Ski advertising goes digital

When it comes to advertising, it is limited only by imagination. Now, advertisers can reach skiers with frequent, targeted real-time communication, using digital signages. Sitour, a global leader in ski advertisements and promotions, is set to install LED wireless electronic message centres in this ski season at major resorts.

 Skiing is the activity of gliding over snow using skis (originally wooden planks, now usually made from fiberglass or related composites), with metal edges, strapped to the feet with ski bindings. Originally used primarily for transportation, skiing has evolved into a popular recreational and competitive activity. The US ski industry delivers strong reach to active families with kids and singles aged 18-34. It is estimated that skiers and snowboarders are well educated with strong income levels. And this is the target audience that the advertisers look for.

Earlier, static message boards and other signages were used in these places but more recently, Sitour (www.sitourusa.com), the global leader in ski advertising and promotions, has introduced in North America the industry’s first wireless electronic message centres for ski resorts. This new media vehicle lets advertisers reach snow sports consumers with personalised real-time messages. With these new message centres, advertisers can tailor and deliver messages with greater frequency to guests waiting on lift lines and at base areas by sponsoring reports that can be instantly updated by ski resorts on trails, traffic, weather, safety and special events, and provide other timely information. Using technology similar to that employed by the New York State Lottery to update its bulletin boards, ski resort operators can update messages on impending snow storms, traffic updates for the trip home, trail closures, missing children reports, and even sports scores on busy ski days like Super Bowl Sunday so skiers don’t have to leave the slopes to find out what’s going on. Debuting in the 2006-07 ski season at resorts nationwide, these large-screen, full-colour

LED signs that work with schedule-based software linked to the Internet can display text messages, logos and animated video, and can easily be viewed in direct sunlight and at great distances. Each message centre will generate 1.5 million impressions per ad/season. The messages are repeated in cycles based on wait patterns on lift lines for multiple and lasting impressions. Individual signs in the system can be personalized with tailored messages to reach the desired demographic for example, placing ads geared toward parents in the children’s ski area or those for entertainment or dining close to the main lodge.

“These message centres make the days of communicating to guests on dry erase or chalk boards at the lift a thing of the past,” said Monte Rios, president and CEO of Sitour USA. “This creates enormous opportunities for national and local advertisers alike to truly reach the highly attractive demographic of skiers and snowboarders, who are affluent, educated, active, health conscious and committed to the sport,” he added.

These new signs from Sitour will be installed at more than 80 resorts nationwide this year, after successful test installations. Wintergreen Resort in Virginia is the first US mountain to install a comprehensive system covering all lift lines, tubing and base areas. Advertisers like ConAngra Snack Foods‚ Slim Jim, Bel Group’s Mini Babybel cheese and General Motors‚ Chevrolet division, have already booked in while a few others are still in the process of striking a deal.

According to Anthony Lanza, superintendent at Belleayre Mountain in the Catskills region of New York, “These message centres create a highly visible and effective marketing tool for promoting nov_dec and future events and other activities at the mountain. The graphics really get the attention of our guests. The targeted impressions we get from the Sitour LED wireless reader boards deliver the best value in advertising.”

Sitour has been instrumental in pioneering new ground in advertisements on the snow, beginning with inventing the trail map concept more than 40 years ago. Since then, it has introduced panoramic trail maps, multi-use ski and snowboard rack displays, vertical tower ads and wireless LED message centres. Sitour USA provides exclusive on-site ski resort advertising in 14 countries with 1,000 resorts.

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