In its fourth season as a founding partner of the Winter Dew Tour, Toyota announced its official sponsorship of Olympic snowboarder Louie Vito. Vito joins Toyota's roster of sponsored Winter Dew athletes for the 2011 season, including U.S. Women's Olympic Team snowboarder Elena Hight and top free skier Simon Dumont. In addition to sponsoring these elite athletes, Toyota will bring value and entertainment to fans through an interactive on-site fan experience within Festival Village as well as offering free shuttles for fans throughout the 2011 Tour.
Toyota is the first mainstream brand to invest aggressively in action sports with a commitment that dates back to the 1970's with its sponsorship of the original Supercross series. The 2010-2011 Winter Dew Tour sponsorship comes on the heels of a successful six-year founding sponsorship of the Summer Dew Tour. This year, the Winter Dew Cup champions will be crowned at the Toyota Championship in Ogden, Utah.
"I am stoked to be riding for Toyota during the Winter Dew Tour," said Vito. "They have supported athletes like myself since the beginning and really understand and respect the action sports community, not to mention the fact that they make amazing products. I am very excited for the rest of the tour and plan to keep up the momentum from my first place finish in Breckenridge."
Vito, 22, finished in fifth place at the 2010 Winter Olympics in the halfpipe competition. Vito trained for the Olympics while participating in the popular television show "Dancing with the Stars." He is one of the top competitors in the halfpipe this year for the Winter Dew Tour and already has a first place finish under his belt at the Nike 6.0 Open in Breckenridge.
"Louie possesses a mainstream level of appeal that extends beyond the realm of action sports, and we are excited to have such a tremendous athlete and engaging personality like Louie Vito added to Team Toyota," said Keith Dahl, national manager of engagement marketing for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. "He is an amazing talent and we are anxious to see what he has in store for the rest of the Winter Dew Tour. Toyota understands the dedication it takes to compete at the highest level, and we're prepared to support Louie as he pushes the limits on the halfpipe to new heights."
Toyota is offering athletes and fans free rides from strategic shuttle stops in and around the Winter Dew Tour host resorts to any desired location within a set distance. A fleet of Toyota vehicles will be employed to keep fans from trekking in the snow, including the 4Runner, Highlander, Tundra, and Sienna.
New this year, Toyota will give one lucky winner at each stop a free season pass to the resort so they can ski or snowboard all season long.
Hight, Dumont, and Vito will be signing autographs in the Toyota tent in Festival Village at every stop of the tour.