Wish lists of the most active: athletic gear, skis, home gyms, gift cards…

Big-ticket items from skis to home gyms are among the “cool” gifts named for this holiday season by the most active, as identified by Leisure Trends in a recent report. However, Gen Y has other ideas: Think technology or technology accessories, such as laptop bags or iPod gear.
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Big-ticket items from skis to home gyms are among the “cool” gifts named for this holiday season by the most active, as identified by Leisure Trends in a recent report. However, Gen Y has other ideas: Think technology or technology accessories, such as laptop bags or iPod gear.

“Many of the ‘cool’ gifts are equipment related,” said Laurel Hyslop, director of research for Leisure Trends (www.leisuretrends.com). “These are big ticket items, things that people either are less likely to purchase for themselves or would appreciate it if someone else spent the money on it.

“As for home gyms, our research across the board shows the boom in fitness,” she added. “A home gym is just one more piece of gear.”

But that may not hold true for Gen Y wish lists, as studied by SLANT (www.thinkslant.com), a strategic planning agency for companies targeting Gen Y, for the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association. Gen Y, those now 13 to 28, want fashion and technology, and if those merge or cross over to sport and activity, all the better. SLANT lists as examples Belkin’s SportCommand for iPods, Timbuk2’s laptop messenger bag and water bottles by SIGG, the cool Swiss company.

Despite nearly half naming a tech-related item as the top of the list, 14.5 percent of Gen Y respondents in the SLANT survey identified money or gift cards as their most desired gift – all the better to get exactly what they want. And that’s one place where other generations agree with Gen Y --- buying and giving gift cards. On the Leisure Trends report (click here to see the entire Active Americans Holiday Wish List Report ) 75 percent of the active respondents said they plan to buy gift cards of some value with most eyeing the $25 to $49 range. The Leisure Trends Group does a annual Holiday Wish List study of 1,000 “highly active, influential Americans pulled from its database of 2.1 million active Americans, therefore making its information representative of true sports enthusiasts.

According to Leisure Trends data, the top 10 coolest gifts (defined as those most fitting personal interest) for 2006 are:

  1. Skis
  2. Golf clubs
  3. Home gym equipment
  4. Snowboards
  5. Mountain bikes
  6. Snowshoes
  7. Tents
  8. GPS
  9. Binoculars
  10. Heart-rate monitors

When it comes to spending by the active group, only 6 percent reported they will increase over last year what they spent, while 57 percent said they will spend the same and 25 percent said their spending will decrease.

Despite seeking big-ticket items as cool, another trend is in athletic, fitness and outdoor apparel for both giving and receiving. And lessons, for example golfing or personal training, are also on the list of 94 percent of respondents.

SNEWS® View: It’s not too late to do some advertising or marketing keying in on these trends or to develop store displays that put great gifts in front of someone’s nose when they walk in your door. And that includes gift cards.

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