Competition and champions are part of the DNA of Rossignol. Thanks to Martin Fourcade, the French brand lived historical moments as he continuously pushed further the limits of performance and of his sport.
Martin often repeated that he wasn’t running to go down in history, but we are very proud that he contributed to Rossignol’s.
1 - From the first steps on skis to the first podiums
Thanks to his day to day commitment to develop the best possible gear, his professionalism to develop and push forward everyone who surrounds him, his rigor, his passion and his authenticity, Martin Fourcade naturally became the symbol of the diversity and dynamism of the Rossignol Group.
The love story in between Martin Fourcade and Rossignol started early. The French biathlete stayed loyal to the French brand from his first steps on skis (like on this picture taken in 1995) to 2004 when he arrived in Villard de Lans, and to the end of his career on March 14th, 2020.
"Martin is the symbol of Rossignol: a very big family of passionate people who live their passion way beyond their work hours."
Bruno Dusser, Marketing director for Rossignol x-country products
Bruno Dusser, Marketing director for Rossignol x-country products, met Martin as he arrived in the Vercors mountains: he hosted the young man from the Pyrenees from 2004, when he joined the biathlon study program. During these years, Martin met people that will be important for his whole career.
“Martin arrived home with a box of bottles of wine of the “Rossignol domain” which is produced below the Canigou mountain in the Pyrenees. A nice sign! Very quickly, we noticed his promising physical qualities. He was following the steps of his big brother, Simon. Martin wasn’t the best biathlete, but there was no doubt, he was gifted and that he was learning very fast. It seemed to me that, compared to others, it was pretty easy for him to improve.
Being away from his family hasn’t been easy for him, but he has been brave, he already knew what he wanted. He was listening and looking for any advice he could get from his trainers, especially the regional and biathlon study program trainers, Thierry Dussere and then Siegfried Mazet who followed him until the World Championships in Oslo in 2016. Simon, his brother, has also been very attentive and played an important role.
On my side, during his whole career, I’ve tried to bring him the best support both professionally with Rossignol and in his personal life. Martin is the symbol of Rossignol: a very big family of passionate people who live their passion way beyond their work hours.”
As we share many values, the Rossignol employees quickly identified themselves to Martin. During all his career, he carried our brand and our image like no other athlete ever did until now.
2 - Product development
"Rossignol is an authentic company with strong roots that knows how to combine tradition and modernity without stopping innovating."
"My story with Rossignol started with my first steps on skis. Beyond the technical expertise, I fully endorse the values of the brand. Rossignol is an authentic company with strong roots that knows how to combine tradition and modernity without stopping innovating." said Martin Fourcade a few years ago.
Skis is one of the keys to success for an athlete. It is our daily challenge at Rossignol to both innovate and capitalize on our historical know-how, in order to deliver them the best skis. Martin Fourcade has been a key asset for the development of our x-country products. His fine and technical analysis, his requirements and his permanent exchange with the teams working in the shade have contributed to both of our successes.
Sylvain Fanjas-Claret, Biathlon World Cup Manager, has followed Martin for 8 years and he can’t stop praising the 5 times Olympic champion: “Martin is such a pro. His success has been built on hard work and fine analysis of the requests of his sport. He was always questing for the best gear. He’s been the starting point of all our optimization of our Nordic skis and ski boots. He gave us so much motivation to move forward.”
3 - Band Of Heroes
All along his career, Martin Fourcade shared, and this is also what makes him so special. Since he announced his retirement on an evening of March 2020, so many superlatives have been used to describe him. He deserves all of them: the requirement from Martin was forcing himself to lead people around him to reach the level he was imposing on himself with rigor and determination.
"But the free broadcasting of the races on the channel l’Equipe in France in 2015 had a huge impact. It wasn’t only every 4 years that people were able to follow Martin’s achievements but every weekend."
Sandie Tourondel, Racing Communication Manager for the Rossignol Group
Sandie Tourondel, Racing Communication Manager for the Rossignol Group, followed him along his career, she witnessed the evolution of his status season after season:
“After Sochi and his 3 Olympic medals, Martin started to appear as a French athlete who will make his mark on the sport’s and biathlon’s history. But the free broadcasting of the races on the channel l’Equipe in France in 2015 had a huge impact. It wasn’t only every 4 years that people were able to follow Martin’s achievements but every weekend. The development of social media also helped.
Today, with over a million cumulated followers, people expect a lot from him in the sport field but not only. This is why, after PyeongChang’s Olympics in 2018, we looked for a way to highlight Martin’s daily life, to allow his community to more closely follow this huge champion. The “Another Best Day” web series was a great opportunity to share the value of our brand that Martin already embodied perfectly on the podiums.”
4 - An emblematic ambassador
for the Rossignol Group
The Rossignol brand, today’s worldwide leader of the ski industry, was created 113 years ago. Since then, the Rossignol group has developed and diversified its activities. Among them, the Sport Chic apparel collection for both the mountains and the cities and a bike offer. To embody this new phase of the Rossignol Group, Martin Fourcade was evidence.
"Being an inspiration, a friend, Martin is part of the life of the Rossignol family. We express our deep gratitude to him for pulling up our brand to such a high level."
Gregory Delamarre, Category Manager Rossignol Apparel
Gregory Delamarre, Category Manager Rossignol Apparel followed this project from its beginning with the first brand campaign « From the Mountains to the City »:
“Through Martin’s exceptional performance, passion, modernity and will, biathlon definitively became a popular and fascinating sport for a growing number of people. Biathlon became a major sport thanks to and along with Martin’s career. This matches perfectly the ambition of Rossignol to push further the limits of winter sports.
Rossignol, and especially its apparel collection, with Martin as its very first ambassador, has reached exceptional results. Because of Martin’s popularity, every break through and major event for the brand was closely linked to his image. From the first Rossignol Apparel communication campaign, to the opening of our flagship store in Paris, we have worked our way up in Martin’s path. Being an inspiration, a friend, Martin is part of the life of the Rossignol family. We express our deep gratitude to him for pulling up our brand to such a high level.”
The sport adventure with Martin Fourcade ends up but not our commitment towards him. The President of the Rossignol Group, Bruno Cercley and Martin Fourcade had set up a partnership until the end of the career of the five-times Olympic champion and the following 3 years.
Bruno Cercley, President of the Rossignol Group:
"Racing and athletes are at the heart of the long history of Rossignol. Martin is the perfect example. He represents our brand, our products and his beautiful sport he gave visibility to. But the real adventure isn’t to be found there. It’s a human adventure first. It’s the best one. So many achievements… that are so valuable only because there were also failures and doubts that we overcame together.
Martin is a model of determination and caring. He has this huge talent to combine both in any circumstances. He is an example for all of us. Our relationship based on mutual trust, built up over time. This is the reason why, after all these years, we decided a few months ago to continue our collaboration for an additional 3 years following the amazing common racing story we lived together. It was as natural and simple as that, for both of us. Personally, I’m delighted. We will be able to see each other more often and achieve, for sure, more great things. And that’s great.”
Martin Fourcade’s story is a hero story. There will be a before and an after, but it will be, for sure, made of common new opportunities.