In many ways I think mountain biking has suffered the same fate as certain parts of skiing with the only diffrence being the route taken to reach this point.
The extreme side of skiing is a relatively new aspect of the marketing message. On the flip side, the more hardcore side of mountain biking seems to be the first such message sent by resorts.
In both cases, however, the challenge is the same: make sure adrenaline-phobic guests know they’re welcome too.
The Current Message
A high level of biking surely stokes out the right crew, much like Whistler did with their Anticipation series a couple years ago.
Whistler is a good example of this as well because of the “magnet” (as the idea seems to be called more often than not) they’ve been able to create: an entire destination embracing the same sport as their non-winter brand foundation.
In that context, videos like this are awesome which is perhaps why such formats are mainly what I see being produced.
A New Message
On the flip side is this little number produced by Halley O’Brien for Snowshoe Mountain Resort.
Having watched mountain bikers descend the trails at a few mountains now, I have one word to describe my feelings toward giving it a try myself: intimidation.
This video, however, makes me believe (a key word indeed) that even a lowly road cyclist like myself could enjoy such a sport. Aspen took it a step further by ditching the jumps and speed, opting for ridiculous scenery instead:
I think an element risk is part of what mountain biking exciting, just like it is for skiing.
But I also think that showcasing more points along the risk spectrum can be a valuable marketing message to send. The reason I love this video isn’t because it removes what many consider the fun of the sport – the risk – but rather because it shows that I can minimize risk as I learn and there’s more to the sport than that angle alone.
That, in effect, someone doesn’t have to go straight to the high dive if they want to learn how to swim.
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