The North Face & U.S. Freeskiing
The North Face has been a retail leader in the ski and snowboard industry for many years. Around 2010, the elite brand aimed to connect with a younger generation of snow sports enthusiasts. The North Face contacted Dragonfli Media to assist in developing a clear strategy for building awareness and consumer loyalty with the younger target market.
Freeskiing was quickly emerging as the most progressive trend in snowsports, transcending sport boundaries with exciting disciplines like halfpipe and slopestyle. Competitions like the X Games and Dew Tour had built excitement for skiing’s newest phenomenon, but the athlete pipeline had significant gaps.
The North Face agreed that expensive sponsorships and flashy ad buys would not develop loyalty with this core group of influencers. Instead, Dragonfli Media assisted in the development of a grassroots open-competition series, which supported the athlete pipeline by providing aspiring athletes the opportunity to compete at high-level events alongside top pros.
The events were also live streamed, so the world could witness the progression of freeskiing’s future. Dragonfli Media also developed a broadcast partnership with CBS Sports Network. Simultaneously, Dragonfli Media assisted in positioning The North Face as the charter sponsor of U.S. Freeskiing shortly before it was announced that freeskiing halfpipe and slopestyle would make their Olympic debut at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia and then again in 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
In 2015, after Freeskiing’s debut at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, The North Face tasked us with coming up with a new idea that would reach even more athletes. The PPOS Virtual Competition, the first competition of its kind, was born.
The new, digitally executed competition made it possible for aspiring athletes to compete by filming their park and pipe runs at any local mountain, hill or ski area. The competition was so well received that in 2016 it relaunched as The North Face Peak2Park Virtual Competition, including snowboard categories and open to international participants.
Dragonfli Media worked closely with The North Face from the initial conception phase all the way through complete execution of the Virtual Competition. We built a special microsite to host the competition, which featured a custom video player, creative branding and copy specifically tailored for the 12-24-year-old target demographic. Our marketing team developed creative assets for the associated media buy, oversaw public relations, executed grassroots promotional strategies and coordinated all competition details.