Friday, May 25, 2012

Can the valley be a fat-tire mecca?

Marketers see possibilities in touting regionís mountain-biking trails


By REBECCA MEANY
Express Staff Writer

A niche mountain biking campaign was launched last week with the goal of getting people to think of the Wood River Valley as the next mountain biking mecca.

"People always think of Moab," Arlene Schieven, Sun Valley Marketing Alliance president and chief marketing officer, told the Sun Valley City Council last week. "Why not think of Sun Valley?"

The initiative is part of the alliance's efforts at marketing to the mountain biking and Nordic skiing communities as well as a push to get more attention from a younger demographic.

Schieven said the alliance sees those user groups as a good fit with what Sun Valley has to offer—and it's less expensive to advertise to those niche markets.

"The opportunities of growing awareness, it attracts people to try your product, it gets them to come back again, to talk about you," she said. "And we also need to reach that missing generation of younger travelers, and I think we can do that."

Partnering with companies such as Smith and Scott, the alliance created videos promoting the area's mountain biking trails.

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The companies, who make products for mountain bikers, have contributed to a new promotional contest's prize and are helping get the message out through their social media channels such as Facebook, Schieven said.

"We have a combined reach of 500,000 [people]," she said. "That makes it go so much further."

She said clicking though contest links on partners' social media sites drives web visitors back to the www.visitsunvalley.com website.

The alliance is spending $100,000 for summer-season advertising. Of that, $20,000 is being spent on mountain biking.

"I think we're going to get some good mileage from this for our $20,000," she said.

Schieven said that the first day of the campaign, May 17, drew 4,770 views of www.visitsunvalley.com/remedy. She said that by Tuesday afternoon, that number jumped to 10,000.

"We're definitely excited about the response we've seen," she told the Idaho Mountain Express. "We're really pleased with the interest in it. Sun Valley and mountain biking is resonating with the target audience."

Rebecca Meany: rmeany@mtexpress.com

View the videos, theirs and others'

To see a Sun Valley Marketing Alliance video promoting the area's mountain biking offerings, as well as contest entrants' video submissions, visit www.visitsunvalley.com/remedy.




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