1) Create your own regional or statewide program and/or work with members on their programs.
Create a statewide or regional program of your own AND/OR work with your members to promote programs they develop. Reinforce the importance of a strategic and action plan that includes input from ski school, marketing/PR, rental operations and management Use NSAA’s Beginner Conversion Study as a resource and encourage your members to use the Partner Tool Kit for message consistency and branding purposes.
Benefit: Benefit: Positioning January as Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month provides a PR hook that attracts attention from the trade and consumer media. Last year, the initiative generated nearly more than ONE BILLION media impressions. Consistency makes it easy for consumers to understand the messages.
Examples of state/regional programs. These programs are branded with Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month/Bring a Friend positioning at the appropriate times. Links are from the season and are meant to serve as examples.
2) Encourage involvement in The Triple Play.
We have a unique opportunity this year to impact newcomers and The Triple Play is designed to captialize on the opportunity. It includes the Bring a Friend Weekend, World Snow Day and the fact that 2018 is an Olympics year. If you and/or your members exhibit at fall consumer shows, we are working with show producers to organize a Bring a Friend Weekend promotion at the show. We ask that resorts and resort association develop offers that can be distributed at the shows since most attendees are current skiers and snowboarders who are in a potion to influence newcomers.
Benefit: An organize public awareness push with consistant messaging can have a HUGE impact.
3) Encourage your members to send information about their Learn To and/or Bring a Friend programs to LSS(M)/BAF organizers.
Offers will be posted on the "Special Offers" page at wwwl.earntoskiandsnowboard.org. The listing will include a short description, resort logo and a link back to the resort.
Resort association programs can be posted as well. Use the Submit Offer Details form.
Benefit: Additional exposure helps spread the word.
4) Ask your members to make it easy for consumers to find information.
Ask your members to make it easy for newcomers to find “special January learning deals” or Bring a Friend promotions on their web site and how to sign up for them. Don’t make newcomers hunt for it. Your members can take advantage of the massive PR exposure generated for LSSM and Bring a Friend.
For example, using the LSSM logo on a venue’s web site’s home page and lesson page (the “bread crumb approach”) makes it easy for consumers to find details after hearing about the programs. Take full advantage of your Marketing/PR efforts and the PR efforts of LSSM/BAF organizers. See what Purgatory at Durango did.
Benefit: A clear path to learning information and on-line registration makes it easy for consumers to find and register for your learning program(s). Newcomers who have to hunt too long for information are likely to go elsewhere.
5) Reach the “Youth Market”: Encourage your members to speak at schools; Use you stat'e Passport program(if you have one) to promote your special learning programs as well as LSS(M)/Bring a Friend.
Encourage your members to speak at a local school on why snow sports are great winter activities. They can tie in the presentation with a physical education class. The “Humans Were Never Meant to Hibernate” slogan provides an ideal and non-threatening hook.
At elementary schools, your and your members can use the opportunity to talk about the “Free” Passport Program if your state has one. This is another hook.
Resorts in New York, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Utah, Colorado, Idaho and resorts affiliated with Ski the Northwest Rockies all have “Passport” programs and they are listed on the skiandsnowboardmonth.org web site.
Tell retailers in your state about these programs. Few know about them.
Benefit: Everyone wants to tap into the “youth market”. This approach can gain your members and you access to the “elusive” schools and teachers audience. They want to help kids stay healthy. Interest kids and their parents will follow.
Benefit: More spending by consumers. SIA research indicates that a youth who starts skiing or snowboarding by the age of 12 will spend and average of $95,000 over a lifetime compared to $20,000 if one starts in their 20s.
6) Help bridge the gap between your members’ programs and the retail community.
Suggest ways to bridge the gap between your members’ “learn to” programs and their own retail operation or community retailers. Good relationships help guide the process of educating newcomers about how to dress properly or how to select equipment. Those additional investments will likely prompt newcomers and novices to ski or ride more often. Here are some examples:
a) Encourage your members with retail operations to use them or partner with a local metro retailer and/or ski club to host a LSSM/BAF night in early January at the shop. Work with the retailers to present a “Get Outdoors" clinic. that features topics like How to Dress.
