiative, will benefit U.S. Figure Skating clubs and athlete programs. The sale of the red, white and blue wristbands allows fans to support U.S. Figure Skating's initiatives while serving as an inspiring reminder of the Olympic spirit that lives within each of us.

U.S. Figure Skating will also host a series of "Destination Vancouver" receptions around the country each month. Invited guests to these special events will have the opportunity to meet potential members of the 2010 U.S. Figure Skating Team while pledging their support to the many initiatives that will help the team prepare for Vancouver.

National Skating Month, U.S. Figure Skating's highly successful membership program, will be extended by a month as part of the "Destination Vancouver" campaign to include February in addition to the traditional celebration in January. The program, started in 2002, provides figure skating clubs and Basic Skills programs with resources to host activities to attract new skaters to rinks across the country. Through a series of organized on- and off-ice activities, people of all ages will enjoy fun-filled days at the rink as they are introduced to the world of skating.

U.S. Figure Skating's fan web site, icenetwork.com, will provide "Destination Vancouver" coverage of all the competitions leading up to the Olympic Winter Games, including Skate America and the 2010 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Spokane, Wash. Featuring blogs, diaries, photos from potential members of the 2010 U.S. Figure Skating Team and the figure skating community site, the "INcrowd," icenetwork.com will present figure skating fans the opportunity to experience the build-up to the Games as never before -- from the athlete's perspective -- as the events unfold. Fans will also have the opportunity to purchase U.S. Figure Skating "Destination Vancouver" merchandise through the organization's new online store scheduled to launch in early October.

U.S. Figure Skating unveiled the "Destination Vancouver" logo with the announcement of the campaign.

About U.S. Figure Skating:
U.S. Figure Skating is the national governing body for the sport of figure skating in the United States as recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the International Skating Union. U.S. Figure Skating is comprised of more than 700 member clubs, collegiate clubs, and school-affiliated clubs and more than 900 registered Basic Skills skating schools representing approximately 170,000 members. U.S. Figure Skating is charged with the development of the sport on all levels within the United States including athletes, officials, sanctioning of events and exhibitions, and establishing the rules and guidelines by which the sport is governed.

About icenetwork.com:
Ice Network, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of U.S. Figure Skating, has the exclusive rights to U.S. Figure Skating's interactive media properties. In partnership with MLB Advanced Media, icenetwork.com is the premier destination for fans of ice skating, delivering exclusive live and on-demand coverage of domestic and international competitions, while offering fans the opportunity to interact with top athletes and stay updated with news and information from the world of ice skating year round. Icenetwork.com is dedicated to providing year-round, in-depth coverage of the all things ice skating to millions of fans around the world. Icenetwork.com is committed to expanding the audience by delivering compelling programming that fans won't get a chance to see anyplace else, including exclusive backstage interviews with top skaters, special programming featuring figure skating stars and additional video coverage from around the globe.