The Client

Camp Woodward is the dream facility for any action sports lover. They have been organising summer camps in Pennsylvania for the past 45 years. Their excellence in the field has lead them to be world renown for their action sports as well as their cheer and gymnastics programs. These programs are supported by first class facilities inclusive of coaching from Olympic medallists and top action sports professionals. Every year campers and athletes travel from all over the world in order to experience Woodward’s unique summer adventures.

Woodward initially started as a gymnastic camp that brought together Olympic medallists and college coaches in order to provide expert training that immerses their customers with a summer camp experience. When, in 1980, the US decided to boycott the Olympic games in Russia, Camp Woodward expanded their camp to include BMX racing. This program grew quickly due to its popularity, allowing their facilities to be expanded to include ramps.

The word of an “action sports wonderland” in central Pennsylvania travelled quickly, drawing athletes from all over the world to their camps. Woodward now boasts the best facilities in the world from skate to snow, MTB, BMX all the way to cheer and parkour. Their astounding facilities have, for years, rapidly increased the learning curve of the world’s top action sports athletes.

The Challenge

Camp Woodward appointed Brandwave to conduct a market feasibility study in order to explore the opportunity and assess this against the risk of expanding into the European market.

This study aimed to quantify the market for action sports and overnight camps in Europe as well as aiming to provide information on sporting demographics, trends and to measure the awareness of the Camp Woodward brand across Europe.

It was important to measure the European popularity of the sports that Camp Woodward offers in order to determine the potential scope of their brand in Europe. The sports and activities measured within the study included: skate, BMX, snowboard, free ski, scooter, parkour, surfing, MTB, and cheer.

The Result

Brandwave conducted a varied and thorough research project, providing Camp Woodward with a clear direction, which will support their future decisions concerning their operation within Europe.

In order to determine the European participation of the sports identified in the study, quantitative research was undertaken and the statistical information was benchmarked against a three-year trend. Alongside this analysis, information was provided on the growth and the decline of overnight camp participation in Europe.

In addition, qualitative research was conducted in the guise of one to one interviews with relevant individuals from each sport. A wider audience was also reached out to by using a questionnaire, which was developed to capture further feedback. Brandwave’s vast sports network throughout Europe enabled connections with key and influential contacts from a broad spectrum of the target market. These included professional athletes, governing bodies, coaches, parents of athletes, brands, as well as schools and event organisers. This research helped to better understand the potential challenges that Camp Woodward may face.

In conclusion of the research above, key strategic recommendations were made regarding; the Camp Woodward brand, the ideal locations for new facilities and the European’s open mindedness to camp culture. This allowed workable business models to be derived, which included pricing, competitors and the level of spending on action sports across Europe.

Based upon this study, Camp Woodward have been able to put in place future action plans, which are currently in active development. Brandwave look forward to working with Camp Woodward long into the future, helping to develop the brand on a global level.

A huge thanks to all of the Brandwave Network who participated in this study. Your involvement may have shaped the future of action sports camps within Europe. We will be sure to keep you posted with any future developments regarding Camp Woodward’s global expansion.

If you would like to be involved in Camp Woodward’s future development or provide any additional information or comments on this study, please do contact us here.

“This was a complex brief with a wide range of questions that we required answers to. Brandwave’s approach to this project ensured we received a fair and accurate portrayal of the European action sports market, they provided a clear and well-rounded analysis with key take-outs and next steps suggested for our brand. Their industry knowledge, expertise and network was obvious and ensured this was a very successful project. We look forward to working with Brandwave long into the future.”

Jody Churich