Getting butts through (outdoor) doors, so to speak, is a challenge that the OIA is finally taking up with the development of a consumer outreach campaign. To kick off that campaign's aggressive need for funds, JanSport and The North Face have tossed in $10,000 each at the outset, joining REI in an open challenge to other industry companies to get behind the effort. "Every outdoor industry company needs to get involved and support this initiative," said Skip Yowell, VP of Global Public Relations at JanSport. "OIA's consumer outreach program has the potential to significantly grow all our businesses in the years to come." The outreach program is designed to attract new participants to human-powered recreation and is in the midst of launching its first phase. The program will begin testing methods for driving new consumers to specialty outdoor retailers in the spring of 2003. Cities targeted for phase one include Washington, D.C., Minneapolis, San Diego and Seattle. Retailers involved in this first phase include Adventure 16, Midwest Mountaineering, and REI. Three new programs have been developed to test market in conjunction with these retailers in the spring. The first is an extension of corporate wellness programs and will include promotions like company gear closets, backyard family camping kits and a "Host-A-Company Night" at designated retail stores. Developed with the youth market in mind, a school program will complement existing curriculum in grade schools to encourage learning outdoors. Elements of the school program may include motivational poster campaigns, a "Hike-A-Block Challenge" and backyard camping starter kits from participating retailers. Addressing the hot topic of health in America, the program has also developed a plan to partner with local supermarkets and food suppliers in effort to promote the benefits of healthy, outdoor lifestyles. Promotions will include in-store displays, pre-packaged camping meals and coupons. SNEWS® View: This is a program that could have legs, and that we hope will grow legs. Certainly we've long been espousing the need for connecting the outdoor community with the message of fitness and health, and it is nice to see OIA backing that concept. But it needs to go well beyond supermarkets! What about partnering with health clubs and fitness centers? We hear that could be in the works, but it doesn't seem to have made it very far …yet. It seems really too obvious to go nab consumers who are already interested in some degree of fitness, health and activity and just introduce them to that concept outdoors and how it can be integrated into their lives. Talk about low-hanging fruit, this seems pretty darn low. Now if only it could get picked.
Did you hear?... Britain's OIA publishes two new consumer guides
Britain's Outdoor Industries Association has published two new consumer guides as part of its on-going Go Outdoors campaign to promote participation in outdoor leisure activities and provide further support for outdoor retailers and suppliers. Written by leading outdoor ...read more