The TTR World Snowboard Tour, have just announced via their Facebook page that they have officially dropped the 'TTR' in their name and rebranded to 'World Snowboard Tour.' They've also launched a brand spanking new and improved website to go with it.
The original 'Ticket To Ride' was established back in 2002 by Terje Haakonsen and a few other notable event organisers and brand reps as a grassroots tour designed to connect the biggest and most prestigious snowboard contests worldwide. The original tour consisted of 9 events across the globe at which the top rider in each was awarded a 'TTR Medallion' that also served as a 'ticket to ride' at the final event - the Artic Challenge. This format ran for the following two seasons before the current 'Star-Tier' system was introduced, with riders competing to build up ranking points across the various snowboard disciplines. With that change in format, the 'Ticket To Ride' aspect of the tour became more or less redundant, although the TTR brand name stuck fast.
While it may seem a little strange to those of us that have got so used to the TTR name over the last few years, the new simplified brand does make a lot more sense and ties in nicely with the renaming of the 'Artic Challenge' to the 'World Snowboarding Championships' that went down earlier this year. We can't help but wonder whether or not a WST acroynm will catch on though - it doesn't quite have the same ring as TTR does it?
This rebranding is the next logical step in making the World Snowboard Tour a cohesive organisation for snowboarding and should hopefully reinforce the plight to take competitive snowboarding back from the International Ski Federation (FIS), who have so far shunned all attempts at working together in the run up to the 2014 Winter Olympics. Understandably, this is an issue that Terje Haakonsen and much of the snowboard community feel pretty strongly about. Only time will tell whether we see any improvements or compromise in the future.