Sample Projects




Snack Food


A search for edgy, active sports that attract the youth market yielded snowboarding as a potential sponsorship opportunity. Available, “pre-packaged” sponsorships, however, were scarce, and were limited to just a few single day events spread unevenly during a four-month winter season.
It was thus concluded that the sponsor must design and create their own sponsorship program for this sport.


Focus groups were conducted among both new and veteran snow boarders in several U.S. and Canadian markets, and quantitative on-site research was implemented at key resorts.


Focus groups revealed that snowboarders are considered “status leaders” among their peers, thus confirming them as an attractive target for product usage, particularly in teenage / young adult social settings. Other findings, however, revealed a marketing dilemma:

  • Mountain resorts are seen as catering to skiers, yet skiers are considered pompous, conservative, and contemptuous toward boarders.
  • Participants view their sport as anti establishment and perceive themselves as members of a separatist, radical “club”
  • Big corporate brand names are viewed part of the establishment, and sponsorship is seen as “mainstreaming” the sport, making it even more popular among the dreaded skiers.


It was concluded that traditional sponsorships in snowboarding might actually weaken rather than bolster the brand positioning, yet the lack of commercial clutter and difficulty in reaching this market still made sponsorship a worthwhile pursuit. In response to snowboarder’s needs and concerns, the sponsor built snowboarding “clubhouses” at several resorts. These clubhouses were stationed mid-mountain, and were reserved for snowboarders only. They were equipped with appropriate music, real-time videos of boarders, benches for watching other boarders, tools, and snack food vending machines.


To verify the impact of the snowboarding program on brand image and purchase intent, on-site quantitative research was conducted at several ski/snow boarding mountains. First, a simple record keeping of the number of participants entering the clubhouse, the average time spent in the facility, the activities engaged in, and the frequency of snack food purchase was recorded. Secondly, a pre-post methodology was used to measure incremental gains in specific product attributes and brand consideration, as well as solicit recommendations for improving the clubhouse design.


The quantitative research revealed that the clubhouse concept satisfied many needs of the snowboarders, supported their desire for segregation from skiers, and made a measurable difference in brand consideration. However, a detailed audit of the frequency and duration of exposure to the clubhouse revealed high visitation, but only among a small core group of boarders.
Thus, because the sponsorship reach was too limited, the pilot programs were discontinued.