NMMA set to pick Grow Boating marketer

Published online: Aug 19, 2010 News Trade Only Today
Viewed 168 time(s)

The effort to relaunch Grow Boating is under way, with three companies today pitching strategies to the National Marine Manufacturers Association in Chicago for the industrywide campaign that seeks to draw more people to boating, NMMA president Thom Dammrich said.

"We're in the final stages of agency selection," Dammrich told Soundings Trade Only.

The NMMA hopes to make the final pick today - or by Monday, at the latest - and begin work on a strategic plan immediately.

The association will then seek to reinstate full funding assessments - beginning Jan. 1, 2011 - from the Grow Boating board of directors at the International BoatBuilders' Exhibition and Conference, which takes place Sept. 28-30 in Louisville, Ky., said Carl Blackwell, who is leading the review for the NMMA.

"If the board approves the proposed plan, the agency will work on developing the new campaign elements," Blackwell said. "We fully expect some components to be released upon their completion, but don't anticipate a full-fledged marketing campaign to happen until 2012 as we build up our available funding."

Funding assessments were halted during the recession because of financial problems faced by manufacturers and dealers. Although many businesses continue to struggle, Dammrich believes it's time to reinstate the effort.

"We've got to promote the boating lifestyle," he said. "All of our data shows it works."

William McGill, president and CEO of MarineMax, agrees.

"I think efforts to grow boating is what our industry needs to be doing," McGill said. "[The number of] people who have the desire to get out on the water but aren't is probably as large as, or even twice as large, as the number of actual boaters. Anything we can do to bring people into boating, we need to be doing it."

Alan Bohling, CEO of Seattle Boat Co., also believes it's time to relaunch Grow Boating.

"Absolutely, we need to get Grow Boating back on solid footing and this is the time to get that public message out there," Bohling said. "I'm a huge believer in that."

As the economy improves, members of Generation Y will continue to find solid jobs and they'll need a place to focus discretionary income, Bohling said.

"[Generation Y] will gravitate toward boating if we expose them to boating," Dammrich said. "If we don't expose them to boating, they'll gravitate to something else."

- Reagan Haynes

You May Also Be Interested In...

April 16, 2015

Breaking News

The National Marine Manufacturers Association canceled the Progressive Chicago In-Water Boat Show, which was set to take place June 11-14, and will stop producing the annual show.
April 16, 2015

West Marine announces new "Deck Out Dad" social media contest

West Marine has launched a new social media campaign called Deck Out Dad!
April 03, 2015

66 Days At Sea

We are happy to report that after being adrift at sea and lost for 66 days, Louis Jordan has been rescued 200 miles off the coast of South Carolina.
April 01, 2015

JC Manufacturing becomes JC TriToon Marine

Formerly known as JC Manufacturing, the Indiana-based pontoon manufacturer has officially changed its name to JC TriToon Marine.
March 31, 2015

Cascade Cycleboats launches pedal-powered boat tours

A rickshaw by any other name...wouldn't be a rickshaw anymore, I guess. But Cascade Cycleboats certainly evoke those three-wheeled conveyances of years past.
March 19, 2015

Carefree Boat Club adds location in Georgia

Carefree Boat Club has just opened a brand new location, adding to its ever-growing lineup.
Follow us on Facebook!  Follow us on Instagram!  Follow us on Twitter!  Follow us on YouTube!