West 49 takes the proverbial cake

The skateboarding retailer is moving its skateboard extravaganza to Canada's Wonderland in an effort to reach a broader target demographic.

West 49 is looking to ‘Take the Cake’ again this year, promoting its skateboarding extravaganza with a cross-promotional strategy targeting Canadian youth.

The event is a two-day affair centred on a skateboard competition designed to draw high-profile athletes from around the world. West49 first held the event last year, attracting 17,000 action-sports fans to Niagara Falls. This year, the event has been moved to Canada’s Wonderland.

Sponsorships opps for this year’s event include presenting and best skateboard trick sponsorships, as well as in-store sampling and prize packs.

West49 is promoting Take The Cake in its back-to-school advertising campaign, which includes TV and radio ads, as well mentions in the retailer’s e-newsletter, which has 300,000 newsletter subscribers. Event updates on the retailer’s Facebook, Twitter and website will be the topping on the social media cake for its fans and followers. The event will also be supported by window POPs and signage in West 49 stores across the country.

The biggest change to the event, however, will be its location. The move to Wonderland’s Kingswood Music Theatre was meant to raise the profile of the event and expand its appeal beyond core skaters, Cindy Mielke, director of marketing, West 49 tells MiC.

‘Canada’s Wonderland presents its own foot traffic and it is a great venue for sponsorships as well,’ she says.

Although reaching a niche target psychographic such as skateboarders is tough, Mielke says believes the company is well-poised to attract such an audience.

‘West 49 has an incredibly core base following. While it is a mass brand and we are in malls across Canada, we have a very authentic marketing strategy,’ Mielke explains. ‘We carry all the core brands in the industry and all of those brands are sending their athletes to this event. All of those brands are somehow involved in this event.’

‘We really put high value on the authenticity of our brand and unless a sponsor is going to link to one of our events and support skateboarding culture, then we really feel that customers will see the disconnect in it and not understand why West 49 is partnering with this brand,’ she says.

The Take the Cake event will take place from Aug. 19 to 20 and is being activated by Oakville-based EventSing promotions.