The Verbier E-Bike Festival – how will sport be consumed tomorrow?
Nicolas Hale-Woods knows how to develop new sport segments or new markets. He did so with surfing in Switzerland and Freeride Skiing worldwide. Now his company leaves a track in E-Mountainbiking. What does it mean when a fresh wind is interpreted by a new market participant? What could events like the Verbier E-Bike Festival create in future? How can it be monetarized? How are partners from the bike industry to tourism organizations involved? These are key questions Nicolas Hale-Woods will share and debate at the Ride Congress in Davos, a few weeks after the first Verbier E-Bike Festival took place.
Nicolas Hale-Woods, a Swiss-British citizen based in Lausanne-Switzerland, is before anything a sport passionate. A skier as of 3 years old, he was introduced to powder skiing at the age of 8 by his grandmother. The virus was inseminated, but really came to life when Nicolas discovered snowboarding and surfing (on water) as a teenager in Verbier and in the Indian Ocean. Nicolas obtained a Master degree in Economics at the Fribourg University, which left some time to ski, surf, and co-found the Swiss Surfing Association, first land-locked country to send a national team to the Amateur Surfing World Championships, and seen as the parallel of «Cool Running», when Jamaica sent a bobsleigh team to the Olympics. Since this time, producing events showcasing niche action sports is Nicolas’ mission: The Verbier Xtreme in 1996 followed by the Freeride World Tour (FWT), so-called the «World Cup of freeride skiing and snowboarding». Nicolas is now heading a company managing this sport globally, with over 160 events from Japan to Alaska, and over 5’000 licensed athletes. 15th to 18th August this year, the company has launched the Verbier E-Bike Festival.