Friday, August 26, 2016

UTMB 2016 Race Kicks Off Today

Today, Friday 26th at 18:00 in the Place du Triangle de l'Amitié of Chamonix a new edition of the UTMB will start.
The Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) is one of the greatest European Mountain Trail Races. The international race takes place in one of the most incredible landscapes on the world. A breathtaking scenery of seven valleys, 71 glaciers and 400 summits like the Mont Blanc, the Dent du Géant and the rock face of the Grandes Jorasses. The athletes cover a distance of 168 km and 9,600 of positive altitude change along the famous GR TMB, within 46 hours, at an altitude ranging between 1012 m and 2537 m., crossing six passes over 2000 metres high. They will pass through 3 countries: France, Italy and Switzerland. The sporting and human achievement is remarkable: 168 km is the distance between Paris and Auxerre by the motorway; it is also the distance of four marathons back to back. The positive height gain is equivalent to twice the ascension of Everest from base camp.
  • 3 countries: France, Italy and Switzerland
  • 3 alpine regions: The 2 Savoie, The Aosta Valley andValais
  • 19 communes: Chamonix Mont-Blanc (FR), Les Houches (FR), Saint-Gervais (FR), Les Contamines-Montjoie (FR), Servoz (FR), Hauteluce (FR), Beaufort (FR), Bourg-Saint-Maurice (FR), Séez (FR), La Thuile (IT), Pré-Saint-Didier (IT), Morgex (IT), Courmayeur Mont-Blanc (IT), Orsières (CH), La Fouly et Champex-Lac, Trient (CH), Vallorcine (FR), Finhaut (CH), Salvan (CH), Martigny-Combe (CH)
  • 2300 runners (86 countries)
  • Maximum race time: 46 hours
  • Estimated time for the first finishers is 20 hours
  • Limited to runners who have a minimum of 9 qualification points
You can Follow all the runners live on the UTMB website

UTMB 2016 route preview por UltraTrailMontBlanc

Looking for Inspiration: The Business of Creating Memories III

We are in the Business of Creating Memories...

UTMB 2016: The Courmayeur-Champex-Chamonix Race Kicks Off This Morning

Today at 09:00 the fourth wave of ultra trail runners will depart from Courmayer on the CCC race,
The UTMB® is a trail-running event for trail-runners from all over the world. Each year, the elite of the trail-running world find themselves in Chamonix to participate in one of the event's 5 races.
You can Follow all the runners live on the UTMB website

Created in 2006, it has become as popular as its big sister. The CCC is considered by many runners to be "the little one" nevertheless it too, constitutes one of the most difficult challenges in ultra - trail.
A semi-tour of Mont-Blanc, starting from Courmayeur with 101km, 6,100 metres of positive height gain and in semi-autonomy.
Starting in the centre of Courmayeur Friday August 26th at 9:00.
  • 1900 runners
  • Maximun race time: 26:30 hours
  • Estimated time for the first finishers is12 hours
  • Limited to runners who have a minimum 3 qualification points.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Looking for Inspiration: The Business of Creating Memories II

We are in the Business of Creating Memories...

An amazing video sharing a families experience heli-skiing together at CMH Heli-Skiing.

UTMB 2016: The Orsières-Champex-Chamonix Race Kicks Off This Morning

Today at 08:15 the third wave of ultra trail runners will depart from Orsières Place Centrale,
The UTMB® is a trail-running event for trail-runners from all over the world. Each year, the elite of the trail-running world find themselves in Chamonix to participate in one of the event's 5 races.
You can Follow all the runners live on the UTMB website

The Orsières-Champex-Chamonix (OCC)

The new race was launched in 2014. Tthis race will be perfect for fans of medium distances (in the category Trail Ultra Medium between 42km and 69km). Therefore, for the less "ultra" runners wishing to get into the event of the UTMB® will find a race suitable for them to start the adventure. Orsières will finally experiment the rhythm of a start of a race desired for several years.
The race will start from Orsières located southwest of the canton in the Val d’Entremont. This valley offers unique landscapes: ultimate peaks on the eastern flanks of the Mont Blanc drawing the franco-swiss frontier, hanging glaciers on polished rocks, fiery torrents… The layout of the OCC goes through that nature, in a charming atmosphere before reaching Champex and the last part just as magical at the UTMB® or the CCC®.
Starting from Orsières Place Centrale on Thursday August 25th  at 8:15.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Looking for Inspiration: The Business of Creating Memories

We are in the Business of Creating Memories...

A memorable trip is greater than the sum of its parts – it’s a feeling you’re left with when you go home; a residual awe, a lingering smile. A trip into these mountains though, that feeling lasts. It’s easy to know about our number one rankings, our legendary terrain, our reliably deep snow and our world record-breaking gondola but those take a back seat to how it actually feels to be here. Which is, truthfully, a bit hard to grasp from a YouTube video. What we can tell you, is that it’s a mountain town with an undisputed vibe and an Olympic legacy. It’s a pedestrian village with ski-in/ski-out lodging. It’s world-famous après. Five star dining. Spas. Shopping. Nightlife. And it is, of course, the 200 marked runs, 8,171 acres of terrain, 16 alpine bowls, and three glaciers that make the two largest, #1 ranked, side-by-side ski mountains in North America. But the big picture isn’t just about those things. It’s about the feeling you have when you’re here, and when you leave.

