SOURCE: Hanson Dodge Creative

April 29, 2008 08:00 ET

New Active Lifestyle Research From Hanson Dodge Creative Reveals Elite Outdoors Niche Market

MILWAUKEE, WI--(Marketwire - April 29, 2008) - Hanson Dodge Creative, America's leading brand experience agency focused on the active lifestyle consumer, has just released the second wave of analysis from Active Insights™, a primary research program aimed at gaining a deeper understanding of outdoors and fitness enthusiasts.

Initial responses of the more than 1,400 active lifestyle consumers surveyed showed that they fall into one of two distinct mindsets -- those who are motivated by being fit and those who are motivated by being outdoors. Further analysis of the outdoors-oriented respondents has revealed an elite subset of wealthy, highly educated outdoorsmen, a niche market quite different from the majority of outdoors enthusiasts. Findings include:

--  The Outdoor Elite participate more in their chosen activity:  23%
    participate four to six times a week compared to 9% of the general Outdoors
    mindset.
--  The Elite shop at specialty retailers and cited availability of
    products as the primary driver of their channel choice.  The overall
    Outdoor group shops at discount stores and is motivated by price.
--  The Outdoor Elite is more comfortable with Web 2.0 - online
    communities and blogs were mentioned three times as often by the Elite
    group as information sources compared to the total Outdoor group.
--  They spend more.  Thirty-five percent of the Elite spent over $400 on
    their recreation in the last six months, compared to 17% of the general
    group.
    

More specifically, the demographics of the Outdoor Elite differ considerably from the comprehensive Outdoor cohort. Of those Outdoors enthusiasts making more than $100,000 a year:

--  More are men, 77% compared to 54% of general Outdoors.
--  Surprisingly, 24% of the wealthiest group is between 21 and 25 years
    old.  This contrasted with only 11% in that age range in the overall group.
    The second age cluster was a bit more expected; more than half of the high
    earners fall into the 50+ segment.
--  Not surprising was the high level of education in this group, 77% hold
    college degrees compared to 30% of the overall Outdoor group.  Five times
    as many Elite (41%) hold graduate degrees.
    

Also of interest is the high representation of Hispanics in the Outdoor Elite. While Hispanics represented only 3% of the overall Outdoor group, they make up 9% of the Elite group.

"These findings have significant implications for brands in the active lifestyle sector," said Ken Hanson, partner and chief brand strategist at Hanson Dodge Creative. "There are opportunities to engage in real relationships with this highly discriminating and educated consumer through blogs, expert user groups, peer-to-peer product reviews and other rich online brand experiences. Smart brands will find meaningful ways to reach out to the Hispanic market. And the relationship between the independent retailer and the consumer should be supported and leveraged by brand manufacturers. The Outdoor Elite patronizes specialty dealers, so brands should coordinate their online promotions with retailers, motivate consumers to visit their dealers, create dealer incentives and integrate points of sale."

Active Insights is a product of Hanson Dodge Creative. To learn more about the research or download the entire whitepaper, visit http://research.hansondodge.com/.

About Hanson Dodge Creative

Hanson Dodge Creative is America's leading brand experience design, marketing and technology agency focused on the Active Lifestyle Consumer. Supported by Active Insights™ -- powerful proprietary research into the motivations and habits of the Active Lifestyle Consumer, HDC delivers insightful strategies, inspired design and maximum impact to an international portfolio of Active Lifestyle brands including Trek Bicycles, Nike Cycling, Burton, Volkswagen, Horizon Fitness, the Johnson Outdoors family of brands and more. For more information on Hanson Dodge Creative, visit www.hansondodge.com.

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