What the Passion Play has to do with snowboarding


Andreas Aurhammer and Thomas Delago from Nitro Snowboards Entwicklungs GmbH

What do the Oberammergau Passion Play have in common with snowboarding? At first glance there may seem to be little in common, but on closer inspection an unusual collaboration becomes apparent: the local company Nitro Snowboards Entwicklungs GmbH is responsible for the merchandising articles for the Passion Play 2020 and will be back again in 2022.

Many merchandising products are interchangeable and do not convey the character of the event. Here Thomas Delago and Andreas Aurhammer, the managing directors of Nitro Snowboards Entwicklungs GmbH, take a completely different approach: Authentic products that are manufactured as sustainably and regionally as possible. For example, the T-shirts are produced in a family business in Portugal. A very special souvenir are the key rings that are made from the fabric left over from the costumes for the Passion Play. Andreas or Thomas pick up the fabric left overs in the tailor shop of the Passion Play Theatre and take them to Peiting, 30 km away. There the key rings are made in the Herzogsägmühle - a social institution of the Diakonia which supports people who are disadvantaged in social participation due to their living situation.

The postponement of the Passion Play until 2022 due to the Corona pandemic has hit both of them hard, not only privately as contributors, but also from an entrepreneurial point of view. Most of the products had already been ordered and some had already been delivered. The short supply chains have proven to be a particular advantage, especially during the crisis: Many production orders could still be stopped, so that only partial deliveries made their way to Oberammergau. But what to do with 5,000 jute bags, 10,000 T-shirts and other products? Thomas and Andreas do not bury their heads in the sand when difficulties arise, but look for creative solutions, which they have found. It was clear from the beginning that nothing should be thrown away. "That would have led our entire concept ad absurdum," says Andreas Aurhammer. The products already delivered are sold at a special price via online shops or distribution partners, the bags are made fit for 2022 without further ado: Thomas Familie helps to print the bags individually and in elaborate manual work with stamps. They have come up with slogans that can be individualized. So there is a version with "Better late than never..." and for a pharmacy in Oberammergau "Stay healthy". They made the stamps themselves with a 3D printer.

Thomas Delago's family reprinted the bags by hand.

They made the stamps in a 3D printer.

Local companies have individual bags made for them.

The lettering is reprinted with the brush.

"2020" now becomes "2022".

This is what the finished bag looks like.

The reactions so far have been very positive. "Originally, we wanted to give the guests a unique souvenir of their visit to the Passion Play to take home. Now many are looking forward to a souvenir that will later remind them of this unusual time and help them to shorten the waiting time and keep up the anticipation. Many had been eagerly awaiting the Passion Play for years and now they have to wait another two years," says Thomas Delago.

So if you are strolling through Oberammergau, you can discover and purchase the products here in the following shops:

Text: Jenny Greza
Photos: private