United Nations of Shred: SIA’s International Snowsports Forum

SIA's inaugural International Snowsports Forum brought together researchers from around the world in an effort to better understand the winter consumer for the benefit of everyone. SNEWS looks at what they accomplished, and where they go from here.

While most SIA Snow Show attendees were putting their paws on the latest hardgoods and networking in the halls of the Colorado Convention Center, a group of international researchers were glued to their chairs in Conference Room 206. The mission was to pool their resources here in order to get on the same page as to how they gauge participation in snowsports across the globe. The International Snowsports Forum, which was co-sponsored by SIA, SIA Australia and the Canadian Ski Council, included researchers from across the globe as well as researchers from Leisure Trends in the U.S. and experts on minority participation.

“Bringing this community together will certainly increase the value and depth of snow sports research for all involved. For the first time we will have comparable data and a global view of snow sports,” said Kelly Davis, SIA director of research.

The group spent Friday, Jan. 28th, and Saturday, Jan. 29th, 2011, sharing information about how they conduct research and discussed how they define participants. They also identified common lifestyle characteristics across the globe and planned how to build a global view of snowsports using a variety of different data including skier/rider visits, participation data, sell-in and shipments data, as well as analysis of social media and other cross cultural/ multi-national vehicles. 

“SIA is leading sports federations in terms of using forward thinking in research and bringing together researchers from around the globe to share ideas,” said forum participant John Bushell Sports Marketing Surveys Inc. in the United Kingdom.

This meting was just the beginning as the group will use it as a launching pad for future work. And while far too many group meetings end up simply planning more meetings, the forum felt it actually achieved quite a bit in Denver. The multicultural studies in particular will be integral in helping SIA determine how important the multicultural market is and can be to the industry.

“It was a monumental first step toward reaching the next level in consumer research and cultural understanding. We are incredibly humbled and excited to be a part of this groundbreaking session and look forward to contributing in expanding the snow sports industry to a wider multicultural audience,” said Marcus Jiminez, Partner and Principal of strategic marketing group Huemanitas and an author of the Multiculturals in Action Sports (M.A.S.) Report.

Doug Schnitzspahn

On Oct. 6, 2010, veteran journalist Peter Kray joined the SNEWS team and is now editor of the new SNEWS WinterSports channel. We trust you are enjoying the full offering of WinterSports news. Be sure to email your friends and let them know the best WinterSports news has arrived — just in time for the winter season. Got WinterSports news? Send your WinterSports news to Kray at Subscribers can also post WinterSports news releases directly to the SNEWS website. Email us at to learn about posting your own news releases, or for any other questions or comments. We love to hear from our readers!