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Jeep Replaces Ford in Pro Series

Nov. 29, 2001--Jeep has replaced Ford as the title sponsor of the country's only professional downhill series. Ford did not renew its sponsorship of what had been called the Ford Downhill Series, leaving event owner Eclipse Television and Sports Marketing without a title sponsor and in jeopardy of losing the event.

Eclipse signed a deal with Chrysler Group's Jeep earlier in the month that will provide for a three-stop series called Jeep King of the Mountain; if that sounds familiar, it's because Jeep was the sponsor when the professional downhill series began back in 1994. Events will be held at Mammoth Mountain, CA (Dec. 4-9), Loon Mountain, NH (Jan. 8-13), and the World Championships at Beaver Creek, CO (March 6-9). Down from five events in recent years, the tour will still have its traditional purse of $100,000. Races are scheduled to air on CBS Dec. 15, Feb. 17 and March 24.

Charles Schwab, Visa, Paul Mitchell, Columbia and SKI will remain as sponsors, according to Alice Plane of Eclipse. She added that she's been pleasantly surprised by the marketing environment since the events of Sept. 11. "I think, particularly with it being an Olympic year, we're seeing a lot of interest in skiing," Plane said. "So, it's been pretty good for us."

Rob Boyd- 3 time World Cup Downhill Gold Medallist
Brian Stemle- 4 time Olympian, 14 year member of the Canadian Ski Team

Jean Luc Cretier- Olympic Gold Medallist, 1998, Nagano
David Pretot- Europe Cup Down Champion, 1993

Daniel Maher- 8 time World Cup Cold Medallist, 3 time Olympian
William Besse- 4 time World Cup Gold Medallist

Kyle Rasmussen- 2 time World Cup Downhill Gold Medallist
Tommy Moe- Olympic Gold and Silver Medallist, 1994

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