Ski Austria: How could you forget Austria?

Ski Austria: How could you forget Austria?

April 13, 2023

If you believe Ski Austria is some small ski organization in a small village hidden up somewhere in the Austrian mountains, you are mistaken. Ski Austria is the new name for the ÖSV (Austrian Ski Association) and happens to be one of the world’s leading ski and sports associations. It represents athletes that have won countless titles and medals over the decades, and more importantly, has represented Austria as a leading ski nation globally.

Chaos instead of leadership

In connection with the name change, the organization chose to redesign their logo. In that process you would expect that those responsible should have considered to do particular justice to the athletic leadership claims as well as to the national brand of Austria they represent.

According to the statements of Ski Austria’s president Roswitha Stadlober, the new logo is supposed to reflect the values and mission of Ski Austria.

But if you look at the result of the redesign, you will find a logo that spontaneously reminds of a pile of fallen skis in front of a ski hut. The central values that can be derived from the logo are far away from a claim to leadership with a clear direction. Instead, the pile of skis rather reflects some state of “chaos”. It seems leadership claims and that the logo should represent Austria as a nation have been completely left out of the agency briefing.

Ski Austria forgot to brand Austria

To sum up: This new logo may well reflect the current values (and state) of Ski Austria. But being such an important figurehead for Austria, the organization should seriously have considered whether this logo really lives up to the standard of representing Austria globally. 

It may not matter to the representatives of Ski Austria that the new logo already has made them a laughing stock in social media.

But Austria, or better said the official representatives of Austria led by Sports Minister Mr. Werner Kogler,  should care in terms of the “national branding” and the global perception the logo creates of Austria. As the Austrian daily newspaper Der Standard wrote on March 6, 2023: “Austria makes the claim to be the best skiing nation in the world”. Echoing that, Austria deserves a Ski Austria logo that lives up to such a claim with respect. Period!

Brand strategist Michael Brandtner is Austria’s leading brand positioning expert and Lead Partner of Ries Global.