Snowboarding Task Force Report and Recommendations

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1 Snowboarding Task Force Report and Recommendations May 20, 2015 USSA Center of Excellence 1 Victory Lane, Park City, UT

2 Table of Contents Section 1: The Snowboarding Task Force (names and positions) Task force structure Section 2: Executive Summary Section 3: Sport Status Sport participation Membership analysis Industry at a glance Cost to compete Current programs and facilities Section 4: Pipeline Structure Section 5: Sport Growth Strategies and Recommendations Section 6: Fan Base

3 Section 1: The Snowboarding Task Force Committee Name Abbi Nyberg Peter Davis Jon Casson Jeremy Forster Brandon Hunt Dylan Omlin RossHindman RossPowers Tricia Byrnes Jeff Boliba John Rice Rick Bower Position/Affiliation USSA Representative / Co-Chair USASA Executive Director / Co-Chair USSA Snowboard Committee Chair USSA Representative Parent Representative Western Region/Club Representative Rocky Region/SBX Sub-Committee Chair Eastern Region/Academy Representative USSA BOD/Athlete Representative Industry Representative (Burton VP Global Resorts) Resort Representative (General Manager Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort) U.S. Snowboarding Halfpipe Head Coach The structure of the report below and the recommendations are the collective work of the Task Force. Section 2: Executive Summary The task force recognized the opportunity to move forward aggressively with several breakthrough changes. The report below and recommendations are intended to help ensure a more streamlined athletic pipeline and encourage growth of the sport. The observations and recommendations of the task force therefore focus on building stronger relations with USASA and industry partners, attracting and retaining more participants, athletes and members. This will help redefine the snowboarding community and establish a more diverse, large and healthy base of support to sustain a Best in the World vision. Below are the primary findings of the Snowboarding task force: Support and promote United States of America Snowboarding and Freeskiing Association (USASA) o Promote USASA in USSA media releases and on USSA website o Fundraising support for USASA o USASA presence at USSA events (Grand Prix, SBX World Cup). USSA will send staff to the USASA Nationals to participate in the coaches forums and parents meetings. o Promote USASA in major populated and under-served areas of the country. o Collaborate on funding a USASA Series Event Director position. Grow Sport Participation o Sport promotion PSA view the current website here. Ussnowboarding.com/getstarted o Partner with Burton on the PE Program.

4 o Evaluate Ski Industries of American (SIA) region participation report and focus on growing the sport in those populated areas. Women s Project Gold Camp Talent Development o Include women s only programing into the Project Gold schedule. Terrain Based Learning / Progressive Pipe o Opportunity to connect and start a dialogue with National Ski Areas of American (NSAA), SIA, American Association of Snowboard Instructors (AASI), Professional Ski Instructors of American (PSIA) on Terrain Based Learning. Snowboarding Pipeline o Create a simple and easy to understand document to better promote the snowboarding pipeline in the US. Regional Championships o Establish a regional event series that bridges the gap between USASA and Rev Tour events. Section 3: Sport Status When looking at total participation in snowboarding in the US, there are a very small percentage of active snowboard participants who compete in either USASA or USSA events. Total snowboard participation is calculated by Ski Industry of America (SIA) and below is a survey of sport participants. From the aggregate statistics, it s hard to infer how many of the 6.5 Million participants are avid riders. Even assuming that 10% snowboard on a regular basis, we still have a significant gap between active participants and competitive riders. Many snowboarders choose not to compete Current snowboard media and industry do not actively promote competition. Many regions with large number of active participants have few competition opportunities available Total U.S. Sport Participation: Total Snowboard Participation in U.S.: 6,517,000 Total USASA Competitors: 3530 Total USSA Competitors: 652 Total Competitors: 4182 Percentage of Snowboarders in the US who compete:.07% USASA Snowboarding Membership participation: Paid: 2996 Paid: 3274 (Up 278) One Day: 138 One Day: 255 (Up 117) Free Trial: 406 Free Trial: Discontinued OVERALL: 3,540 3,530 (NOTE: No Free Trial)

5 Cost to Compete A recent study conducted by U.S. Snowboarding provided some basic data points that may be considered. See outline below. Aside from the expense of the sport being determined by membership fees, club tuition/program fees, equipment and travel represent the majority of cost in the sport, followed by race entry fees. It was noted by the task force that the cost of the sport would be determined more by a more streamlined pipeline and better club, coach and parent education regarding equipment needs, athlete management, and the value of travel and racing especially at the younger ages. Current Programs and Facilities Over the past several years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of qualified coaches and snowboard training programs. At the same time, we ve also seen many ski areas in the country scale back their terrain park offerings, particularly with regard to halfpipes. Many of the major teams in the US are based in areas with access to elite level parks and/or pipes.

