This summer sees major growth in the number and variety of skate camps. While established camps such as Woodward are migrating west, offering a California-based camp as well as its longtime East Coast option, one of the biggest expansions in skate camps comes courtesy of Vans.
From a single sold-out camp last year, Vans has expanded to five this summer. Held at Vans’ High Cascade Snowboard Camp facility in Government Camp, Oregon, the first four camps will host 30 plus skaters, and the final camp is scheduled as a major event with around 100 skaters. And Vans hasn’t been lax about promoting them–an insert in TransWorld SKATEboarding drew almost 1,000 requests for brochures within days of the magazine hitting newsstands and mailboxes.
Vans’ ability to expand its skate program so rapidly is due to the extensive accommodations and skate facilities at High Cascade. The majority of the Vans skate camps will be held simultaneously with High Cascade’s sold-out summer snowboard camp program, of which skating is already a regular part. Skaters also have the option to spend a day snowboarding at High Cascade’s facilities on Mt. Hood. The dual skate/snow program helps make the camp cost-effective with shared overhead. “The snowboard camps are already maxed out,” says Vans Vice President Of Promotions Steve Van Doren. “The skate camps provide extra revenue for High Cascade without incurring significant extra overhead costs.”
The camp’s real value to Vans is as a further building block in the company’s grassroots marketing program and the exposure of the Vans brand to the over 250 skaters who will attend. “We already have everything, from skateparks to the sponsorship of numerous boardsports events,” says Van Doren. “This is another part of that same program. Although local retailers such as Exit Real World sell the Vans product directly, this is much more about branding and image. It’s about making sure the kids get their money’s worth and about putting excitement behind the brand.”
The camps offer a combination of riding the High Cascade skateparks, including the new Triple Crown street course, plus trips to the numerous outstanding parks around Portland.
The skate camps also offer Vans a range of further promotional options–these include dealer contests and media cross promotions previously arranged by the snowboard camps. High Cascade is also sponsored by a number of ‘core skate-industry companies. San Francisco-based Deluxe Distribution is the camp’s title sponsor.
Three ten-day skate sessions start on July 6, followed by two eight-day sessions finishing up on August 27. For more details and information, call Vans Skateboard Camp at 1-800-334-4272. Or visit its Web site at vansskatecamp.com.