Ski industry targets Gen Y

August 15, 2013

Arapahoe Basin ski areaThe baby boom has crested and ski resorts around the country are targeting Generation Y as the next affluent market.

The 18- to 34-year-olds represent biilions in consumer spending and have earned a reputation for not wanting to be marketed to, according to SnowSports Industries America, which this week released a report delving into the generation's communication culture, and the environment they adapted-to as they matured into adults - all important insight for developing effective marketing programs.

“Understanding your customer is key to staying relevant in a rapidly shifting marketplace. Gen-Y, representing 70 million consumers with billions of dollars in spending power, has a dominant position in the snow sports market and soon their children will be taking lessons on the slopes,” said Kelly Davis, SIA director of research, in a press release. “For a generation known for NOT wanting to be marketed-to, it’s important to understand how to engage and connect with this influential segment,” Davis said.

The report was released just before the start of the ski industry's seasonal marketing blitz, and after a series of seasons with more peaks and valleys than Whistler-Blackcomb. The recession's main impact was that it fundamentally changed the real estate part of the resort business. And variable snowfall across the country meant record numbers just a few years ago, then a drought of skiers as the snow melted in the record-setting heat of March 2011.

In just a couple of weeks, retailers will be unbundling old and new goods at big weekend sales. Ski areas will ramp up ski pass marketing around the same time.

But has anyone figured out how to target those elusvie young adults who live, almost literally, in an electronic web?

The SIA Report takes a stab, summarizing more than 30 other studies and the organization's own data from a consumer panel. The report is designed to help snow sport suppliers and retailers understand the characteristics of Generation Y.

SIA’s Snow Sports Consumer Profiles report will be released throughout the 2013/14 Fall/Winter season and is free to download. The Snow Sports Consumer Profiles series will focus on understanding and marketing to specific target audiences within the snow sports market.


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