Industry News 2/23/2006

Survey Reports Consumers Perceive Equipment at Olympics Can Enhance Personal Experience

Survey Reports Consumers Perceive Equipment at Olympics Can Enhance Personal Experience

McLean, VA (February 23, 2006)-  As the 2006 Winter Olympics draw to a close, a survey recently conducted by SnowSports Industries America (SIA) discovered that nearly two-thirds of the survey respondents believe new technology in equipment introduced at the Olympics by athletes could help them in the future as a winter sports participant.  In addition, it was reported that 76% of respondents plan to ski, snowboard or snowshoe after the culmination of the Olympics this weekend.  Over 750 winter sports participants completed surveys in the week prior to the start of the Winter Olympics. 

 

This survey was conducted using The SnowSports Consumer Panel, a product developed by SIA two years ago to track consumer participation and buying habits. A winter sports participant is defined as a person 16 years or older residing in the US who has participated at least once in any of the following sports alpine skiing, snowboarding, telemark skiing, cross country skiing or snowshoeing. The survey was projected to the winter sports population using gender, age, income and region demographics. The SGMA participation data was used for this projection.

 

The survey also posed questions on television viewing plans for the Olympics.  It reported that the majority of winter sports participants (97%) are planning to watch at least some of the television coverage surrounding the Torino Winter Olympics games between February 10 and 26th. Overall, the top sports, which three quarters plan to watch, are ski jumping (79%), Freestyle Skiing (77%), Snowboarding (74%), and Alpine Skiing (73%). Only one percent of participants plan to attend the Games in Torino, Italy.

 

Overall, if winter sports participants had to pick one favorite sport to watch it would be Alpine Skiing (28%) followed by Snowboarding (17%).  Thus the question followed: what are the favorite events in each of these sports? The Men’s Downhill (46%) dominated Alpine Skiing. Bode Miller captured consumers attention. They plan to tune in to see if he can win gold. On the other hand, the Men’s Halfpipe with a strong American team was favored. The newest sport in the Olympics, Men’s Snowboarder Cross captured the attention of 19 percent.

 

SPORTS PLANNING TO WATCH

 

While winter sports participants, in general, were very enthusiastic about watching the Winter Olympic Games, different groups plan to watch different sports. The chart below only shows the percent of winter sports participants that plan to watch the sports with skiing or snowboarding, although survey respondents were asked of all 15 Winter Olympic sports. The results show:

 

  • The sport with the biggest draw for men is alpine skiing (80%) and for women, figure skating (82%).
  • The younger age group 16 to 24 is very enthusiastic about watching snowboarding (83%) and skiing jumping (80%) while 45+ will be watching ski jumping (83%) and alpine skiing (82%). Those 25 to 44 plan to watch a variety of Olympic sports.
  • The eastern (83%) and middle (72%) regions of the country are drawn to ski jumping while the west plans to watch ski jumping (82%), freestyle skiing (82%), and snowboarding (82%).
  • Those with household incomes below $49,999/year, which also tend to be the younger demographics, are planning to tune into ski jumping (80%) and snowboarding (77%). The middle incomes ($50,000 to $99,999) will concentrate on ski jumping (79%), freestyle skiing (78%), and snowboarding (77%). And finally, higher incomes ($100,000 +) are into alpine skiing (84%).

Q: Please tell me which Olympic sports you plan to watch. Please check all that apply.

 

Ski Jump

Freestyle Ski

Biathlon

Snowboarding

Cross Country

Nordic Combined

Alpine

Male

79%

77%

31%

76%

24%

37%

80%

Female

79%

77%

22%

71%

28%

41%

62%

24 and under

80%

73%

24%

83%

14%

27%

62%

25 to 44

76%

79%

25%

75%

27%

37%

75%

45+

83%

78%

33%

65%

34%

51%

82%

East

82%

79%

28%

76%

25%

39%

76%

Mid

72%

67%

19%

62%

24%

35%

65%

West

82%

82%

34%

82%

27%

41%

77%

$49,999 and under

80%

74%

24%

77%

19%

28%

62%

$50,000 to $99,999

79%

78%

29%

77%

26%

38%

72%

$100,000+

79%

77%

28%

69%

31%

47%

84%

*This chart only includes the sports involving ski, cross country, and snowboarding. Although survey respondents were asked about all 15 sports.

 

FAVORITE SPORT TO WATCH

 

We asked winter sports participants which sport is there favorite to watch. As shown on the chart below, men favor alpine skiing while women like figure skating (32%). More than a third of those 16 to 24 favored snowboarding while 45+ were into alpine skiing. The east and the west favor alpine skiing.  

 

Q: What is your favorite Winter Olympic Sport to watch? Please check only one answer.

 

#1 Favorite

#2 Favorite

#3 Favorite

Male

Alpine (35%)

Snowboard (19%)

Ice Hockey (14%)

Female

Figure Skate (32%)

Alpine (16%)

Freestyle Ski (15%)

24 and Under

Snowboard (39%)

Ice Hockey (17%)

Alpine (14%)

25 to 44

Alpine (26%)

Figure Skate (16%)

Freestyle Ski (16%)

45+

Alpine (42%)

Figure Skate (22%)

Freestyle Ski (11%)

East

Alpine (30%)

Snowboard (16%)

Freestyle (16%)

Mid

Figure Skate (27%)

Alpine (23%)

Ice Hockey (14%)

West

Alpine (29%)

Snowboard (26%)

Freestyle Ski (15%)

$49,999 and under

Snowboard (24%)

Freestyle Ski (17%)

Alpine (14%)

$50,000 to $99,999

Alpine (30%)

Snowboard (19%)

Figure Skate (16%)

$100,000+

Alpine (37%)

Figure Skate (17%)

Freestyle Ski (12%)

 

For more information on the SnowSports Consumer Panel, please contact Julie Lynch at jlynch@thesnowtrade.org

 

– SIA –

Vibrant and proactive, SnowSports Industries America (SIA) is the intelligent partner of the snow sports industry. SIA annually produces the SIA SnowSports Show, the largest industry trade show and networking environment, and delivers invaluable data, support and marketing products. Celebrating its 50th Anniversary, SIA serves as the national, not-for-profit, member-owned trade association representing snow and winter sports companies. For more information, check out www.thesnowtrade.org. SnowSports Industries America, 8377-B Greensboro Drive, McLean, VA 22102-3587. Phone: (703) 556-9020, Fax: (703) 821-8276, E-mail: siamail@thesnowtrade.org