Behind the scenes video of snowcat drivers clearing snow below the Tofane Schuss while others sculpt the new Ghedina Jump, on mountain crews working diligently yet finding time to frolic in fresh snow, captivating Dolomites beauty shots, Cortina history, breathtaking snowy scenes and racer updates are just a sampling of the wide-ranging content that can be discovered on Cortina 2021 Instagram and Facebook stories.
And if that isn’t enough to get you pumped up for the upcoming world championship, one can also find some timely Guns N’ Roses’ ‘Sweet Child of Mine’ or U2’s ‘Beautiful Day’ cuts spicing up and adding emotion to the diverse photos and videos.
It is evident that Cortina 2021 digital staff and content creators are taking chances, pushing boundaries and summoning their inner creative Mojo to engage ski enthusiasts who won’t be able to cheer their favorite racers in person at next month’s FIS Alpine World Ski Championship in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Feb. 7-21.
Cortina 2021 digital and social media manager Marzia Del Favero offers insight on how she and her colleagues brainstorm and develop the fresh and innovative content.
“We want to communicate our passion – we love skiing and we are fans also,” Del Favero tells Ski Racing Media. “We want to involve our community and show them behind the scenes from our point of view.
“We have a strategy of course – we have regular topics like Monday Motivation and now we are also trying to showcase different things from the weekend races.”
One might even call Del Favero the ‘Michelangelo’ of skiing and winter sport social media.
“Sometime I wake up in the morning with a great idea and other times my colleagues are the source of my ideas,” Del Favero admits, joined by Lucia Del Favero and Michela Andreola on the Cortina 2021 digital team.
Del Favero says that her favorite piece of content shared across Cortina 2021 channels was a touching photo and accompanying quote from Mikaela Shiffrin following her highly emotional comeback victory in Flachau.
“I really loved the Mikaela Shiffrin pics when she cried after the last win – I love Mikaela,” Del Favero said. “She is so sympathetic with the fans and the community – she shares her emotions, passion and I really love this emotion for our social media.”
Del Favero notes that another personal favorite is anything dedicated to Cortina d’Ampezzo’s rich and storied ski and winter sports history having hosted the 1956 Winter Olympics.
Plan B: engaging fans
Cortina 2021’s recent adaptation of Plan B – deemed necessary by Italian health authorities and the Technical Science Committee (CTS) that determined it would not be feasible to permit spectators onsite due to COVID-19 health concerns – opened the door to a whole new virtual world of fan engagement. It is a model that the Italian sport leaders believe could become a benchmark for future sporting events to emulate.
Cortina 2021 chief of media, broadcast and media operations Valentina Comoretto elaborated upon the strategies and objectives of the digital based projects, while emphasizing emotion and Italian passion.
“With the COVID-19 outbreak, for us as an organizing committee, the possibility to be in touch with our spectators to tell them what we are doing and to develop a new digital project as a way of communication, is really crucial and important,” Comoretto says.
“Our passion and love for the winter sport does not change, and even for the supporters, their passion for this sport and event does not change.
“We have to make our supporters emotional about the event,” she adds.
Cortina 2021 chief executive officer Valerio Giacobbi summed up the organizing committee’s digital mission considering the absence of fans.
“For those people who cannot be here, we will give them a little bit of a 360 degree experience of Cortina,” Giacobbi informs. “What we have done is invested more in communication and media.”
“We need to innovate anyway we can – we are trying to bring the digital experience to a level that we believe is an appropriate level for an event like this.”
Cortina 2021 app and website
Giacobbi notes that the free Cortina 2021 app (available from Apple Store and Google Play) will offer streaming, views from webcams, virtual grandstands, a virtual media center and other customized content that typically would not be available to users due to rights issues.
Additional features include live news from the races, video highlights, bib draws, behind the scenes elements, competitions to win prizes and a virtual seat at post-race press conferences via live streaming.
Fans can also become virtually immersed in Cortina’s finish area for the world championship races by listening live to the highly entertaining and unpredictable stadium announce team of Lorenzo Pinciroli, Stefan Steinacher and DJ Max Benzoni.
Can’t party in Cortina in person? Uncork the trendy Consorzio Prosecco DOC promotion celebrating four alpine skiing legends, each of whom will share their world championship stories first hand.
Another nice touch on the Cortina 2021 website is the Owl Post series, featuring personal blogs and stories shared by top racers active and retired. Bode Miller, Aksel Lund Svindal, Alexis Pinturault, Ilka Stuhec, Filip Zubcic and Shiffrin are just some of the contributors offering their insight and perspective to the “not to be missed” series.
Synergies between digital and broadcast
Cortina 2021’s overall youth-focused social media and digital content mission is expected to complement and share synergies with the extensive, more traditional international television coverage produced by Italian host broadcaster RAI.
“We’ve put a lot of effort into making really good broadcasting services, also thanks to our partner Infront,” Comoretto said. “This is really important because thanks to E-broadcasters, we can reach a larger number of spectators and also make an interaction between the broadcasters and digital.”
Cortina 2021 estimates a worldwide audience of 500 million viewers expected to watch some part of the two-week championship.
RAI will also be releasing an original documentary before the championship opens exploring Cortina’s rich and complex relationship with the mountains, while looking to the future and the changes that may await.
Cortina 2021 surprise
Del Favero teases a new music driven project that will be unveiled on Cortina 2021’s digital channels over the coming days. However, she won’t provide clues as to what might be on the canvas until the final brush strokes are completed.
“We have a surprise, but I can’t tell anything more about that,” Del Favero teases. “It will be online in the first days of February.
“It is a very nice project together with musicians and influencers … and it’s going to be great.”
Follow Brian on Twitter – @Brian_Pinelli