Ski Classics was created in a cooperation between athletes, events and IEC in Sports representatives in order to enhance the world of long distance skiing. The Ski Classics concept launched in front the ski season of 2011. Ski Classics is a new concept combining the most traditional long distance cross country skiing events in Europe into a TV product. The series consists of 6 events where the last one will be the Ski Classics Final, rounding up the season and hosting the season review prize ceremony. The Ski Classics final will 2013 be held in Sweden. The long distance ski races are unique winter sport events combining professional and amateur skiers through picturesque landscapes across Europe.
The TV concept has been developed by David Nilsson and Hans Svelander at IEC in Sports, in cooperation with Jonas Bauer of Vasaloppet. It began in 2007 with distribution of the Swedish race, Vasaloppet, outside of Sweden. The event Vasaloppet has existed for 90 years and is steadily growing in popularity. After seeing the TV share for Vasaloppet grow domestically to 73,9% of the Swedish TV viewers in the morning, when the race starts, on the first Sunday in March every year. Seeing Vasaloppet become a TV institution and part of the folklore in Sweden the next step in order to grow further was to internationalize the TV product outside of Sweden to potentially reach new audiences and markets. Since the TV market asks for series of events in order to be able to work with partners and audiences over time, the market was approached to understand the potential to uplift additional long distance cross country skiing events as part of an international TV-product.
The long distance skiing events still symbolize the strong traditions and classical settings that cross country skiing used to be all about, from a combined mass start where several thousand of skiers break the start line together to the drama of head to head between skiers as the finish line approaches. There is now an additional exciting development within the competition formats as more and more teams are created, adding an extra dimension to the races. The Ski Classics Pro teams has developed rapidly and are similira to the cycling pro teams, weher a title partner can brand the race suit and also aquire the naming rights.
The Ski Classics consist of 4 competitions within each event, the yellow champion bib, the green sprint bib, the pink youth bib and the team competition where the two best male and single best female points are added after each competition.
In August 2012 a new mile stone was added when the stock company Ski Classics AB was formed, owned be IEC in Sport, Vasaloppet and Birkebeinerrennet.