29. Bridge: There are two boomer generation markets

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 the ACBL needs to target in its marketing stragegy plans. “There is no way in hell that I am at the same stage/age at 47 that a person at 64 is.” That’s Donna giving her reaction to the term “boomers” in a mind-changing blogwith implications for the ACBL.
Boomers ARE the logical prime marketing target for promoting bridge–I’ve always believed that–but you just can’t think of 46-64 as a single demographic. Don’t combine early 50s with over 60s in segregating age groups at competitions, for instance.
Boomers ARE the lost generation of bridge players who, on tumultuous college campuses of the 1960s, broke the chain of parents passing on bridge to children as part of the popular culture. That broken link needs to be restored. The link, however, is between Late Boomers and their parents. The Early Boomers, say 46 to 54 had nothing to do with their older brothers and sisters revolution.
Nor do those Early Boomers even approve, necessarily, of what their older siblings did in the 60s. As one said when I Googled, “I’m part of Generation X–I’m not a boomer!”
Likewise, older Boomers are critical of younger ones who benefitted from their culture-changing, women-liberating activities and now don’t appreciate what their older sisters and brothers did for them.
I wonder sometimes if ACBL’s marketing has been affected by AARP decisions? Back in 2006 they formed some kind of coalition to promote bridge which sounded promising–not sure what AARP ever actually contributed to promoting bridge. I’ve only ever seen one article about bridge in the AARP magazine in my years of subscribing.
AARP used to be an organization for those 65 and older and then began wrapping its arms around younger and younger people, recruiting them to buy insurance and subscribe to their magazine. They are now down to 50!  I’ve read stories of women furious at even getting a promotional piece of mail from AARP when they turn 50!
Marketing bridge to boomers? Treat anyone under 55 as if they were part of Generation X–and don’t (as I read in a complaint about a bridge competition recently) lump 50-year olds in with up to 65 just because some sociologist calls them all boomers.
Anecdotally,  I find here in Florida, bridge-playing boomers in their 60s seem to be a growing group. And they participate at the senior centers. They probably feel good being the “youngsters” and I know I enjoy them–socializing and playing bridge with women young enough to be daughters.

Much younger than 60s? They’re not ready to be seen at senior centers.

The life-enhancing, mental benefits of bridge should be an inducement to all boomers to take up bridge. Don’t all boomers want to live forever? But I’m not sure people even think about end of life issues until they reach 60. I know I never did till I hit 70. That’s when I began to see bridge as possibly dementia-preventive as well as a great social thing to do.
*I neglected to copy the URL for the Donna blog and now I can’t find it again! Still trying and will add it to this blog if and when I do find it.

2 Responses to 29. Bridge: There are two boomer generation markets

  1. I agree — what we now need — and it requires a whole different PR campaign from AARP — are women (especially) under 55. I think the ACBL “was HAD” by the AARP in that connection they made a few years ago. All the AARP wanted from the ACBL was its mailing list.

  2. Gen-Xers shouldn’t get too aggrieved when the AARP celebrates their fiftieth birthdays for them. The organization is famous for its ability to track down anybody in the country who just turned 50–a friend joked that we’d have found Bin Laden a whole lot sooner if somebody had just thought to put AARP on the case.

    I’m starting to notice that women in their late fifties and early sixties who are retiring from their executive/professional careers are taking up bridge to keep their brains occupied. Maybe it’s the start of a trend.

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