Switzerland's biggest telecommunications operator, Swisscom, has agreed to replace the collapsed Swissair as the new sponsor of the Swiss skiing association.
Swisscom was already involved with Swiss-Ski as the sponsor of the association's nordic ski team, but has now increased its support.
"As a Swiss company we identify ourselves strongly with the home market and therefore also with skiing," Swisscom's head of sponsoring, Peter Boeni, said on Friday. "Professional skiing is all about dynamism, and belongs to Switzerland in just the same way as Swisscom does."
The new sponsorship deal runs for three years, after which Swisscom will be given an option to extend the contract into the 2006 Winter Olympic season.
Neither Swisscom nor the skiing association have revealed details regarding the size of the deal, but it is thought to involve some SFr4 million.
The old deal with Swissair was worth around SFr3.5 million and, according to Swiss-Ski media officer Marc Wälti, the new deal is "certainly not worth less than the previous one."
No fallout from Swissair collapse
Swiss-Ski was unaffected by Swissair's collapse last year, because the airline had already fulfilled its financial obligations to the association. However, the association would have found itself seriously threatened if it had not been able to secure a replacement before the coming season.
As well as gaining further support from Swisscom, Swiss-Ski on Friday said it had attracted increased sponsorship from German car manufacturer Audi.
Previously one of the association's partners, Audi will now co-sponsor the Swiss alpine skiing team.
The clothing firm Descente has also renewed its contract to clothe Switzerland's top skiers, while Swissair's successor, swiss, is remaining on board as the new co-sponsor of the ski-jumping team and nordic combined team.
Swiss will also inherit Swissair's role as the association's official carrier.
"The upgrading of existing partnerships speaks volumes for the mutual co-operation involved, and for the great importance of skiing" Swiss-Ski marketing chief Andreas Zuber insisted after Friday's announcement.
swissinfo with agencies