Snowsports Industries America (SIA) has named Brian Stephenson (pictured) as the director of Snowbound Festival. Stephenson brings extensive experience in large-scale consumer events and digital engagement to the winter outdoor consumer festivals, said SIA.
Stephenson will be tasked with developing the long-term vision and strategy for Snowbound Festival’s online and in-person initiatives. Central to his work will be developing a comprehensive plan to engage current and aspiring winter outdoor enthusiasts from across the country and leverage that engagement to generate consumer insights; build loyalty; grow participation; drive attendance; create innovative marketplaces for product sales and deliver a more inclusive winter outdoor experience for consumers of all ages and experience levels, said SIA. He takes the reins at Snowbound Festival after most recently working for ReedPOP, a globally recognized events services company best known for its popular consumer events including New York Comic Con and Star Wars Celebration, among many more. Stephenson served as the company’s brand director and led all aspects of direct-to-consumer marketing for the company’s pop culture events as well as contributing his vision to merchandise, web design, event production and the consumer experience.
During his time at ReedPOP, Stephenson built immersive environments that functioned as marketplaces for brands to sell exclusive products to consumers. He helped New York Comic Con grow to more than 250,000 unique attendees and Star Wars Celebration to more than 70,000 unique attendees, while generating billions of media impressions for these events.
“My whole career has been built on communicating passion and building online and offline communities of highly engaged consumers,” Stephenson said. “Targeting audiences then finding ways to get them excited – be it about comic books, an energy drink or a new snowboard or pair of skis – and then keeping them authentically engaged all year long. We see this as a real opportunity to expand the audience, get more people to attend our events, purchase new products, and then get them outside to enjoy winter.”
Prior to joining ReedPOP, Stephenson spent more than two decades working in lifestyle, sports, culture and experiential marketing, featuring clients such as Disney, Microsoft, PepsiCo, DC Entertainment, Marvel, Airwalk and Lucasfilm.
“I’ve known Brian and followed his career for a long time, and I’m thrilled to have him leading the way for Snowbound Festival,” said Nick Sargent, president of SIA. “By creating a compelling, multi-platform destination, our goal is to celebrate the entire winter outdoor culture and lifestyle in a way that is inspirational and accessible to all, and Brian is the ideal person to help Snowbound Festival inspire a larger audience to join us outside once the snow starts to fall.”
SIA announced in January 2020 that it had acquired the Denver and Boston Ski and Snowboard Expos from BEWI Productions, Inc. and launched the re-branded events as Snowbound Festival.