Bring a Friend and the BAF Challenge Weekend (Part 1 of The Triple Play)
Snow sports industry research indicates that most newcomers are introduced to skiing or snowboarding through friends and family members. And, the #1 reason that newcomers want to learn is to “spend more time with friends and family members” already involved. The Bring a Friend campaign is a way to connect the dots.
The Bring a Friend Challenge Weekend, January 5 – 7, 2018, is being positioned as the kick-off for Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month (January) when resorts throughout the U.S. offer great deals on beginner lessons and packages. Some are one day and some are multi-day. Most include lift ticket, lesson(s) and beginner rental equipment.
BAF and LSSM programs can continue throughout the month and even beyond January. It is up to partners to decide what works best. The “Challenge Weekend” simply is a way to draw attention to skiing and snowboarding early in the winter.
You are a partner in the Learn to Ski and Snowboard/Bring a Friend Initiative. The partner toolkit – www.ski-snowboard.org - includes lots of background information as well as “Bring a Friend” artwork and graphics for partners to use in their own efforts. PR messages in the toolkit are meant to address what motivates and what deters beginners.
How can I get involved?
1) First of all, use the toolkit as a resource and be part of the nationwide effort to generate new customers for skiing and snowboarding. Create your own Bring a Friend program that best suites your objectives. Here are some suggestions on how to utilize Bring a Friend either during the Challenge Weekend or at other times. Specifically:
2) Alert your current customers that January is “Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month” and the Bring a Friend Challenge Weekend is January 5 – 7. Encourage them to tell friends and family members who want to learn so they can find out what programs are available near to where they/you live. The www.learntoskiandsnowboard.org web site lists partner resorts in each state as well as shops.
3) Organize a “Bring a Friend” night at your shop prior to the Bring a Friend Challenge Weekend. Encourage current customers, or local ski/snowboard club members, to bring beginners for an evening of socializing, seeing products and getting some beginner tips (like how to dress). Be aware that most resort-oriented lesson programs include rental equipment so think more about rentals or leasing programs for newcomers after that first-time experience. It’s way to get them back in the shop.
4) Consider providing a “long-term” equipment-leasing program for beginners who bring in a receipt for having taken a lesson or lessons during the Bring a Friend Challenge Weekend. Also, consider partnering with local resorts on this since most first-time packages include rental equipment.
5) Work with a local resort to organize a “Bring a Friend Challenge” Party sometime during the weekend of January 5 – 7, 2018. It’s a way to make newcomers feel like they are part of the “ski and snowboard family” and a way to thank friends for bringing them.
6) Give your customers and newcomers the www.learntoskiandsnowboard.org web site so they can get basic information. The web site includes map locators to resorts, tips on what to expect during a first-time visit to a resort, links to videos and much more.
7) Let us know what you are doing regardless of when it is. Use the Bring a Friend Challenge Registration form so that your program can be listed on the www.learntoskiandsnowboard.org web site. LSS(M)/BAF organizers will be heavily promoting the Challenge weekend as the kick-off to Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month but also we will promote learning how to ski and snowboard throughout the winter.
Prizes – National Bring a Friend Challenge and #firstdayfaces
On a national level, several product supplier partners, offer prizes to those who help newcomers sign up for beginner lessons regardless of the resort. Contest guidelines are on-line at www.bringafriend.org. This is free for partners to use.
The national Bring a Friend Challenge will be tied into the Challenge weekend. However, you can organize your own “Challenge” with prize giveaways for your current customers who bring newbies into your shop either before, during or after the national Bring a Friend Challenge Weekend.
Beginners are encouraged to use #firstdayfaces when posting photos of their first day on the slopes. LSS(M)/Bring a Friend partners are encouraged to promote this social media campaign. Here is a link.
Several research-based PR messages are listed in the Partner Toolkit. These messages are intended to reinforce the reasons newcomers want to learn how to ski or snowboard and mitigate the deterrents that discourage them from doing so. Feel free to use this information. Review PR messages here: http://bit.ly/2sYCVUn