We brought a glimpse of winter to New York City last week with our media-only showroom, the annual SIA Summer Snowdown. The picture perfect summer day lured dozens of journalists out of their offices to the airy Pillars 38 event space for a preview of the latest in snow sports gear, fashion and accessories.
Each July, we host the Summer Snowdown in midtown Manhattan, where New York City-based journalists from television, magazines, newspapers and online mix, mingle and meet with SIA Members to preview the upcoming Fall/Winter season’s products and trends for all things snow.
RAMP Sports returned to the Snowdown for a fourth year, and Mike Kilchenstein, founder and CEO, said it was a great success. “We love it because this is one of the rare times we speak to publications outside of the industry, so we really appreciate that opportunity. A lot of times the journalists want to write about what’s new so we always try to bring something different, like this year it’s our sports team graphics, and people seemed very interested in that. We’ve had five seasons in business now, and it’s a pivotal season for us, so we’re happy we have a chance to share our story with non-endemic media today.”
Steve Mazzucchi, managing editor of mademan.com, has been coming to the Snowdown for several years and says he enjoys the opportunity each summer to reconnect with what’s going on in snow sports. “Being based in New York, it’s easy to lose track of what’s going on in the ski and snowboard world, and as an avid snowboarder I look forward to this as a quick sneak preview of all the cool gear coming out. It’s great to see what’s on the horizon and make new contacts. It gets me excited about winter – every year I come, I think I’m just going to pop in, and hours later I can’t tear myself away.”
This year’s Summer Snowdown attracted 67 media in-attendance, representing 83 media outlets:
All You | American Detour | Big Black Book | Bloomberg | Bloomberg Newsroom | Bravo | C-Net/CBS Interactive | CBS News | CNBC | Complex | Conde Nast | Cool Hunting | Cosmo | Daily News | DailyBurn | Departures Online | Details | Digital Trends | Esquire | ESPN | ESPN RISE | espnW | Essence Magazine | Everyday Health | Examiner.com | Family Circle | Formula 4 Media | Gizmodo | Glamour | Good Housekeeping | GQ | Greatist.com | Hemispheres | Huffington Post | InStyle | Jetsetter | Laptop | Lonely Planet | Lyra Magazine | Macaroni Kid | Madaeman.com | Marie Claire | Maxim | Men’s Health | Men’s Journal | Mental Floss | Mood of Living | MTV Stylist | Muscle and Fitness Hers | Natural Health | New York Times | New York Post | Nylon Guys | O, The Oprah Magazine | Organic Spa | PC Magazine | Penthouse | People Style Watch | Popular Mechanics | Popular Science | Real Simple | Self | SGI Weekly Intelligence | SHAPE | Skiing History | SNOW magazine | Sports Illustrated for Kids | Sports Insight | Sports One Source | stylecaster.com/hearst | Tech Crunch | That Girl at the Party | The Active Times | Thrillist | Travel + Leisure | Travel Channel | Traveler | Urban Milan | Vanity Fair-International | Vogue | Women’s Health | WWD
Eighteen SIA member brands were showcased at this year’s Snowdown as well as three snow sports non-profit organizations including Abom, Apex Ski Boots, Armada, Bring A Friend Challenge, Dakine, Faction Skis, Giro, Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month, MyPakage, Never Summer Industries, Obermeyer, Quiksilver, RAMP Sports, Roxy, Seirus, Transpack, Turtle Fur, VANS, VOORMI, Watson’s and Winter Trails.
Giro Brand Manager Brendan Murphey said the trip to New York was absolutely worth it. “We came here to New York City because it’s a great opportunity to get in front of a lot of mainstream media. For us the return on investment is incredible, because a lot of these magazines are places we can’t advertise. So to get exposure in magazines like Men’s Journal and Popular Science is huge for us. And it’s a great networking event as well, to help promote our brand and our products.”
Timm Smith, chief marketing officer at Voormi,said he appreciated the opportunity to stay in front of the media year round. “It makes a big difference to us that SIA goes the extra mile to support their members year round – because while we’re all winter based, at the end of the day we’re on 12 month editorial calendars. It really is a unique service. To be able to have the engagement of SIA throughout the year keeps us in front of the media, and keeps us more relevant throughout the year. That’s a big deal.”
Josh Pombar, marketing director at Turtle Fur, said he thought the Snowdown was a great opportunity. “This is our first year at the Snowdown and it has been excellent. There seemed to be a good number of people interested, and a good flow. Since we haven’t done a lot of this it was also a good opportunity for us to come in and work on our pitch and hear what the journalists want. What a great opportunity to build those relationships with non-endemic media, at the end of the day I think we did that in spades and we’re really happy with it.”
Andy Miller, marketing and communications manager at Armada said their debut at the Snowdown was well worth the time. “This is our first year here, and we’re really excited about the reception we’ve gotten from the media side. We’d like to raise our profile in front in front of the types of outlets that are here – the active magazines, the more mainstream, non-endemic publications, so this was a perfect opportunity. It’s been great- the RSVP list is super, we’ve had lots of traffic, great attendance, and a great location.”
Gabrielle Porcaro, fashion market editor at Women’s Health, found the event to be very helpful in planning her winter sports stories. “I’m a fashion editor but I cover athletic and outdoor as well. I find this event very valuable because you’ve put everything in one room for me. I’m covering fashion ten months out of the year, and then when I need winter sports, I have a curated view to help me come up with stories and products I need. Men’s brands like MyPakage, or hard goods, like RAMP’s team-licensed skis and snowboards, they’re perfect for the gift guide, and then obviously the women’s fashion, like Obermeyer and Roxy, that’s huge for me.”
Danica Carey, marketing manager for Seirus Innovation, and John Brice, Seirus Innovation PR consultant at Snow Sports PR, said the day was a big success for them. “What a great day! This is our fourth year here and we always feel like we get a lot of good coverage from it. SIA does a tremendous job of bringing in a great mix of consumer media you otherwise aren’t going to have in one room.”
Never Summer Marketing Manager Jenna Malmquist said that Snowdown is a must for their company because they consistently get great media hits from it later in the fall and winter. “We got a really good variety of people coming through, and we’re looking forward to seeing what comes out of it. We had a lot of women’s magazines come by and they really were interested in the Onyx, our women specific design, they liked that. Also Sims was a big story for us and people were interested in that. We always get something good from coming here, so now we have to just wait and see what comes of it.”
Each year, the Summer Snowdown is timed when non-endemic media are looking for trends, articles and ideas to shape their winter coverage and editorials. It’s been a creative event to get authentic winter brands into the consumer marketplace. The 2016 SIA Summer Snowdown is planned for July 13.
“The Summer Snowdown is a great vehicle for our members to reach top consumer media in a short amount of time. We realize many companies are working on tight budgets and limited staff, so we strive to make it a turnkey experience where they can focus on pitching their products to media,” commented SIA Marketing & Communications Director Mary Cecile Neville.
Huge thanks to all of the SIA Members who took part in the Snowdown and the media who attended to help make the day a success! Find additional information about the Summer Snowdown at Snowsports.org/snowdown, and read more about the 2015 Snowdown at SIA’s blog spot, Snow Source.