Ski Resort Advertising



Overview

Marketers are always looking for new and effective ways to reach their target audience. For many industries, skiers comprise a large portion of the consumer/target market. Advertisers and marketers use emerging media at ski resorts for ad placement for a number of reasons. Advertisers advertise at ski areas by placing advertisements on chairlifts, trail markers, and on lift towers. Advertisers use the lift towers to place small advertisements that skiers are exposed to as they summit the slopes via chairlift. Advertisers also market products by using flags or billboards on the ski slopes. This is usually done slope side, on terrain park features, or for promotional purposes during competitions and demo days (Hall). Additionally some advertisers use promotional stickers, and place these, legally, or illegally on a variety of slope side features, for product or brand promotion.

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Advertisement on Chairlift


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Limitations

Advertising slope side at ski resorts is effective in many ways, but also has limitations. A major limitation for this type of advertising would simply be resort traffic. Some ski resorts see a lot more visitors and have more traffic, and these are the resorts which advertisers prefer to use. For example, Vail Ski Resort in Colorado will have a lot more people ski its mountains than a smaller ski area like Cloudmont Resort in Alabama. Simply the more people that ski at the ski area the higher the reach and frequency will be for advertisements.

Another major limitation will be the length of the season. If an Advertiser chooses to advertise your product at a ski resort on the East Coast, the season will not run as long as a Western resorts. Therefor advertisers and marketers alike, must take into consideration the length of the season, because that will affect how many and what type of people see your advertisement.

Additionally, ski slopes only have a few places to advertise. Advertisers must find a way to effectively use small ad space to reach the target market. The few areas where advertisements are present promise to effectively reach the target market, however these areas are very limited and the space can be wasted easily.

Weather is also a limitation that can prevent advertisers from sending their message. If it is raining skiers will probably not go out and ski, and if it snowing or fogging visibility will be reduced. With reduced visibility



Reach and Frequency

The Reach and Frequency varies from resort to resort. The reach and frequency solely depends on the size of the resort, the length of the season, and time of the year. A larger resort will have a further reach because more people travel to ski the slopes of a larger resort. However, smaller resorts tend to have a higher frequency for one time visitors. Smaller resorts with fewer and shorter trails means more lift rides. If an advertisers chooses to advertise on a lift at a smaller ski area than there is a good chance the frequency will be high.

According to realestatecolorado.com the Colorado Rockies saw 21 million ski visitors in 2007. Additionally a large portion of this group were skiers from out of state, which is very beneficial for advertisers.


Crowded Ski Slope
Crowded Ski Slope





Scheduling

Scheduling advertisement placement and purchasing advertisements from a ski resort is done between a marketing group or advertising firm and the the marketing division of the particular resort or chain of resorts (Hall). Negotiations are then made for ad placements. Advertisers can place advertisements around the ski area amenities or slopeside on lift chairs, lift towers, and signs.


Audience

Advertising on ski slopes proves to be beneficial to advertisers and marketers alike because skiing is an expensive hobby. Most skiers are affluent and are willing to spend money. Additionally the audience affects what products are marketed slope side. Generally products marketed on ski slopes are products related to skiing or the skiing industry. Often advertisements promote a variety of brands of ski gear, from jackets, goggles, hats, etc. Also advertisers advertise products that are commonly found at the resort, such as food and drink, alcholic beverages, and personal care products.

A variety of people enjoy the sport of skiing. Skiers come from all different backgrounds, vary in age, race, and religion, therefor most products marketed at ski resorts are everyday products, enjoyed by large facets of the population.



Responsiveness

The response for alternative media at ski resorts varies depending on the product. If advertisers place advertisements for products like lip balm and bottle water the response rate will probably be very high. People get chapped lips when the ski and get thirsty. Additionally, you can find both of these products virtually everywhere at any given ski area.

Advertisements such a products logo on a flag, sign, etc. may not have as high as a response rate, but it will help create awareness and brand retention. It will also symbolize that this product is a product for skiers, in efforts to create positive brand message and a likability factor.



Impact and Advertising Successes

The impact of ski resort advertising is felt most by nicke product sales and an increase in sales of your everyday products at the resort location. Advertisers who have found success in marketing their product at ski resort areas include but are not limited to Nature Valley, Mentos, Wrigley , Coca-Cola, The North Face, 686, and a large variety of alcoholic beverage companies. Advertisers are able to market products locally, but reach a larger community, due to the large number of people who travel to ski.


Nature Valley advertisement on banner for ski competition
Nature Valley advertisement on banner for ski competition


Mentos advertisement on ski charilift.
Mentos advertisement on ski charilift.




Resources 
Breckenridge Real Estate - Summit County Colorado Homes. Web. 19 Nov. 2010. <http://www.realestatecolorado.com/>.
ClickZ | Marketing News & Expert Advice. Web. 19 Nov. 2010. <http://www.clickz.com/>.
Cloudmont. Web. 19 Nov. 2010. <http://www.cloudmont.com/>.
Espejo, Roman. Advertising. Detroit: Greenhaven, 2010. Print.
Hall, Mark. 11 Nov. 2010. Former Owner of Outdoor Extremes. West Virginia, Charleston.
Official Vail® Ski Resort in Vail, Colorado Ski Resort | Vail Ski Vacation | Vail.com. Web. 19 Nov. 2010. <http://www.vail.com/>.
Vail: 2007 Vail Ski Area Improvements Project : Final Environmental Impact Statement. [Glenwood Springs, CO?]: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, White River National Forest, Eagle/Holy Cross Ranger District, 2009. Print.