By IMRE Sports Marketing
With the turn of the year and cold weather hitting much of the country, winter sports fans are delighted. It’s the time of year where skiers, snowboarders, snowmobilers and hikers get to take full advantage of the snow.
IMRE Sports recently launched a study, conducted online by Harris Interactive among adult Americans ages 18 and older, to determine the habits of the winter sports fan. Of the 2,292 adult Americans polled, a little more than one-fifth (21 percent) said they ever participate in some sort of winter sport.
And these fans are highly active in the social arena. Of those winter sports participants, nearly three-fourths (74 percent) utilize social media sites and a whopping 84 percent of them use social media sites to follow brands.
So if a brand focuses any of their business towards the winter sports consumer, it is prudent to ensure their social media assets are doing work for their brand in the social space. Winter sports fans are loyal, so keeping them engaged is vital to both short and long term profits.
Need more proof? Nearly half (47 percent) of those who ever participate in winter sports said they recommend winter sports products or brands to their peers. In fact, 33 percent do so via one-on-one conversations (e.g., in person, phone, email, online chat), 11 percent through social networking sites (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Google+), and 7 percent will add their opinion to a review site.
If a brand is going to utilize social media to reach the high loyalty winter sports fan, it is imperative to know what interests them. Not surprisingly, letting users win and sample a product over time can turn them into lifelong purchasers. Nearly half (49 percent) of those who participate in winter sports and also use social media sites prefer to receive coupons, sales or discount information from brands via social channels, while 41 percent are interested in giveaways. It is still prudent to use social media assets to promote your brand, as nearly three out of 10 (29 percent) are interested in receiving information about new or existing product information through social media.
“Winter sports fans are highly engaged socially, and there’s real opportunity for brands to reach potential consumers if they run their social media campaigns effectively,” said Crystalyn Stuart, vice president of social marketing for IMRE. “This poll offers some interesting data around the winter sports fan, and our team at IMRE has been and will continue to do high-level research into the best ways for brands to gain loyalty amongst the targeted fan.”
This time of year, winter sports fans aren’t just participating, but are also turning their attention to major events. ESPN’s Winter X Games 16 will be held January 26 to 29 in Aspen, Colo. The SnowSports Industries America (SIA) annual Snow Show will also be held January 26 to 29 in Denver. Each year, the trade show provides the latest trends, innovations, product lines and styles for winter sports enthusiasts.
IMRE Sports will be on-hand at the show and will be presenting how to successfully engage with the high loyalty winter sports fan via social media. Along with discussing the research, IMRE’s Social Marketing team, spearheaded by Stuart, will offer exclusive, rich data of select, top-tier winter sports brands, and their success and effectiveness in the social space. Check back to IMRESportsIQ.com in February for a recap of the presentation.
To see more of our winter sports study, click HERE.