EXCITING NEWS FROM GROW BOATING
In early June, NMMA’s Boat Manufacturers Divisional Board agreed to end the 85 percent redirection of Grow Boating assessments to manufacturers, effective July 1, 2010. The assessment on engines purchased by boat builders will subsequently be reduced temporarily by 85 percent through December 31, 2010, while the remaining 15 percent dedicated to funding Grow Boating efforts continues. There was no change in the assessment on loose engine sales.
In terms of the ongoing PR funding through year’s end, sailing is sure to enjoy some positive press. According to NMMA Chief Marketing Officer Carl Blackwell, Discover Boating is working in cooperation with Sunsail in hosting a seven-day media trip involving five journalists who are immersed in the boating lifestyle. This initiative involves numerous sailing and powerboat excursions where journalists will learn to drive, sail and dock a boat, along with taking a deep sea fishing and inflatable adventure.
“We find these immersion trips with non-endemic media are a great way to expose the media to boating and help us create positive media coverage on a limited budget,” said Blackwell. “The writers are all on assignment and will be covering this experience for publications/blogs and websites including the Chicago Sun-Times, New York Daily News, the Canadian Globe and Mail, Canadian National Post, Continental in-flight magazine, HuffingtonPost.com and FoxNews.com.”
The Grow Boating Board of Directors is currently focusing its efforts on both new funding strategies and agency search task forces. Part of this initiative includes the development of a new marketing strategy based on the latest market research that considers any shifts in consumer mindsets as it relates to the purchase of a boat brought on by the recession.
According to NMMA and Grow Boating President Thom Dammrich, both the funding research and marketing campaign proposal is expected to be ready by Fall of this year. This will allow the industry to determine next steps on potentially revamping its national Discover Boating campaign, including a date for the full re-launch.
“When we developed the Grow Boating Initiative, we realized it would require long-term support in order to see real growth. In its first three years, Grow Boating efforts accomplished exactly what we set out to do — increase participation to help spur increased sales over time. In fact, we stemmed a 10-year decline in boating participation with consecutive increases in 2006, 2007 and 2008. With nearly 67 million adults participating in boating during 2009, this is a 14 percent increase over 2005 participation of 58 million adults,” said Dammrich.
"It will be critical for our industry to make a decision on how to move forward with the Grow Boating Initiative and a national Discover Boating campaign as we look to rebuild coming out of the recession," he added. "The U.S. population is expected to grow 50 percent over the next 40 years, providing the industry with opportunity for growth if we can effectively promote the boating lifestyle on a consistent long-term basis."
Any manufacturers with questions related to the assessment reduction should contact NMMA’s Freya Olsen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-946-6255.