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Harnessing Freshman Energy: Killington’s Campus Rep Program

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Right now, recent high school graduates are making their annual voyage to college dorms across the country. Under the watchful eye of an SUV driving parent, they keep their enthusiasm in check until goodbyes have been spoken. Then, after a few timid steps (at least 2 or 3), they are released into the wild with nothing but naivety, excitement, and a few Apple products. Luckily, Killington has found a way to tap into this enthusiasm with their Campus Rep program. Here’s the scoop.

Mission: Sell More Passes
According to the Killington Communication guru, Sarah Thorson, this is the second year in a row the program will be available. The goal for Killington is clearly spelled out, “Killington Resort would like to increase its College Pass sales with your support.” The student’s path is just as plain: sell ten season passes, get one of your own. Sell more, get $20 for each additional pass.

The Uber-Ingredient
Last year The Beast had 35 college reps from 25 different colleges and universities. What I love most about this program is the idea of asking for a business or marketing plan from applicants. Many of them are sitting through marketing classes just itching to get out and combine the stuff they are learning with the massive amounts of creativity students are famous for. Sarah shared what a few of their reps came up with last year:

Typically, College Reps work directly with their school’s Ski / Snowboard Club to sell the season passes, social media is also a popular tool to share the “Buy a Killington College Pass” message and a majority of the Reps set up displays in high-traffic areas of their school to sell passes. However, a creative Rep plan involved setting up a table at a College Football game and using a Jumbo Tron message to drive students to buy a Killington College Pass at the game. Another College Rep added a “Buy a Killington College Pass” flier to every welcome bag for the new students.

How much would Killington have had to pay in order to get a message on the Jumbo Tron? I’m willing to bet it would have come out to more than $20 a month. These kids don’t take no for an answer, know the ins and outs of the university, can sometimes get away with stuff simply because they are students, and work smart. A solid combination that I think Killington is extremely wise to harness.

Support for Success
One of the clear friction points in the system is two fold: you have to sell ten passes before you are rewarded and students have to order those passes with your ID number for them to count. The resort does a good job of offering “promotional material such as stickers, posters, fliers and any relevant material to help [the students] start selling.” They also provide a few basic recommendations of best practices.

After this year’s program goes in the books, I’d love to see some info gathered on what the most successful student reps did. Sharing this data during next year’s application process could help new reps hit the ground running. I also wonder if providing a campus rep leaderboard might incentivize the whole crew a bit more. Either way, in my eyes the Campus Rep Program is smart, powerful, and a win-win for everyone involved.

Check out more of the inner workings at Killington’s web site:

About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

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