Gigi Rüf Claims 2012/13 Snowboard Exposure-Meter Title
After temporarily relinquishing his title to Travis Rice last season, Gigi Rüf is back on top, earning himself the title of Exposure-Meter Champion for the overall 2012/13 season. Rüf is no stranger to the top of the meter, as he has not only held the lead for the past three months, but also nabbed the overall title for both the 2009/10 and 2010/11 Exposure-Meter battles. Gigi boasts an impressive roster of sponsors--Dragon, Union, Nike, Stance, hOme Watches, Burn Energy, and Celtek-- who supported his push to the top of the podium, but what makes this legend's victory a no-brainer is his effortless style and his epic talent. Now riding his own brand of snowboards, Slash by Gigi, Rüf is pushing his riding to new limits, as evidenced by his triumph at the Red Bull Ultranatural in February-- without doubt the gnarliest backcountry competition on the scene. Rüf has been an industry staple for years, a true embodiment of the heart and soul of snowboarding: forget the gimmicks, Rüf simply knows how to ride.
“Gigi has been one of those guys we have all watched through the years from the Kingpin movies to Pirates, Absinthe and more, and every time he drops in you want to see what comes next," says Nike Snowboarding Global Sports Marketing Jonathan Weaver. "It's no wonder he tops the Exposure-Meter as he is like a dream for a photographer, creative as can be, great style, and reads terrain like few can. He is one of the greats.”
We caught up with the man to congratulate him on his success:
How has this past season been for you? What are a few highlights?
The season pretty much started with sales meetings in Venice, Italy for Union Bindings. It was a nice gathering to present the new Contact Pro binding, and they showed an exclusively made video in the Cinema...then a long start up phase riding my home runs in Austria, which were lead by steady snowfalls. After that I was invited to the Air and Style Session, with all of the Tradeshows quickly following. In February I traveled to Canada where I won the Ultranatural Event…that whole event was once again crazy--for sure a highlight of the season!
What does this win mean to you and to your sponsors?
Since there weren't any interviews done with magazines this past year, winning the Exposure Meter award belongs to my sponsors for making it happen. Thanks to Nike, Dragon, Union, Burn, Celtek, Stance and hOme Watches.
Slash Snowboards has been an exciting addition to the market--how has this past winter gone as far as the brand is concerned?
It's a real treat riding the board I want. My people around Nidecker Snowboards and PaprikoInk have put in a great effort to let me have those moments on the mountain.
With Slash already taking off, are any new projects in the works?
From the early days of the brand I have had my expectations set on the third year. We might still need to find a definition to what the coming year [year two] will hold.
Clearly you earned yourself a significant chunk of coverage this season-- how do you plan to keep that momentum up throughout the coming year?
Doing exciting things. Being inspired and a good Dad!
Follow the jump for 2012/13 full Exposure-Meter results…
Scroll through the gallery for all of this month's print and social Snow Exposure-Meter standings, as well as overall social stats across all sports with the Hookit Athlete Index:
January - March 2013
Come one, come all, to the Bode Merrill show
Despite Gigi's overall triumph, it is actually Bode Merrill who earns this season's Edit accolades. Nailing the December 2012 covers of both Snowboard and Snowboarder, along with an 11-page feature in the latter, Merrill is 2012/13's Edit golden boy. Playing second fiddle for once is Gigi Rüf, who carved his notch into the newsstands alongside Nicolas Muller, who takes home a very respectable bronze. Mikkel Bang settles in just one spot short of the podium, followed closely by Jed Anderson. Xavier De Le Rue steps up his game as the season wraps up, holding down the cover of TransWorld SNOWboarding's photo annual, and moving from 11th in to sixth, forcing Dan Brisse into a two spot drop and a seventh place finish. Austen Sweetin falls from sixth into eighth, a nice little reflection of his corresponding eighth place rank on the Ad Meter. In the name of consistency, Terje Haakonsen and Eero Ettala waving goodbye to the season from their respective perches at 9th and 10th.
Rüf conquers in the race for face-time
For the fourth month running, Gigi Rüf dominates the advertising face-off, which is really no surprise considering the powerhouse brands that count him as one of their own. With Volcom, Dragon, Union, and Nike, not to mention his own snowboarding company, Slash by Gigi, acting as support system, Rüf ruled over the ad realm throughout the 2012/13 season. Standing strong in second is Bode Merrill, who has holds down the silver medal for the third month in a row. With prolific campaigns repping LRG and Salomon, Merrill has had a season for the books. Jake Blauvelt maintains his third place rank, with Seth Huot making big moves from last month's 15th-place finish to land in fourth. Dan Brisse takes a one-spot drop into fifth, followed by Danny Davis, who finishes out the season in sixth. Seventh place honors go once again to Zac Marben, whose collaboration with Arnette has kept him consistently covered all season. Eighth goes to Austen Sweetin, while Jake Welch sneaks from 18th into ninth and leaves Scott Stevens to round out the overall top ten.
Andy Wright rallies, steals the limelight from Gagnon
In a surprising last minute overhaul, Andy Wright has put an abrupt end to Oli Gagnon's five-month meter domination to take the win. With two photo annuals-- thanks to TransWorld SNOWboarding and Snowboarder-- thrown into the mix, the photographers summed up the season with an epic round of exposure. Wright put himself nearly 4,000 points ahead of the pack after filling TW's pages with his impressive work and kindly lending the magazine a cover shot. Gagnon didn't stray far from his usual perch atop the meter, simply stepping back into second as E-stone rounds out the group in third. For his part, Blotto made moves at the last minute, swapping Mike Yoshida for fourth place. Frode Sandbech and Ashley Barker make mirror moves this month, both earning three spot improvements to land in sixth and seventh, respectively. Not content to remain outside the elite bubble, Scott Serfas takes a five spot promotion to take ninth place, while Tim Peare sums up the group neatly with tenth.
Burton conquers brands across the board
Shout-Out to the brands this month, as their impressive consistency makes for an easy re-cap. Burton comes in hot off a seven-month winning spree-- though Oakley did step up for a first-place tie back in November-- jumping nine points ahead of the silver medal sponsor, Volcom. Slapping their stickers on athletes with remarkable veracity, the top logos stand firm in the respective Expo Meter positions, with the ranks progressing as follows: Oakley, Monster, and DC take third through fifth, while Forum, ThirtyTwo, and Ride hold down sixth, seventh and eighth. One brand did decide to mix things up this round, so props to Red Bull for breaking away from a ninth place tie with Electric, relegating the latter back to tenth.
SOCIAL INDEX ALL SPORTS (ERIC - USE THIS FOR ALL THE CHARTS)
Tony Hawk's Return
Logging well over 1.2 million interactions in March, Tony Hawk regained the Athlete Index title with Rob Dyrdek and Alana Blanchard rounding out the month's podium. Skaters are dominating the leader board with Blanchard claiming the only non-skate spot in the top six. Shaun White and James Stewart claimed the only snow and moto spots at seventh and ninth respectively. Shane O'Neill made his top ten debut this month logging nearly 420k interactions.
SOCIAL INDEX - SNOWBOARDING
While the Shaun White show is still airing, with March seeing him break the one-million mark for 2013 interactions, Travis Rice is on the rise, logging nearly 200k interactions to put him in second, up two spots. Gretchen Bleiler fell off the leader board as Seb Toots stepped up into 10th and Horgmo, Vito, Ettala, and Lago logged big months.