Oakley Steps Up As The Arctic Challenge’s Presenting Sponsor

Oslo Norway, Nov. 7, 2005—In 2001 Heikki Sorsa pushed the world record limit to the epic 9.3 meters above the quarter pipe at The Arctic Challenge (TAC) in Holmenkollen, Norway. Four years later, the record still stands and The Arctic Challenge, by Oakley, is set to challenge the world’s best snowboarders to beat the record and showcase the latest tricks and creativity.

Oakley is following a long line of tradition by stepping up to presenting sponsor. In 1999, Terje Haakonsen called Oakley and asked if they could bring 12 riders to a small and secret snowboard experiment. Oakley rose to the occasion and has been backing the event ever since. No longer a secret, TAC is an open competition that draws riders from all areas of the world.

The 2006 competition will be held in Midstuen (200 meters from Holmenkollen), a classic ski jump hill that has not been used since Armin Kogler became world champion in 1982. The historical reopening is joint effort between The Arctic Challenge, Oakley and Skiforeningen, the association looking after the endless ski slopes and wooded areas outside Oslo. It is an extensive project to construct the 10 meter quarter pipe in the old, closed down slope, but the spot is ideal for the competition with excellent spectator facilities.

“We’ve backed Terje and The Arctic Challenge from the beginning and are excited about the event format and the global potential this event holds, says Pat McIlvain, Oakley’s Global Sports Marketing Director. “Our continued support of The Arctic Challenge in the coming years will allow for mutual collaboration and expansion of both our brands in the snowboard market.

Earlier this fall, Oakley and The Arctic Challenge announced The Oakley Style Masters in China; the first snowboard event to be held in China with professional riders from North America, Europe and Asia.

“It means a lot for snowboarding when industry brands support competitions and mountain activities. This is where the kids discover snowboarding and the talents progress from rookie to pro, says Terje Haakonsen. “I look forward to coming back to Midstuen, laughs Haakonsen, who was seven years old when he saw Armin Kogler win the World Championship.

The Arctic Challenge 2006 is divided in two parts that will combine the fundamental elements of snowboarding: competition, fun and outdoor experiences. The first part (Oslo quarter pipe) will be an open competition where superstars and talents will compete for one of the most prestigious titles in snowboarding. In addition to honour and glory, the competition features US$40,000 in prize money. Oakley is also bringing the legendary Gold Time Bomb watch, worth US$25,000 for the first person over 10 meters.

Finally, The Arctic Challenge issues a few Golden Wonka Tickets, which gives access to join Terje Haakonsen on a freeriding competition through the untamed Arctic in northern Norway. The competition in Oslo is open for riders, media, sponsors and audience, but the freeriding competition in the Arctic is only for the winners from Midstuen and a few wildcards.

The Arctic Challenge, by Oakley starts on February 28, 2006 with finals scheduled on March 4, 2006. Further details will be announced as they become finalized.