By: SIA Research
July 14, 2014
Phase 1 of research to summarize the industry’s current understanding of alpine and snowboard consumers
SnowSports Industries America (SIA), the snow sports industry’s member-owned trade association, is spearheading the Downhill Consumer Intelligence Project (DCIP) in collaboration with more than 20 research and non-profit organizations. DCIP is the first research effort in a decade focused on developing a comprehensive and current understanding of alpine and snowboard consumers that will guide strategies and tactics to grow snow sports participation.
“The purpose of DCIP is to get an accurate, in-depth understanding of our current and former customers as well as the best prospects for future customers and what would attract them,” said Kelly Davis, SIA’s director of research.
DCIP will draw from past and upcoming research collected by SIA and more than 20 other organizations including National Ski Areas Association (NSAA).
“Whether you’re a resort or a supplier, what we get from DCIP will inform your efforts to target your fair share of future market growth,” said Nate Fristoe, managing director at RRC Associates, the group that manages NSAA’s research. “Throughout this process, we have found and will continue to find meaningful insights into how best to craft future product offerings so as to be maximally aligned with future demand.”
Already underway is Phase 1, a time to summarize the industry’s current understanding of alpine and snowboard markets and consumers using quantitative datasets like retail sales data, participant and participation data and past studies on the snow sports consumer base, as well as qualitative data mid-1970’s to present. A report on the discovery phase will be released in August 2014.
Davis said, “The work we have done to date indicates that we have many opportunities to grow snowboarding and downhill skiing participant bases, but many barriers to growth exists. Thirty percent of alpine and snowboard participants weren’t born the last time a study of this magnitude was conducted, so we have a lot to learn.”
Phase 2 will capture consumer types, describing in market and human terms the identities of alpine and snowboard consumers and potential consumers. This phase will help determine the best ways to engage current and potential consumers.
In Phase 3, on-hill interviews, interviews with non-converts and special research with core snowboarders will round out the DCIP in order to put a strategic downhill participation plan in place by July 2015 and begin implementation of programs by early 2016.
“SIA is a group of member companies, but what we really are is a group of people who work each day to share our passion for snowboarding, skiing and all winter sports with millions of people around the world,” said Brad Steward, global VP digital marketing, Amer Sports and one of the SIA Snowboard Committee members that advocated for DCIP. “Question is, what do we really know about those people we serve and how can we provoke them to engage in our sports? The DCIP is the essential piece in understanding where the sport is going and how we make it easier to ride, ski and glide for generations to come”.