When it comes to snowmobiling, there is no untouched demographic. Sledders come in every age, gender, size, family-style, ethnicity, religion, income, and education level. The common denominator is passion and adrenaline. Psychographically it encompasses the love of winter, speed, adrenaline, travel, and noise. To many, it also involves a staunch loyalty and dedication to corporate brands.
Aside from the obvious division by brand, other communities are individually built from the type of participation – such as: racing, recreational touring, trail riding, mountain climbing, or simply as a spectator sport.
There is further division within the usage. Racing, for instance, is separated (or often joined) by snowcross, ice-oval, mountain, lake and drag styles.
The self-proclaimed “sled-heads” are all about performance and modifications. It’s very much about biggest, loudest, and fastest to them.
On the opposite side of that are the families who participate in a lifestyle of spending every weekend at a cottage touring the surrounding area either on groomed trails or blazing through pristine snow in fields and woods.
Then there are the samplers who just rent sleds and gear for one outing a year just to get a taste of the Canadian outdoors and the rush of the loud braaaaaap.
Whether, watching from the edge of the track, clapping mittened hands to keep warm while wiggling numb toes to boost circulation, or sitting in front of a fire watching the action on TV, the spectators are integral to the sport.
If you want your audience to be as diverse as possible you need to support every brand and style. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each while not affiliating with a specific one. A good strategy would be to write pieces addressing specific events. You will find a different blend of enthusiasts follow each segment.
Join (don’t lead) the conversation with as many communities as manageable. No matter your audience, promote the sport, know your topic and the needs of that community. There’s no point talking about ice oval to mountain climbers and vice versa. A show of preference or loyalty to a particular group will risk alienation by all others.
There is no shortage of available research and listening opportunities for snowmobiling. There are a massive number of online communities, but I can tell you first hand, if you build a new one, they will come! They need something to do the other nine months of the year 🙂