Gear Manufacturers’ FAM Trip Brings Destination to Core Groups of Outdoors-People
A new ATTA program that brings outdoor gear manufacturers to adventure destinations recently resulted in promotions for Icelandair that achieved an estimated 10 million ‘touches’ to outdoors-people in North America.
The program utilizes ATTA staff’s combined 40+ years experience in the outdoor industry to recruit key brands for a destination’s FAM trip (in this case, working with Icelandair). The brands use the trip for product photographs for their advertising, promotional materials, in-store ‘point of purchase’ displays, product hang-tags, media placement and outreach, and even videos and a MySpace.com site.
“ATTA’s staff was critical in reaching out to the right people at the right brands for this trip. If it were not for their help, this trip wouldn’t have been the success it was,” Melissa Andretta, Icelandair’s Marketing Manager for The Americas. “Approaching these brands on my own was pretty much fruitless. But working with the ATTA gave me the credibility needed to ‘open the door’ to discussions.”
The trips are also a way for the brands and the destination to build their own relationships and create opportunities after the trip for cross-promotions and special projects. Such continued partnership allowed Icelandair to reap an estimated 10 million impressions to the North American outdoor community through its partnership with Kelty (backpacks) and Marmot (apparel and equipment). The relationships were forged on the first ever gear manufacturer FAM trip, set up by the ATTA.
“We’ve been extremely excited at the returns of our partnership [with Icelandair],” noted Kelty Marketing Manager Christian Mason. “The promotions really took on a life of their own and the response was well beyond what we had expected.”
Mason noted that a consumer sweepstakes resulted in more than 30,000 North American outdoors-people (to date) signing up via the Kelty website to win a trip on Icelandair. The backpack manufacturer and airline teamed up on print advertisements, website integrations, joint email campaigns, events (part of the Kelty sweepstakes event held at the Outdoor Retailer trade event in Salt Lake City, Utah pictured at right), and even a MySpace.com website to connect with millions of consumers. Kelty also used the partnership to create a press trip to Iceland for journalists from the New York Times, Newsweek, Health, National Geographic Adventure, and other publications.
In addition to the Kelty promotions, another FAM attendee, Marmot outdoor clothing and equipment, made full use of the trip by sending a journalist, adventure photographer, and filmmaker team deep into the Icelandic backcountry.
“We came with the intention of shooting for a short brand clip. But once we got there, we said, ‘let’s go for a full film,'” explained Marmot Public Relations Manager Jordan Campbell.
Eschewing the FAM itinerary, Marmot’s trio set off on their own and spent seven days exploring the Vatnajokul Glacier and Jokulsarlon Ice Lagoon in southeastern Iceland, even battling nearly 100mph winds on the country’s highest peak, Hvannadahlshnukkur (2100 meters).
The resulting video was made into hundreds of promotional DVDs by Marmot and distributed at events. Six mountain film festivals in North American and Europe have since picked up that film. Additionally, Campbell expects it to also be invited to larger mountain film festivals, such as Banff and Boulder, Colorado. Marmot also leveraged their Icelandair partnership to promote a recent press event in New York City, offering attending journalists Icelandic vodka and a chance to win their own trip on Icelandair.
The consumer ‘touches’ of Marmot’s promotions, came from the video, posters for outdoor retail stores around the U.S. and Canada, a front-page article in WEND magazine, their website, and other email promotions.
After the inaugural gear FAM with Icelandair, the ATTA began promoting the concept of this kind of unique FAM trip to other destinations.
“The results were immediate,” noted ATTA President Shannon Stowell. “We knew this concept was sound, but were surprised just how quickly our destination members jumped on it.”
Since the initial trip, Morocco, Peru, and Yukon all signed on for a trip, while Brazil, Malaysia, Norway, Scotland, and others have expressed strong interest.
The outdoor brands, meanwhile, also know a good thing when they see it.
Drew Simmons, a Kelty public relations director, said, “That [FAM] trip really opened up our minds to the possibility of other adventurous destinations that we can work with, both in the short term to fulfill our needs for adventure and product shots but also to create some long-term partnerships.”
Brands that attended the Icelandair trip or that are signed up for the Yukon trip include: Black Diamond Equipment climbing gear, Camelbak hydration systems, Confluence kayaks and canoes, Eagle Creek travel gear, ExOfficio travel clothing, Gore-Tex performance fabrics, Kelty backpacks, Leki trekking poles, Marmot outerwear and equipment, Petzl headlamps/climbing gear, and Vasque footwear.
“These trips allow us to showcase our product in an authentic environment, providing us with fresh images for our GORE-TEX® brand marketing efforts,” said Ian Pund, W.L. Gore account manager. “The resulting images help fill our constant need for fresh content while providing arresting images that consumers are drawn to.”
Destinations interested in hosting a gear FAM must be either; an ATTA sponsor, or ATTA Member that then also provides additional support of $2,500 to cover ATTA’s staff efforts recruiting brands, securing attendees, and managing front-end recruitment logistics.
Gear companies interested in attending such a FAM must be ATTA Members.
For more information on a gear manufacturer FAM, contact ATTA VP of Business Development Chris Chesak at [email protected] or +1 208.921.5626.