SIA initiative touts health benefits of winter sports

McLEAN, VA: SnowSports Industries America (SIA), a trade association for winter sports companies, is launching a public awareness campaign dedicated to promote the health benefits of winter sports.

McLEAN, VA: SnowSports Industries America (SIA), a trade association for winter sports companies, is launching a public awareness campaign dedicated to promote the health benefits of winter sports.

Called "Winter Feels Good," the campaign recognizes the nationwide obesity problem and, as a partial remedy, puts forth activities such as skiing and snowboarding, often associated with extreme athletics. It's designed to do away with the notion that the coldest months are a time for physical torpor.

"Most people want to hibernate in the winter, and that just aggravates the obesity issue," said Mary Jo Tarallo, director of PR and education for SIA. "The bottom-line message is that winter sports can contribute to a healthy lifestyle."

The campaign will focus on these health benefits, as well as on apparel, equipment, and

destinations.

SIA is partnering with a number of groups, such as the American Heart Association and The National Coalition for the Promotion of Physical Activity, which regularly address the issue of Americans' antipathy to exercise.

Media relations will be handled by CGPR, a Marblehead, MA-based agency with an expertise in the outdoor and winter sports arena.

"It's a whole different approach," said Kirsten Goulet, a freelance PR exec working with CGPR. "We're sharing with kids and young women the health benefits of winter sports."

SIA has already conducted a media tour with long-lead magazines, and "from here on out, it'll be an education project," Goulet said.

Tarallo said that one of the challenges for the campaign is to mobilize an industry made up of many small companies.

"This is a different twist for the industry," she said. "But this is not a controversial message. It has a lot of interpretations and is easy for people to understand."

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