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It’s no secret that indoor climbing has had a rough go of things lately, which is why the Climbing Wall Association (CWA) recently announced a campaign, “Inside Voices,” to help out our nation’s gyms during the economic downturn resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Designed to give gyms and other industry partners (wall builders, gear and hold manufacturers, etc.) the tools they need to keep their heads above water, Inside Voices is a free-to-join collective marketing campaign. The CWA is making 6-week media kits available to all who join.
From the CWA: One in four climbing gyms may close permanently in the next year. But with zero reported outbreaks among the estimated 10 million visits to climbing centers in North America during 2020, the risk of contracting coronavirus at a climbing gym appears low.
Members will have access to a series of materials designed to help them communicate this message and connect with their local climbing communities, including social media posts, email marketing templates, press releases, posters, instructions and schedules. More than anything, the campaign is designed to get the climbing community talking about how hard climbing gyms have been hit by the pandemic, as well as how important climbing gyms are to our local climbing communities and what we can all do to help.
“The [indoor climbing] industry has risen to the challenge of figuring out strategies to operate safely within the restrictions of COVID,” said Laura Allured, the CWA’s Marketing and Communications Manager, in a press release. “But getting their members and the public to see that and want to come back to the gym is a hurdle because there is so much fear.”
“The idea for Inside Voices developed over many months as the CWA helped the indoor climbing industry navigate the pandemic,” Allured added. “Evidence began to pile up over time showing how severely our industry has been impacted, and we wanted to help tell that story to climbers. Though we all expect the impacts of the pandemic to ease over the spring and summer, many climbing gyms are running out of resources, and are increasingly reliant on their members to help them get to the other side.”
Signups for gyms and industry partners are open until March 22nd, with the consumer-facing side of the campaign beginning the following day. According to Allured, over 150 gyms and other industry partners have already signed on to be a part of Inside Voices.
In addition to helping gyms and industry partners tell their stories and connect with their communities, Allured added that the consumer-facing side of the Inside Voices campaign “is designed to amplify the stories of how indoor climbing has positively impacted so many people’s lives. Climbing gyms play a special role in local climbing communities, and we know there are a lot of folks out there who care very deeply about their climbing gyms. This campaign gives them an opportunity to support their gym by sharing their story.”
If you’re a climber, spread the word and consider donating to help keep your local gym afloat. If you’re a gym or other industry partner, head over to the CWA website to join Inside Voices!