Your client going to summer camp
It's the perfect time to start planning for next year
September 3, 2012
The past two weeks millions of kids across the country headed back to school, with summer camp a fading memory.
But for brands looking for a presence as a summer camp sponsor, now is the time to start thinking ahead to next year.
A surprisingly large number of summer camps offer sponsorship opportunities. The target audience for those sponsors is parents, a largely affluent group of moms and dads ages 25-54 who drop off and pick up their kids at the camps.
To find out how to get your client at summer camps, read on.
This is one in a Media Life series on buying out-of-home venues. They appear weekly.
Sponsoring summer camps to target parents and their kids.
Summer camps handle sponsorships themselves.
How it works
One of the main benefits of sponsoring a summer camp is that it gives a brand a chance to give back to the community in a very public way.
Funds raised through sponsorships are often used for camp upkeep or to fund scholarships for underprivileged kids.
There are several ways to advertise at camps. A sponsor's logo can be placed on a banner in a camp common area where parents check their kids in or on signage surrounding a camp's playing field.
A brand's logo could also be placed on the back of a camp T-shirt, on the camp's official web site, or in any direct mail and email marketing for the camp.
Rather than paying cash, some brands provide their product or service to camps in exchange for a sponsorship. A dairy brand might provide milk for kids to drink, or a trampoline company might provide its products for kids to play on.
These days there are a number of summer camps that have specific themes, such as weight loss, skiing/snowboarding or science, and these types of camps open up opportunities for a wider swath of advertisers.
For example, a skiing equipment or apparel brand might sponsor a ski camp and provide some of the products, or a computer brand could outfit a science camp with its equipment.
There are summer camps in every state.
There are more than 12,000 summer camps in the U.S, according to the American Camp Association, and 8 to 10 million kids attend summer camps each year.
How it is measured
Camps keep track of how many kids are enrolled, as well as how many attend parent events.
What product categories work well
Recent or current summer camp sponsors include athletic equipment, financial, real estate, restaurants, utility companies, apparel and local businesses.
Ninety-eight percent of summer camp parents are between ages 25 and 54, according to the industry magazine Summer Camp Fun. Also, 94 percent have one or more children ages 4-17, and 45 percent have two or more kids in that age range.
Ninety-four percent of summer camp parents have completed post-secondary education, and 97 percent have an annual household income of $75,000 or more.
Making the buy
Camp sponsorship deals are typically lined up months before camps begin in early spring, although exceptions can be made depending on the camp.
Pricing ranges widely, depending on things such as the size of the camp and the length of the sponsorship. A small presence at a modest camp could cost hundreds of dollars, while an extensive sponsorship at a large camp could cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Who's already been at summer camps
Current or recent brands that have sponsored summer camps include North Face, Springfree Trampoline, Eastside Commercial Bank, Windermere, Overlake Electric, Siemens, Fifth Third Bank, Shell Oil, Boeing, Subway and Chick-fil-A.
What they're saying
"Moms make the decisions about summer camps. And a lot of times, especially if a product centers on kids, family or home, moms make those decisions. So moms are the target demographic. If that's who you want to reach, you'll reach them by advertising at summer camp. If kids are your target, you're going to reach them as well, and they'll be talking to the purse strings." — Christine M. Szekeres, marketing and development manager at SAMBICA
Web site info
Sammamish Bible Camp Association
Summer of Dreams
Wise Choice Summer Camps
Pratt Nature Center
Penn State Eberly College of Science
Camp of Champions
Tags: advertising at summer camps, camp, development, kids, marketing, moms, out of home, out of home advertising, SAMBICA, summer, summer camp advertising, summer camp sponsorship, summer camps, target
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