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Ted Ligety wins quasi-World Cup, signs endorsement deal with Park City

Ted Ligety wins quasi-World Cup, signs endorsement deal with Park CityTed Ligety will race this weekend wearing the logo of Park City Mountain Resort on his helmet, replacing the ‘Mom and Dad’ tape he placed there last year. The young American, who won a high-caliber NorAm on Wednesday, will race giant slalom and slalom this weekend at Beaver Creek, where all the pieces are in place for him to get his first World Cup podium.

‘I’m feeling good, maybe a little better than last year even’ said Ligety, the 2004 Sprint/Ski Racing Junior of the Year. ‘As far as my full-year goals go, it’s to get on the podium. I’m not sure when it’s going to happen, but I’m hoping it’s soon.’

Ligety will wear the Park City logo on his helmet, the only place World Cup racers are allowed to endorse companies for personal gain. His agent, Ken Sowles, did not disclose the terms of the deal, which is for one year.

“Ted is very excited about his relationship with Park City’ said Sowles. ‘It’s a natural fit since he grew up skiing at there.’

Ligety can’t remember his first time skiing at Park City. “I’ve been skiing there since I was two years old,” he said.

Headgear deals are a barometer of mainstream appeal and marketing power of the U.S. Ski Team’s athletes. Earlier this season, Lindsey Kildow, who won the 2004 Sprint/Ski Racing Junior of the Year award in the women’s category, signed her own headgear endorsement deal with Red Bull.

Ligety won an extremely competitive NorAm slalom at Keystone on Wednesday. The field was so strong that Jimmy Cochran started 57th even though he has 11.13 points.

Among the skiers Ligety bested in that race was Giorgio Rocca of Italy, last year’s World Cup slalom sensation, who had the biggest margin of victory of the men’s season when who won the Chamonix slalom by 1.33 seconds.

Rocca will be a favorite in the first slalom World Cup of the season on Sunday at Beaver Creek.

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