Success Continues for ATTA’s ‘Manufacturer FAM Tours’

7 July 2008

Outdoor Gear Companies and Adventure Destinations Continue to Prove They are a Great Fit

By Chris Chesak

The ATTA’s Manufacturer FAM trips continue to be successful, as a recent trip to the Yukon proved. The Manufacturer FAM’s bring outdoor industry gear and apparel manufacturers to a destination as an opportunity to take photos of their outdoor product for use in catalogs, advertisements, and more.

“The (FAM) tour was an unbelievable success,” noted Paula Pawlovich, manager of the YukonWILD marketing program and host of the FAM. “I foresee Yukon attaining many exceptional opportunities out of it. The ATTA did a brilliant job getting exceptional partners here.”

ATTA staff were able to use their 40+ years experience in the outdoor industry, utilizing their deep contacts there to recruit the trip’s participants, including: Canada Goose, Canadian made extreme outerwear, ExOfficio travel clothing, KEEN Inc. footwear, Kelty packs, and Schoeller performance fabrics.

Said Shannon Walton of Schoeller USA, “I found the trip to be invaluable in so many ways. We got many great product shots for our partner Canada Goose, but also just the flow of conversations about marketing, market strategies, branding, adventure travel and the outdoor industry were powerful and truly illuminating. We even started working with our hosts to help them with branding concepts for the Yukon itself.”

Using their own photographers and one provided by Tourism Yukon, the attendees of the FAM made the most of the Yukon’s midnight sun to shoot thousands of photos. Already ExOfficio has confirmed plans to use one of the images for an advertorial in 48,000 outdoor gear catalogs, while other brands are in the process of reviewing their photos for use in advertisements, catalogs, hangtags, and other promotions to the North American outdoor market. Tourism Yukon also used the opportunity to shoot the FAM attendees for their own promotional materials as well.

But above and beyond the immediate returns of photographs of the Yukon splashed across forthcoming outdoor publications and manufacturer catalogs, the trip offered an opportunity for the destination to make deep connections with some key brands. Just days after the trip’s conclusion, Yukon was presented with proposals from some of the companies to work together on co-promotions and joint marketing opportunities.

Previously, these co-promotions included the manufacturer promoting a sweepstakes with a trip for two to the destination for consumers. The manufacturers used email marketing, posters in retail stores, websites, trade show events, and even a MySpace page to promote the destination’s sweepstakes. From one previous such Manufacturer FAM, one brand alone logged millions of impressions (and more than 30,000 North American outdoors-people to date signing up via their website to win a trip to the destination). That brand then also used the partnership to create a press trip for journalists from the New York Times, Newsweek, Health, National Geographic Adventure, and other publications.

“These brands represent the core of the outdoor industry and they reach consumers that are ideal for promoting the Yukon to,” said Pawlovich. “But not only do they represent an ideal market for us, they are non-traditional partners and are thus full of new ideas, energy, and opportunities for the Yukon. We’re extremely excited about the prospects – and thankful for the ATTA’s assistance in making this all possible.”

Above and beyond ‘take-away’, impressions, and ROI though, the Yukon trip had an immediate and lasting effect on the attendees.

“It was absolutely incredible—personally and professionally,” noted Becky Chambers, Marketing Manager for KEEN Inc. “I came to the Yukon having no idea what to expect and by the time I left, had fallen head over heels in love with it.”

With the seed now planted with these key outdoor industry players, there could be some new buzz going around industry events in the near future, buzz about the Yukon.