Grassroots Program to Benefit Nonprofit Heuga Center and Tie in With Finale of 2005-2006 Professional Skiing & Snowboarding World Championships
Vail, Colo., Dec 7, 2005 –
Over the past 13 years, the Jeep® King of the Mountain Series has set the standard for ski and snowboard racing at the professional level, and earned a reputation as one of the most prestigious events in the industry. Organizers of the series now feel it’s time to focus equal attention on the next generation of ski and snowboard athletes, and today announced the launch of the Jeep Terrain Park Challenge national grassroots program to encourage amateur participation in snow sports at terrain parks throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Set to begin in December 2005, the Jeep Terrain Park Challenge will enable hundreds of winter resorts and snow sport clubs to stage Jeep Terrain Park events with amateur ski and snowboard challengers earning the right to represent their resort/club and earn a shot at the national crown. Beginning with a field of thousands of open qualifier participants, the top female and male ski and snowboard racers from each Jeep Terrain Park host site will advance to the regional round of competition, taking place at top resorts across the country. Those making it through the regional round will earn a spot in the finals, which will be held in conjunction with the grand finale of the 2005-2006 Jeep King of the Mountain Professional Skiing & Snowboarding World Championships.
“There’s a world of terrain park enthusiasts who have been waiting for an avenue to demonstrate their skills, and the Jeep Terrain Park Challenge is proud to serve as center stage for the next generation of ski and snowboard standouts,” said Jeff Bell, Vice President – Chrysler & Jeep. “For the past 13 years Jeep has captured the imagination and interest of spectators and television viewers with the professional Jeep King of the Mountain Series, and now it’s time to showcase the many stellar amateur athletes that have helped make terrain park skiing and snowboarding one of the most popular sports on the planet.”
Proceeds from the Jeep Terrain Park Challenge will benefit the Heuga Center (www.heuga.org), a nonprofit organization — founded in 1984 by former Olympic ski racer Jimmie Heuga — that improves the lives of people with multiple sclerosis through educational and wellness programs unique to any in the world. Several of the Jeep Terrain Park regional competitions will also coincide with the Heuga Center’s Vertical Express for MS (VEMS) program events.
“The primary mission of this grassroots program is to generate interest and participation in skiing and snowboarding among all age groups, and to offer assistance to the hundreds of snow sport clubs and resorts in the U.S. and Canada who are pursuing this same goal,” said Christy Martin, Program Director – Jeep King of the Mountain Jeep Terrain Park Challenge. “Given our relationships with the top resorts in the Northeast, Southwest, Colorado Rockies and Canada, as well as our substantial experience in hosting top caliber ski and snowboard competitions, we feel we have the opportunity to truly make a difference while benefiting a tremendous cause.”
The Jeep Terrain Park Challenge will take advantage of the rich heritage associated with the Jeep King of the Mountain Series, which was introduced in 1992 and has experienced substantial growth ever since. Thirty-two of the world’s top skiers and snowboarders compete head-to-head each season for the coveted World Professional Champion title and a share of the richest prize purse in the industry, including $450,000, plus $20,000 in bonuses from John Paul Mitchell Systems, and the keys to a new 2006 Jeep Commander.
The 2005-2006 Jeep King of the Mountain season will feature stops at some of the most spectacular resorts in the world, each providing for a unique and majestic backdrop, world-class recreational facilities and a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Six races will be held over the four different event weekends between December 2005 and March 2006, including two pure ski events, two pure snowboard events, and two unique events that combine both skiing and snowboarding, making the Jeep King of the Mountain Series the first integrated racing program in North America. A national audience will be able to view the Jeep King of the Mountain Series on nationally syndicated television and CBS Sports for a total of six hours of coverage between January and April 2006.
The Jeep King of the Mountain was established in 1992. Jeep is the title sponsor for the Jeep King of the Mountain Series. The Professional Skiing & Snowboarding World Championships are the sister competition to summertime’s Jeep King of the Mountain Professional Mountain Biking World Championships (www.jeepsports.com). Other marketing partners for this season include: Atomic, Columbia Sportswear Co., Edge Advanced Shave Gel, John Paul Mitchell Systems, Mopar®, SIRIUS Satellite Radio and Ski Press Magazine.
About Jeep Brand
The Jeep brand is synonymous with freedom, adventure, mastery and authenticity. It is a reputation earned during more than six decades of 4×4 leadership. The launch this year of the Jeep Commander — and the Jeep Patriot and Jeep Compass at Frankfurt, Germany — represents continued strengthening and growth of the Jeep brand. Jeep Trail Rated TM communicates the legendary Jeep capability that is designed into every Jeep 4×4. As the brand’s lineup expands, Jeep vehicles will continue to be what they have always been — the most capable.
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