Are Ski Magazines Recession-Proof?
Besieged economy be damned—Freeskier sees green in white.
In the midst of an economic slowdown, businesses in all industries are battening the hatches and bracing for what looks like an ugly ride. The storm looks even more brutal for publishers given rising postal and paper prices.
So what are we and our customers doing in the midst of this besieged economy? Going skiing, of course!
In every cloud there’s a silver lining, and for my company, Storm Mountain Publishing (we publish Freeskier and Snowboard magazines) that silver lining is snow. Lots and lots of snow. The big fluffy kind that makes grown adults forget their financial woes, throw caution to the wind and spend their money on ski gear and ski travel. Ah yes, the power of powder.
One huge benefit of our vertical market is that we’re somewhat “recession-proof” as it relates to the broader economy. Our business is snow. When the white stuff falls, our industry booms, recession or no recession.
Perhaps it’s the needed sense of escapism. Perhaps it’s just the allure of the mountains. Whatever the reason, snow inspires our customers to spend money on skiing and snowboarding. And it’s happening right now: above-average—even record—snowfall across North America has helped fuel explosive growth in the winter sports category, amidst some of the worst economic conditions our country has seen in decades.
So far this season, all snow sports sales channels are reporting growth in unit and dollar sales, underscored by an overall growth of approximately 13 percent over the same period last season. Even better news for Freeskier’s market, the twin tip ski category (skis used in terrain parks, half pipes, etc.) is the hottest selling type of ski on the market. Sales of twin tip skis are up 60% in units and 62% in dollars compared to last season.
So, while other businesses are worrying about the subprime mortgage crisis, GDP and the credit crunch—we’re dancing around our office doing everything we can to please the snow god, in hopes that the sky keeps falling.
Because snow, above all else, equates to a good season of ad sales and business for us.