The Weekly - July 30, 2020 - 17

Jennifer
Pringle

Time to Mobilize

An ORO polling session stresses the outdoor inudstry's need to encourage voting. By Jenn Fields
THE JULY 23 OUTDOOR RETAILER

Online lunch session on polling
came at a moment of political
victory: The Great American
Outdoors Act had passed in the
U.S. House the day before. "This
fully funds the Land and Water
Conservation Fund that pays for

so many of our great spaces and
great places to play," said Jennifer
Pringle, OIA's VP of marketing and communications, as she
introduced the session. "This is
huge. Many of us in the session
today have been fighting for the
Land and Water Conservation

Fund for decades."
But there's much more work
ahead, and the ORO session
Thriving Outdoor Industry:
Election 2020: What the Polls
Say and What They Can't Tell Us
offered clues about the political
way forward. Pollster Doug Usher,
partner of polling and insights at
Forbes Tate Partners, outlined
some key points for the outdoor
community ahead of November.
"The environment is a salient
issue, but with that said, it trails
well behind jobs and the economy, and health care-and also
well behind what is characterized
as other," which includes COVID,
Usher said. They're still important to people, he said. "It's just
that, in this election environment,
it's going to be difficult for issues
like climate to make it to the top

F R O M TO P : CO U R T E SY J E N N I F E R P R I N G L E , G R E AT A M E R I CA N O U T D O O R ACT

TAKE A STAND

Data suggests brands should go public
with stances on environmental and social
issues, and The Conservation Alliance
agrees it's time for the industry to show
up politically.
On July 22, the morning the historic
Great American Outdoors Act was
debated and passed on the floor of the
U.S. House of Representatives, Kirsten
Blackburn, The Conservation Alliance's
advocacy program manager, spoke
about the unifying power of public lands
and the role of brand messaging during
the Alliance's breakfast, which was part
of the Outdoor Retailer Online show.
Blackburn relayed results of a poll the
Alliance had conducted to better understand the impact of outdoor communities on elections. "Battleground states
are often decided by thousands of votes.
If the outdoor community shows up for
the polls, we could have a real impact on

The Great American Outdoors
Act passed in the House last
week thanks to concerted efforts
by outdoor advocacy groups.

election results," she said.
Overall political engagement is up, and
more folks are planning to vote this year
than in 2016, shared Blackburn. However, outdoor industry follow-through
is lacking: According to the poll, 88% of
the general population reports they're
"very likely" to vote in the upcoming
election, while only 78% of the outdoor
community said the same. That means
24.6 million outdoor community mem-

of the agenda."
Usher shared polling data from
the Conservation Alliance that
showed, while outdoor enthusiasts say they're more likely to vote
in 2020 than they were in 2016,
they're 10 percentage points lower
than the general public when
asked how likely they are to vote
in November. "So, mobilizing and
motivating them is a key strategic
objective," he said.
Pringle then announced this
year's OIA Vote the Outdoors
campaign. OIA will launch a getout-the-vote initiative in August
and a voter's guide in September.
"We want to provide tools and
resources to mobilize your outdoor
customers, your community, your
networks, so we can get more
people to vote on the issues they
care about."

bers may not vote in November-most of
them likely young (18 to 34 years old) and
living in urban areas. This is the population the Alliance encourages brands to
target with social channels and marketing
campaigns, as 80% of respondents said
they prefer to buy products from brands
that publicly share positions on different
environmental or social issues.
"We encourage you to stand up for
your values. We think you can do that
without falling into the partisan fray," said
Brady Robinson, the Conservation Alliance's executive director.
Blackburn encouraged brands to
research issues and provide customers
with accessible ways to stay informed,
then use all available communication
platforms to get out the vote and also
consider making Nov. 3 a voting holiday
for employees.
In a nutshell: "Go public," Robinson
said. "People are looking to brands for
direction." -Emma Athena

OUTDOOR RETAILER SUMMER 2020 / THE WEEKLY 17


https://education.outdoorretaileronline.com/view/content/lv8hV https://outdoorindustry.org/ https://www.conservationalliance.com/ https://education.outdoorretaileronline.com/view/content/xJsRk

The Weekly - July 30, 2020

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