Columbia, the flagship brand of Portland, Oregon-based Columbia Sportswear Company (NASDAQ: COLM), announced today the winner of its first-ever ski bum scholarship. Lucky powder-junkie Rob Wallace will spend 90 days in Dillon, Colorado living the proverbial snow bum dream: the package includes a plush condo, a pocket full of season passes to eight of Colorado’s best resorts, a 4-wheel-drive rental car and a generous food stipend.
The contest invited “skiers, snowboarders, shredders, rippers, powder pirates, knuckle draggers, board bunnies” to submit a video essay explaining why they would be the perfect ski bum. Applicants could also record their video at Columbia booths at a series of Warren Miller film events around the country and were encouraged to promote their video on Twitter with a dedicated hashtag. Videos were available for public viewing and voting at the contest’s website,
In total, 245 would-be bums applied to live a life of deferred responsibility and the three most popular videos received over 20,000 votes each. Among the field of highly-creative and qualified candidates, 30-year-old Wallace, a self-described “geographically displaced skier” living in Knoxville, Tennessee won the judges over with a two-and-a-half minute video essay that was equal parts quirky, hilarious and convincing, much like Wallace’s incredibly thick beard.
Detailing the desolation of his current snow-deprived plight and his unflagging dedication to becoming the best bum the slopes have ever seen, the video includes footage of his rigorous ski bum “training” including energy drink consumption exercises and ski movie jib-talk research. “It's daffy and doesn't seem real,” said Wallace. “I just started skiing six years ago, but when I saw the scholarship, I thought I’ve got to give this a shot. You’re going to kick yourself if you don’t even try.”
Columbia Sportswear is proud to award its first Ski Bum Scholarship to bearded snow-bomber Rob Wallace, and also extremely pleased with the overall success of the campaign. “Trying Stuff” is what we do best and the results of this unique contest prove yet again the value of creative experimentation. The website received 85,000+ visits over the course of the contest with viewers spending an impressive average of 4 minutes engaging with content. With 130,000 video views and more than 1300 people sharing the site experience on Twitter and Facebook, the reach and impact exceeded expectations.