Forty-one percent of skiers are female, though the proportion of women to men varies depending on the region; for example, in the Southeast, 46 percent of skiers are female, and in the Pacific West, the proportion is 35 percent female. “We notice females dropping out a little earlier than males,” says Hawks. “In their early to mid 30s, they begin dropping out of the sport.” While a smaller percentage of skiers are women, marketers should be sure to target them, as female heads of the household are typically the ones who determine where the family goes on vacation. To appeal to women, some resorts even offer women-only courses, yoga and spa treatments.
Making the Sale
Skiers are, of course, big buyers of skiing and snowboarding equipment and accessories, such as skis, boots, snowboards and clothing. Women’s products are hot items, says Ingemie; four of the top five selling skis last year were women’s models. Skiers are also big travelers, since many of them need to travel to their favorite ski areas. Finally, many skiers purchase SUVs to fit their skiing and snowboarding equipment and to travel to ski areas.
Outside of the category, skiers buy equipment for other sports such as bicycling and snowshoeing, electronics like cell phones, cars (other than SUVs), restaurant meals, and health products like energy bars.
In addition, “Skiers are a great audience for environmental fundraising, because of global warming and its direct correlation to their hobby,” says Cunningham. “So they tend to be very environmentally conscious and are a great market for environmentalists to target.” According to Hawks, Aspen found that around 38 percent of the people it surveyed consider a resort’s environmental initiatives when booking a ski trip.
Catching Big Air With Skiers
Ingemie says direct mail marketing is a good way to reach skiers since they’re such a diverse market. E-mail marketing is also a tactic to try, since many skiers are Internet-savvy. In addition, print ads in skiing publications like SKI and SKIING can help you directly reach the market.