The roller skating industry has started a national marketing effort – Make a Skatement – that industry leaders hope will increase skate sales and the number of young people participating throughout the country. Ron Creten, an industry veteran of 35 years, is leading the effort as
president of Roller Skating Rocks, Inc., a non-profit corporation formed
by industry leaders whose mission is to develop a marketing plan that
will grow the category.
“While we have seen some double-digit growth in certain areas of the country over the past few years, we want to ignite a national movement to make roller skating more top-of-mind with young people and their families across the country.” He added, “When you look at research, America’s youth like to hang out with friends, listen to music, be active and go to social events. That’s roller skating! It’s our job to remind them of that.”
Based on a 2007 industry study commissioned by the Roller Skating Association (RSA), there are an estimated 39 million active roller skaters in the USA. In addition, there are approximately 1,500 roller rinks and hundreds of roller hockey teams across the country. Roller derby’s explosive growth from 350 teams to nearly 700 in a one-year span (according to research conducted by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association, WFTDA) continues to help the industry.
According to Matt Weinland of PH2 Marketing, the agency who created the campaign, “It will rely heavily on social media, mobile and digital mediums that will disseminate an exciting brand platform and message that resonates with young audiences.” He added, “We want to facilitate conversations and content between skaters that will make them advocates of our movement.”
The theme for the campaign is Make a Skatement – Join The Roller Revolution. According to Weinland, “Make a Skatement embodies the desire of today’s youth to express themselves, to individualize their activities and demonstrate their personal empowerment.” He added, “With a strong call-to-action like Join the Roller Revolution, we are trying to revolutionize the way people perceive skating. We want people to take roller skating and make it theirs. That’s what a revolution is – taking ownership of something and moving it forward.”
Creten acknowledges that funding a long-term marketing initiative can be expensive, but is convinced that corporate partners will be very interested in teaming up with the industry to gain exposure among skating’s core demographic age groups, which range from 6-29 years of age. He indicated that a select list of potential marketing partners has been identified.
Creten said industry leaders would like to see a 5 percent per annum average growth rate over the next 5 years. “We recognize this is a journey that will take the next few years versus a quick sprint to the finish.”
Creten is also president and chief operating officer at Karl’s Event Services as well as chairman and chief executive officer at RC Sports, Inc.
The campaign’s website address is www.makeaskatement.com.