UTMB 2016: Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie Race Kicks Off This Morning

Today at 06:00 the second wave of ultra trail runners will depart from Courmayer on the TDS race,
The UTMB® is a trail-running event for trail-runners from all over the world. Each year, the elite of the trail-running world find themselves in Chamonix to participate in one of the event's 5 races.
You can Follow all the runners live on the UTMB website

Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie (TDS)

Wilder and more technical than the UTMB and the CCC, in the heart of the Aosta valley and the two Savoie, this demanding race offers a new vision of the tour of Mont Blanc and the Beaufortain country. The route will allow the discovery of the col de la Youlaz (2,661m) above Courmayeur, the "passage du Curé" or the sublime view of the massif of Mont Blanc from the col de la Gitte in the heart of Beaufortain.
A semi-tour of Mont-Blanc starting from Courmayeur with 119km, 7,250 metres of positive height gain and in semi-autonomy.
Starting from the centre of Courmayeur on Wednesday August 24th at 06:00.
  • 1600 runners
  • Maximum race time : 33 hours
  • Estimated time for the first finishers is 14 hours
  • Limited to runners who have a minimum of 3 qualification points

Monday, August 22, 2016

Looking for Inspiration: Excerpts About Ageism In Marketing

In his book Management Challenges for the 21st Century, Peter Drucker said the number one issue facing business is coping with the worldwide decline in birth rates. This has dramatically changed age ratios, making young people a smaller percentage of the population and older people a larger percentage (David B. Wolfe. Marketing to the new Customer Majority).

Population ageing is unprecedented, without parallel in the history of humanity. One of the great achievements of the twentieth century is a dramatic rise in life expectancy. But, increases in the proportions of older persons (60 years or older) are being accompanied by declines in the proportions of the young (under age 15). By 2050, the number of older persons in the world will exceed the number of young for the first time in history. Moreover, by 1998 this historic reversal in relative proportions of young and old had already taken place in the more developed regions.
The number of people aged 60 years and over has tripled since 1950, reaching 600 million in 2000 and surpassing 700 million in 2006. It is projected that the combined senior and geriatric population will reach 2 billion by 2050.
Most of the developed world now has sub-replacement fertility levels, and population growth now depends largely on immigration together with population momentum which arises from previous large generations now enjoying longer life expectancy.
The majority of older persons are women, as female life expectancy is higher than that for men. In 2000, there were 63 million more women than men aged 60 or older, and at the oldest ages, there are  two to five times as many women as men.
Countries with high per capita incomes tend to have lower participation rates of older workers.
Population ageing is enduring -we will not return to the young populations that our ancestors knew-, and has profound implications for many facets of human life.
The profound, pervasive and enduring consequences of population ageing present enormous opportunities as well as enormous challenges for all societies.
UN (2002). World Population Ageing: 1950-2050

As one would expect, companies should consider these demographical realities and adapt their strategies in order to stay on top of the economic game. Yet, unlike other industries such as travel and insurance, the advertising industry has been slow to respond to these changes (Vivek Vallurupalli. Too Old for Ads? Implications of Age Discrimination in Advertising).

For decades the advertising industry has worshipped at the altar of youth. Advertisers have been chasing young money since the nineteen-twenties, when consultants started advising companies to woo trendsetting flappers. The baby boomers cemented the youth infatuation; the Pepsi Generation was the biggest, most affluent, and most free-spending group of young people anyone had ever seen. In the sixties, ABC persuaded Nielsen to measure a show's popularity with younger viewers so that the network could demonstrate to advertisers that it was the boomers' favorite (James Surowiecki. Ageism in Advertising).

There's only one small problem with that: People 55+ spend the most money in almost all categories. They buy the most cars, spend the most on electronics, and control the most wealth. Yet more than 80% of the wealth in North American financial institutions is in the hands of people over 50, giving them 2.5 times the discretionary spending of the coveted 18 to 34 age group. They spend an estimated $2 trillion per year on products and services.

The advertising industry has focused on the key 18 to 49 target, believing that young people were most likely to develop lifelong loyalties to certain brands.
Media buyers estimate that 55% of the $20 billion spent in television primetime advertising is directed at the 18-49 age group.
Yet only 10% of all advertising is aimed at people 55+.
But, a RoperASW study found that people over 50 were as likely as younger consumers to switch brands for things such as banks, airlines, computers and even bath soap.
Another report showed that when it came to other product categories, like athletic shoes, home electronics and cellphones - older consumers were even more open to switching brands than younger ones. As a matter of fact, 78% of people between 56 and 90 are "likely" or "very likely" to try new products.
If the age-old axiom is to "follow the money," why isn't advertising's famous ability to do that kicking in?
There are three possible reasons (Terry O'Reilly. The Age of Persuasion. Ageism In Advertising):
  1. The average age of ad agency people is around 30. So if the people advising advertisers where to spend their money are young, it's not surprising that companies are being convinced they should be targeting the young. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
    Or perhaps companies suffer from what economists call an internal audience problem—the people who create their ads don't look like the people who buy their products (James Surowiecki. Ageism in Advertising).
  2. Marketing's lack of attention to 55+ is cultural. Ignoring older people is tolerated. If society feels that way at large, and if advertising follows the parade, why should marketers feel any different?
  3. The advertising industry has institutionalized the youth strategy. While it has recently shifted that demographic slightly to reflect ages 25 to 54, a lot of media thinking believes the 55+ consumers will be reached with the "spill" of their 25 to 54 media buys. But even the word "spill" suggests a lack of focus and respect. So advertisers continue shutting the door at age 49, or even 54, despite the fact that the 55+ market would probably grow revenues dramatically.

