Waxing Sales with a Downhill Race

Ski-equipment makers pin their dollars on Olympic medals

Millions of TV viewers in the U.S. watched in awe one day last month as Californian Bill Johnson, 23, streaked down a Swiss Alp and became the first American ever to win a men's World Cup downhill race. His teammates were jubilant, but no more so than the company that makes his ski boots. The day after Johnson's victory, executives at Swiss-owned Raichle Molitor U.S.A. began planning a new advertising campaign to celebrate the performance of the skier and his gear. The slick ads, picturing Johnson...

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