Episode 80: Consolidation, Climate and Boomers: Facing the Future of Snowsports with Nick Sargent

““[The joint snow show between SIA and Outdoor Retailer] really proves that we belong together. Our trade show is better together. Then, more importantly, it really exemplifies that change is good. Our world is changing around us. Other industries in our space are changing. This change was really good and, I feel, beneficial to the future of our industry.”

– Nick Sargent

EPISODE PREVIEW:

People come to Nick Sargent with a lot of problems. It’s his job to find solutions. But when you’re the president of the snowsports manufacturing trade organization (SIA), run of the mill answers won’t “fix” the complex problems facing the industry, like climate change, production cycles, and baby boomers aging out of skiing and riding.

In today’s episode, I talk with Nick about consolidation in the industry, how to look forward, and how bringing varying trade groups together as a community will be a strength (not a competitive weakness).

GUEST PROFILES:

Nick Sargent

Nick Sargent is President of the trade organization, Snowsports Industries of America (SIA). After 15 years in snowsports, with 11 of those spent driving growth at Burton Snowboards, Nick took over the reins at SIA in 2015. Nick is leading SIA toward collaboration with a host of aligned trade agencies to find solutions around the biggest challenges facing the snowsports industry today, namely climate change and participation.

TOPICS COVERED:

Snowsports, the winter snow show, SIA, Outdoor Retailer, consolidation of ski areas, order and production cycles, manufacturing timelines, industry fragmentation as barrier to growth

SELECT QUOTES:

“This whole cycle that we are in is very challenging, especially when you…think the entire winter season is arguably between 12, 16, 20 weeks. The resort, the retailer, the manufacturer, the rep, they’re all trying to make their annual earnings in that time.”

“[Specialty] is the real engine of our industry.” “Without snow we have no business. We have to wrap our hands around climate. For whatever reason, our winter sport industry, generally speaking, is late to the game.”

“[Baby boomers] have been the backbone of winter sport for the last 30 years. We have to fill the funnel. We have to look at new opportunities to bring in diversity to the sport, new first timers. But more importantly, keep the people that are currently in their sport.”

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