"There's now a kind of ritualistic, inertial quality to the way ads get bought", CBS's David Poltrack says. "The old categories are increasingly irrelevant, but we keep using them". Twenty or thirty years ago, brand loyalty was more durable. Consumers—particularly older ones—were less sophisticated and less restless, and had fewer brands to choose from. So it made sense to get them while they were young. But today the boomers, steeped in advertising from cradle to couch, are comfortable navigating a marketplace of limitless choice. Even people supposedly settling into their golden years have been taught to shop at Target, pop Aleve, and drink Starbucks. Of course, there is a demographic of genuine stick-in-the-mud types, who have decided what they're after and are resistant to all arguments to the contrary.
They're the ones who work in advertising. (James Surowiecki. Ageism in Advertising).

Today's richest market is the New Customer Majority-middle-aged and older adults who make up the biggest percentage of the buying public. Never before have adults 40 years and older been in the majority. Understanding this population and persuasively selling to it require a new kind of marketing research arsenal (David B. Wolfe, Robert E. Snyder. Ageless Marketing: Strategies for Reaching the Hearts and Minds of the New Customer Majority).
Older people behave differently. Changes in goals, values, and in what they want from life changes behavior as well as needs. Life satisfaction is more often sought in experiences than in things. The narcissistic and materialistic influences that drive much of the behavior of younger people tend to ebb among older people (David B. Wolfe. Marketing to the new Customer Majority).

Companies that want to tap into this important segment should start learning how to adress the needs of this market and how to reach it.

I started this post with Peter Drucker and I also want to finish it with another of his quotes:

"Basic assumptions about reality are the paradigms of a social science, such as management. They are usually held subconsciously by the scholars, the writers, the teachers, the practitioners in the field. Yet those assumptions largely determine what the discipline assumes to be reality (...)
For a social discipline such as management, the assumptions are actually a good deal more important than are the paradigms for a natural science (...) The paradigm -that is, the prevailing general theory- has no impact on the natural universe (...) The social universe has no "natural laws" (...) It is thus subject to continuous change. And this means that assumptions that were valid yesterday can become invalid and, indeed, totally misleading in no time at all (...)
What matters most in a social discipline such as management are therefore the basic assumptions. And a change in the basic assumptions matters even more" (Peter Drucker. Management Challenges for the 21st Century).

Léo Taillefer's Winning Line of the 2016 GoPro Line of the Winter Contest

Léo Taillefer wins GoPro's Line of the Winter contest for an unprecedented second year in a row and takes home $20,000!
Watch as GoPro shows up unexpected in Léo's hometown to surprise him with the big news.
After over 300 entries, Léo won 3 out of the 4 months of the contest and this years king of Line of the Winter. His unique creativity and ability to push the limits each month separated himself from the rest and secured another unprecedented win.
Shot 100% on the HERO4 camera from



The UTMB First Race Kicks Off This Morning

UTMB week in Chamonix kicks off today. This morning at 09:00 the first wave of ultra trail runners will depart from Chamonix on the PTL race, an epic multi-day race of 290km - the longest in the UTMB event.
The UTMB® is a trail-running event for trail-runners from all over the world. Each year, the elite of the trail-running world find themselves in Chamonix to participate in one of the event's 5 races.
You can Follow all the runners live on the UTMB website

A hallucinatory and non competitive event! A "grand" tour of Mont Blanc adding high passes, often higher than 2,500 metres and with some delicate passages. If you like solitude, solidarity and total adventure, that is the reason for trying it once.
This ultra-endurance pedestrian event leads participants on a large tour of Mont-Blanc,taking high routes, without way-markers on the ground, which necessitates the sense of orientation on and off paths.
Its conception is original and its unusual specificities distinguish it from other races. The spirit of the  PTL® depends upon mental engagement, an adventurous team spirit as well as sporting values and also those of the mountains.
  • An event without final positions and in complete autonomy, to be realised by teams of 3 (or 2) inseparable runners. The total number of runners will be limited to 300.
  • The route is different each year, not way marked but simply mapped (GPS waypoints are provided). So as to progress in security competitors must be able to master navigation with a GPS and also have sufficient knowledge in map reading, the use of a compass and of an altimeter.
  • Around 300km and 28,000 metres of positive height gain
  • Maximum authorized time: 141 hours
  • Start from Chamonix Monday August 22nd at 9:00