Benefit: No one wants to be cold when learning how to ski or snowboard. Making sure that newcomers are outfitted properly can mean the difference between a one-time experience and a lifetime customer. Being cold and “having no one to go with” are two barriers for newcomers for learning how to ski or snowboard.
b) Suggest that your members use the fall swap/pre-season sale period to promote a “bring a friend” learning program for beginners. Swaps and sales attract current customers who may need a little nudging to bring newcomers to your members’ venues. This also is an excellent opportunity to promote the Bring a Friend Challenge.
Benefit: Enthusiasm for the coming winter is high in the fall among current skiers and snowboarders. This enthusiasm can be channeled into attracting newcomers’ interest before winter even starts.
c) Suggest that your members work with local retailers or community groups to organize a “Beginners Express” bus trip for newcomers to your venue. Current customers can “bring a friend” on such a trip. On the way, your members can inform newcomers about how to dress, different kinds of equipment available, safety precautions, what to expect during the lesson and at the venue, etc.
Benefit: Organizing a bus trip gives your members an opportunity to fully explain their venue and better prepare newcomers for their first-time experience. Including a retailer component can help address “how to dress” and equipment issues. Having everyone together lends itself to the TLC approach. You have a captive audience on a bus.
d) Encourage members to create a special LSSM/BAF product package through their retail operation or affiliated local retail shops for participants who want to buy or long-term lease after taking an initial beginner lesson. While most LSSM beginner packages include rentals, a lease or special purchase offer (after the beginner lesson) can be a viable incentive for a consumer who wants to be a skier or snowboarder.
Benefit: Newcomers who have a positive first-time experience are likely to return and eventually want to purchase products. Creating a special lease or purchase plan encourages newcomers to continue. Comfortable equipment contributes to proficiency and proficiency leads to loyal customers.
5) Encourage your members to use the Bring a Friend Challenge and/or FIrst Day Faces
Encourage your members to use the Bring a Friend Challenge. The Challenge rewards your members’ current customers for helping newcomers sign up for beginner lessons from a professional instructor. It also rewards newcomers who bring other newcomers for a beginner lesson. Prizes are provided as incentives. YOU can look like a hero.
Benefit: The Challenge is free for your members to use and it requires little work other than promoting it. It can lead to new customers. LSS(M)/BAF organizers do the rest including capturing valuable data on enthusiasts who are willing to help newcomer learn how to ski or snowboard. This information can be provided to you.
A companion program to Bring a Friend is the social media campaign First Day Faces that is geared to first-timers. Encourage your members to use First Day Faces. THe program encourages newcomers to post on their favorite social media platform photos of themselves and/or friends their first day on the slopes with the hash tag #firstdayfaces. Photos are posted on the www.learntoskiandsnowboard.org web site Prizes are available as incentives.
6) Encourage your members to determine their “learn to” programs early
7) Work with your state tourism office and chamber of commerce
Work with your state Tourism office and Chambers of Commerce to promote your learning programs and those of your members. In all cases, you are your members are encouraged to partner with local media on a LSS(M)/BAF learning program and tell current and new customers about it. Use social media to promote programs. Create and display a simple poster or flier using art provided through the LSS(M)/BAF tool kit and distribute via channels.
Here is an example of the Michigan Snowsports Industry Association's partnership with Pure Michigan (the state's Travel and Tourism program).
Benefit: You may have the best learning program in the world but if no one knows about it, what good is it? LSS(M)/BAF organizers heavily promote learning before, during and after January so piggybacking on this effort with multiple partners and the media can help you better promote your offers and get results.
7) Leverage your communications channels, PR efforts and social media outlets.
Use your own communications channels – passport booklets, magazines, web sites, social media as well as your local community media – to promote your and your members' programs as well as the overall LSS(M) and/or Bring a Friend initiatve. Even simple logo placement helps.
Benefit: You have a broad reach and your efforts through these channels will benefit all of your members as well as tie in with PR efforts by initiative organizers.
More details and suggestions are in the rest of the tool kit and at the links below. Use the logos, art, press releases and other items as appropriate.