This year’s Warren Miller Entertainment flick, Flow State, is poised to do more than just get snow-lovers amped for the coming season. A new partnership between Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month (LSSM) and WME’s Film Tour aims to bring greater exposure to this beginners’ initiative to introduce more athletes to snowsports.
Now in its fifth year, LSSM partners with resorts and resort associations to provide special offers to beginners and those who want to improve their skills. Most partners offer beginners a lift ticket, lesson, and rental package at discounted rates during the month of January. In return, LSSM provides a dedicated platform and communications tools to help resorts get the word out about their learn to ski and snowboard programs.
This year, WME’s Film Tour and LSSM are promoting the LSSM ‘Bring a Friend’ challenge, which ran as a trial last year and proved very popular. Skiers and snowboarders who bring a friend to their favorite mountain for lessons with a professional instructor can enter a prize-drawing by signing up on the BAF website. According to LSSM executive director Mary Jo Tarallo, research indicates that friends and family introduce the most newcomers to snowsports, whose participants account for only 3-4% of the US population.
Therefore, in order to help provide a little incentive for more of these would-be role models, the Bring a Friend challenge is expanding beyond a one-month time frame. “The challenge starts December 17 and ends March 17. Starting the first week in January, we will hold weekly prize drawings to reward eligible current skiers and snowboarders who help newcomers sign up for lessons. At the end of the time frame, we will select the winners of the three trips being offered - to Utah, Idaho and Vermont. The trips are for the 2013-14 season and are intended for both a current participant and the newcomer he or she introduced,” said Tarallo.
The partnership with WME’s film tour, which holds shows in populous, diverse areas, will allow the program to reach a broad audience. “What better way is there to get someone excited about skiing or snowboarding than to bring them to a Warren Miller film? They are energizing. It's about leveraging an existing audience to generate a new one,” says Tarallo.
Last year, resort partners in 33 states opted to be a part of Bring a Friend and LSSM. Since its’ inception in January of 2009, LSSM has generated over 255,000 new beginner lessons, according to Tarallo. Momentum has been building, as last year, partners reported providing nearly 100,000 lessons for children and adults in January of 2012, she said.
By tapping into the well-known theme that skiing with your friends is one of the best aspects of the sport, LSSM looks poised for another successful year. “It is very satisfying to know that a major media entity like Warren Miller Entertainment is willing to step up to the plate to help us expose more people to these sports,” said Tarallo. “As a small industry we have to pool our resources to be successful.”