Ever since the first year of hosting its annual industry breakfast on the first day of Outdoor Retailer, there has been a full house and again, Outdoor Industry Association greeted an audience of vendors, and retailers with a few standing to see the presentation of research and trends. None were disappointed in the education and entertainment inherent in the event. OIA used this opportunity to introduce its latest Toolkit for the Trade focusing on getting youth active.
The toolkit gives retailers and vendors ideas, programs and useful resources for marketing outdoor activities to 5-18 year-olds. According to research conducted earlier by OIA, this is a key demographic to target for the long-term health of the industry, with 90% of current outdoor participants introduced to this lifestyle at an early age.
The keynote speaker for this event reinforced this research and the importance of getting children active in nature. Richard Louv is a journalist with the Union Tribune in San Diego and author of Last Child in the Woods, an account of the effects of the electronic culture on childrens health, behavior, and mental well being. In the book Louv covers everything from the correlation between Attention Deficit Disorder and the lack of physical exercise to urban planning and its effect on obesity.
OIA also announced a new agreement with the BLM, called Get Fit with US, which will begin a marketing initiative on many public lands across the country that focuses on outdoor recreation. Finally OIA announced its new board members (see story below).