And don’t be afraid to get creative with technology: Many resorts offer to send ski condition updates to skiers’ PDAs, and Hawks has noticed that many companies these days send him their media kits on thumb drives rather than in print.
When marketing to skiers, “Image is important, especially on the snowboard side,” says Ingemie. “The right relationship with an athlete or a personality helps.” Also, be sure not to lump all skiers into one category and speak to them in the same way just because they ski; as with any other market, you need to target the subgroups differently—for example, a baby boomer skier has different likes, dislikes and concerns than a teen skier.
Skiing is about more than, well, the skiing—it’s an entire lifestyle that you need to appeal to in your marketing. “Marketers tend to appeal not just to the sport but the entire lifestyle—the fashion, the affluence, the night life,” says Cunningham. “There’s a lot more that’s involved in skiing. The magazines I work [with] highlight different ski towns—what is their nightlife? What are their best restaurants?”
Target the subgroups of skiers, pay attention to image and be creative in your marketing, and you’ll be schussing toward profits with this affluent market.
Linda Formichelli is a freelance writer based in New Hampshire. She wrote about marketing to nurses in Target Marketing’s December issue.