Reason #1: A BILLION media impressions means more exposure for Snow Sports; The Triple Play will draw attention this season
Last year, LSS(M)/Bring a Friend generated One Billion media impressions for learning how to ski or snowboard. This visibility helps create awareness for learning programs and for skiing and snowboarding in general. The more awareness we can create the more chances we have to lure new customers and make them lifetime enthusiasts who will purchase products. The www.learntoskiandsnowboard.org web site lists all LSS(M)/Bring a Fiend retailer partners in the "Find Gear" menu tab.
Retailers can help newcomers prepare for their first-time experience by leveraging current customers who can "Bring a Friend" to your shop. Staging an informal clinic on how to dress, for example, can pay off in spades. Ask current customers to bring a newbie to your shop for the clinic. Tie in with the start of Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month and the Bring a Friend Weekend (Jan. 5 - 7). You can also take advantage of World Snow Day (Jan 21), an international program orgaized by the FIS to get newcomers to learn. We have a number of World Snow Day suggestions for retailers. And, don't forget that 2018 is a Winter Olympics year.
LSS(M) organizers are pushing hard to generate publicity for our sports through traditional and social media. Any and all programs that encourage newcomers to learn skiing and snowboarding are welcome. Be aware that most resort-oriented beginner programs include a lift ticket, lesson and rental equipment (See #2).
By the way, SIA research says that getting a 10 year-old involved in skiing or snowboarding can result of lifetime expenditures of $95,000, much more than someone getting involved later.
Reason #2: Lessons from a Pro – Best way to minimize dropouts but follow up is key.
Most newcomers go to a local ski/snowboard area for their first experience on snow. LSS(M) advocates taking beginner lessons from professional instructors and not friends or self-teaching attempts. These approaches often contribute to the high drop out rate of 83%. Only about 2.2 % of the U.S. population participates in skiing or snowboarding. Getting newcomers hooked the “right way” from the start is important for converting those newcomers into lifetime enthusiasts. Most first-timer programs include a lift ticket, the lesson and rental equipment. Retailers have a unique opportunity to pick up righ after that initial exposure in many different ways. Nurturing and guiding new participants leads to more product sales.
Find out what local ski and snowboard areas are doing and piggy-back on those efforts. The www.learntoskiandsnowboard.org web site will be posting examples as they are available.
Reason #3: The whole is greater than the sum of its parts
Beginners learn at a ski/snowboard area so collaborating with local resort makes sense. Suppliers, retailers and reps form a three-legged stool and a powerful resource in the industry’s efforts to not only attract but also nurture new customers especially through the Bring a Friend concept.
LSS(M)/Bring a Friend has widespread support among resorts, retailers, suppliers, reps, instructors, the trade media, USSA athletes and the national club network. This is critical in an industry as small as snow sports. Working together we all can grow our businesses.
Are you tapping into this network as a tactic to generating new skiers and snowboarders? The www.learntoskiandsnowboard.org web site lists all of the initatove's active partners.
Reason #4: Skiing and snowboarding are FUN, friend and family-oriented activities
We position skiing and snowboarding as FUN, Friend and Family-oriented activities. This approach easily can be integrated into any promotion designed to attract beginners especially those with a Bring a Friend hook. We have developed a number of PR Messages that are based on NSAA's Beginner Conversion Study that can be used by all Learn to Ski and Snowboard initiative partners.
Our Bring a Friend component helps encourage current skiers and snowboarders to introduce friends and family members to the sports via lessons from a pro. And, newcomers don't want to go by themselves so it is more fun to "Bring a Friend. Industry research indicates that most people are introduced to skiing or snowboarding through a friend or family member. You can develop your own Bring a Friend program for your shop.
The #firstdayfaces social media campaign encourages newcomers to post photos of themselves and/or friends on their first day - HAVING FUN learning.
Reason #5: Bring a Friend Challenge rewards those who help newcomers sign up for beginner lessons. Industry Ambassadors help spread the word.
Industry research indicates that people are exposed to skiing and snowboarding because someone – a friend or family member – introduces them. Industry research indicates this is the best route to recruitment and taking lessons from a trained professional is the best way to learn. Here are two tactics to use.
Bring a Friend Challenge: The Bring a Friend Challenge rewards current skiers and snowboarders who help introduce newcomers to beginner lessons as well as newcomers who introduce other newcomers. Those who register for the Challenge are considered Ambassadors simply for helping one newcomer. The Challenge offers prizes for those who register. This year, the Challenge will be part of the Bring a Friend Weekend (January 5 - 7, 2018) and will help kick off Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. It will run through the end of the Winter Olympics (February 25). The Challenge is online requiring no work except to promote it. Of course, partners can develop their own Bring a Friend program.
Industry Ambassadors: We salute "Ambassadors" who "go the extra mile to encourage newcomers to get involved with skiing and snowboarding. Any passionate industry advocate can be an Ambassador.
Reason #7: Act Locally, Think Globally – a logical approach
Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month and Bring a Friend are national grass roots programs but the real action takes place locally. Partners design and implement their own “learn to” programs with their own selected audiences. There are many ways that retailers can partner on a local level with reps, suppliers, local resorts and the media. We support local efforts with aggressive PR and web sites that help drive newcomers to shops and resorts.
For example, take a look at what one online retailer does to support Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month (See Below).
Reason # 8: Humans Were Never Meant to Hibernate – A simple message to get people OUTDOORS to ski and snowboard
“Humans Were Never meant to Hibernate” is the slogan for LSS(M)/BAF. This simple message is adaptable especially for retailers, reps and suppliers. It encourages children and adults to get outside in winter and enjoy snow activities like skiing and snowboarding and it gives retailers a reason to talk about the products that can make the experience enjoyable.
“Being cold” is a barrier for some newcomers who don’t realize they can be comfortable if they have the right clothing. The topic offers reasons for retailers to invite newcomers to a shop or to ask current skiers and snowboarders to bring a friend to a shop for a “Get Outdoors” Workshop. This is a great opportunity for involvement by apparel companies and there are similar opportunities for hard goods and accessories brands,
Everyone is interested in living a healthy lifestyle and especially Millenials. There are many "Healthy LIfestule" Tips that can be included in such a workshop that are available on the www.learntoskiandsnowboard.org web site including this COOL Caalorie Chart.
Reason # 9: Awesome web site dedicated to providing useful information to newcomers
Our goal is to make it easy for newcomers, unfamiliar with the snow sports world, to find shops and learning venues. The www.learntoskiandsnowboard.org site also provides basic information newcomers should know about skiing and snowboarding.
Reason #10: We’ll do anything to attract attention for skiing and snowboarding
We help promote elementary school-oriented “Passport” programs. We post partners’ press releases and use social media to generate awareness of partners’ learning programs. We do this because we want to help all of our partners to be successful.