6 Regions without a strong resort base tend to have less teams and limited size of teams. For the prospective snowboard family, information about coaches and programs can be difficult to find unless you live in an area with easy access to those programs. USSA/USASA need to better promote clubs and team programs in all regions. Help casual participants to find more information about teams, clubs and coaches. Better partner with ski resorts, ski schools, manufacturers and media to promote teams, clubs and coaches. Better partner with ski resorts to build facilities that enhance all levels of programming for local teams, clubs and coaches. Encourage sport organizations and schools to engage with snowboarding club programs Section 4: Pipeline Structure USASA (United States of America Snowboard Association) The USASA is the largest snowboard organization in the world. With over 3700 members ages 6 to 70, the USASA provides grassroots snowboard competitions in more than 30 regions around the US. USASA also runs the USASA National Championships, the largest snowboard competition in the world, with over 1800 participants annually. Athletes begin competing in USASA regional events. Once athletes turn 13 they can begin to compete in USSA events and continue up the pipeline towards the elite events.

7 Section 5: Sport Growth Strategies and Recommendations USASA Partnership Jointly (USSA/USASA) support a Regional Competition Director o Job description to be developed jointly USSA and USASA with focus on supporting, evaluating and enhancing efforts of USASA regional series directors. o Enhancing and increasing quality and professionalism of all USASA Regions by compiling and sharing best practices from across the industry o Work with USASA to set a clear set of growth objectives by identifying regions with the best potential for additional membership Increase U.S. Snowboarding support of USASA National Championship o Programs with Athletes, Coaches and Staff of US Snowboarding at USASA Nationals o Meet and greet with athletes, informational sessions, parent workshops, etc. o Announcement of Gold Camp invitees at awards each day Look for redundancies in operations that can help control expenses and create efficiencies for USASA. USASA Home series listed on US Snowboarding online athlete bio Improve promotion of and information about available coaches, teams and programs Improve syncing of coach databases between USSA and USASA Create directory of USSA and USASA Snowboard Teams and Training programs Add Team Affiliation to Coach Bios, make searchable by location, USASA Region, discipline offered etc. Work with USASA National Office, Coach Committee and USASA Regional Series to identify and develop regions underserved by local teams or clubs. Industry Partnerships Work with Industry partners to develop programs attracting youth participants to competitive snowboarding Help promote and support Burton Learn to Ride, Riglet and PE programs Laureus Sport programs - sync up Burton PE programs with Laureus International Support and encourage terrain based learning initiatives Develop partnership programs for coach education and entry level competition access for snowboard school based programs Partner with AASI to run coach education, introductory coaching and competition clinics Sport Retention Recommendations to improve sport entry and retention Work with AASI/PSIA to promote learn to ride programs and retention programs Address barriers to entry into sport and competition Promote snowboarding as a lifestyle and culture for everyone, not just the wealthy. Look for other organizations to partner with and develop collaborative programs o USCSA- Collegiate snowboarding o NASTAR add banked slalom o High School Snowboarding Leagues New discipline encourage sport participation in Banked Slalom. While not an Olympic discipline, this discipline builds skills and allows athletes to build confidence in their abilities.

8 Section 6: Fan Base The potential fan base for U.S. Snowboarding may be seen as: Any Snowboarder Anyone interested in the national teams (including those following our athletes), Olympics or XGames Participants with our ski and snowboard industry partners Contacts through USSA partners, sponsors and suppliers or any customers of the industry Statista sites almost 11.5 million skiers and snowboarders in the U.S. Current US Snowboarding social media data: U.S. Snowboarding Facebook currently has 26,996 likes U.S. Snowboarding Instagram 7,363 followers U.S. Snowboarding Twitter currently has 12,300 followers In comparison, the facebook stats of some of snowboarding s marquee athletes dwarf that of the US Snowboarding: Shaun White 2,475,946 likes, Sage Kotsenburg 108,841 likes, Danny Davis 58,896 likes Skiers and snowboarders follow the sports much like any other sport. Followers use social media such as Facebook, Twitter, websites such as TWSnow, TV and printed publications such as Snowboarder and Transworld magazines. The task force discussed the fact that fan engagement has been an ongoing initiative and conversation throughout the history of the U.S. Snowboarding. It has been ad hoc, sporadic, primarily major event focused (ie. Olympics). There has not been a systematic or consistent and sustainable approach or model for this initiative. Minimal resources have been devoted to this project producing minimal outcomes. Further, it has never been firmly grounded in any department or position s areas of priority and responsibility. Moving forward, the task force recognized great opportunity in this area, especially coupled with the strategic growth initiatives being considered for membership in general. Success here will rely on taking a staged and sustainable approach starting with more research. This will ensure that any efforts in this area are resource efficient and directly connected with strategic objectives for the organization (and a specific department(s)).

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