Author's note: I don't own the SSX franchise, nor do I claim that I do. The only thing I own are the characters created by me for purposes of this fanfiction. Have a nice day!
Prologue: The Chance to Dream
The Board of Directors of the Freylingheusen Corporation sat in silence as they were shown a slideshow of the latest pitch to cross the company's path. It was for some snowboarding league known as SSX. Most of the members looked bored with the presentation. As far as most of them were concerned, snowboarding was just a wintertime teenage fad that was likely to disappear as quickly as it had appeared. With each passing minute, more and more of them were tuning out of the presentation. When the speaker finished talking and the lights came back on, the board members were all grateful that this waste of their time was over.
"That was an interesting presentation we just watched," lied one of the board members.
"Indeed," said another to try and make it look like he had actually paid attention. "I loved the landscape shots."
Off to the side of the room, a man in his late 40's let out a noticeable sigh and stood up from his chair. "Look," he began. "I know that almost none of you are interested in this proposal."
"What makes you say that?" asked one member of the board.
"The fact that most of you were practically snoring clued me in," said the man.
"I'm sorry, mister…?" said the chairman.
"Bradford," said the man. "Randall Bradford. Look, let me put this proposal to you all in a way you might actually like. It's publicity. International publicity. And when what we're proposing hits the news and the internet, it'll be the story that everyone who follows this sport will be talking about."
Bradford's mention of publicity instantly got their attention. "Publicity's all well and good," said the chairman. "But do we have to do it to the extent that you and Mr. Leonard, who gave us an interesting presentation by the way, are requesting? You are asking for us to sponsor eight of these…athletes. Can't we just sponsor one or two? One or two would very likely get our approval, but not eight."
"That's right," agreed one of the board members. "I would certainly vote for one or two."
"But eight is what is necessary," said Bradford.
"Why is eight necessary?" asked another board member.
"In the rules of the SSX League," interrupted Leonard. "In order to qualify as a team, that team must be made up of a minimum of eight riders. Any number less than eight and you lose all the perks and benefits of being a team."
"What Mr. Leonard is actually saying is that if you don't have eight members it is more expensive for you to put riders on the track," said Bradford.
"How's that?" asked the chairman.
"By qualifying as a team certain track fees and track passes are either lowered or eliminated altogether," answered Bradford. "Think of it like this, you put less than eight riders in the field, then you are assessed penalties."
The members of the board began to converse with one another and nod their heads. As they did, Bradford and Leonard silently exchanged glances.
"You mentioned that this would only be for one year, correct?" asked the chairman.
"One season," corrected Leonard. "Which only lasts for a few months. And, if you want to be technical, the pre-season training and the search for the riders as well…"
"Regardless," interrupted Bradford before Leonard could get into too many of the nuanced details. "Imagine what people will think of Freylingheusen when this story breaks. A big Fortune 500 company is giving eight unknowns a shot at their dreams. Now you've got this big philanthropic side and the public and the press will applaud you for it. And if any of these unknowns goes all the way, it will be great underdog story that came to pass because of the men in this room. And if it doesn't work out, it was one season. What do you actually have to lose?"
The board members nodded their heads once again as they resumed talking amongst themselves. Finally, the chairman stood up and looked Bradford in the eyes. "We're in," he said. "You'll get everything you're asking for."
Bradford let out a sigh of relief, as did Leonard. "Thank you, gentlemen," said Bradford. With that he moved over to the chairman and shook his hand.
With the meeting now concluded, the chairman and the members of the board began filing out. Bradford just silently watched them as they left while Leonard packed up his things in preparation to depart. Once they were alone in the room, they came together, shook hands, and let out brief laughs of success. "I can't believe we did it!" said Leonard. "The Dream Team Project is happening!"
"Yes it is," agreed Bradford. "Now all we have to do is find the eight riders. The right eight riders."
To be continued...