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2014 Free Fishing Days Now Available on TakeMeFishing.org

Free Fishing Days 250

RBFF has compiled the 2014 state fish and wildlife agencies' free fishing days, and the full list is now available on TakeMeFishing.org. RBFF uses free fishing days information in its national Take Me Fishing media relations campaign, and shares them in its monthly e-newsletter to thousands of fishing enthusiasts and on social media. Many of the free fishing day events typically take place during National Fishing and Boating Week (June 1 – 8) and offer newcomers a great opportunity to try fishing, and hopefully “get hooked,” without purchasing a license.

Already this year, the state free fishing days have earned placement in Kiplinger’s 2014 Fabulous Freebies. RBFF has also been in discussion with AARP about inclusion in their Bulletin publication which reaches 22 million people. This is a great opportunity to bring exposure to fishing and your state’s free fishing days!

Please feel free to share the 2014 free fishing days with your customers or members. If you are a state agency and would like to add or edit your state’s free fishing days, please contact rbff@rbff.org.

Not Your Grandfather’s Boat

Miami Boat Show

Miami Boat Show Insights from RBFF President & CEO Frank Peterson

This is not your grandfather’s boat. It’s not a fishing boat either. But it’s a good example of how the boating industry is working to make the sport more affordable for its customers. It’s the newest watercraft from SeaDoo which was selected for a 2014 NMMA Innovation Award because it is “expanding the entry level of boating… at half the weight and half the price” of their traditional watercraft. It retails at $4,999.

I was down at the Miami Boat Show a few weeks ago and had the privilege of attending a panel hosted by BWI on this very topic. All of the companies who spoke are approaching affordability differently, but all had something interesting to demonstrate. Brunswick has committed to having every new model cost less than the model it replaces, a representative from SunTrust outlined financing options which are at historic lows, and Legendary Marine discussed the importance of value and keeping its current customers through excellent service.

Particularly interesting to me was the presentation from Freedom Boat Club’s CEO John Giglio. According to NMMA, 62 percent of boat owners who participated in their Take the Helm training program indicated they had no prior on-the-water training (which Freedom Boat Club provides), or were self-taught. This boat club rental option seems like it might work for newcomers who are intimidated by the time, effort and responsibility of owning a boat. Freedom Boat Club purchases boats for their clubs, therefore supporting the industry, and quoted a stat that shows they do lose members each year – some of whom purchase their own boat. It’s something we’ll be taking a closer look at as yet another affordable option for new boaters entering the market.

My takeaway from the BWI Affordability Panel – It was a very good discussion about important information that we can carry forward in our Take Me Fishing™ consumer outreach campaign to increase participation. And knowing that money is a major issue to Hispanics who are considering participation in boating and fishing (whether real or perceived), we will be putting a large focus on affordability in our upcoming Hispanic campaign as well.

Bottom line - fishing and boating ARE simple, and can be affordable. And RBFF is committed to promoting this message, along with the value fishing and boating provides in family recreation, in all our outreach.

What is your company doing to make boating more affordable and valuable to customers? We’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas as they pertain to increasing participation in our LinkedIn group.

America’s Top Family Fishing and Boating Spots Sweepstakes Update

Top Places to Fish

Wednesday, March 5 marked the last day of America’s Top Family Fishing and Boating Spots Sweepstakes, a promotion created by RBFF to raise awareness of the great family-friendly parks across the nation and inspire participation in fishing and boating. The promotion, which generated thousands of votes across the country, began in early February.

“America’s Top Family Fishing and Boating Spots Sweepstakes has gained considerable attention, helping us drive traffic to TakeMeFishing.org, increase our email database and engagement on social media – all things that contribute to our key business goals of increasing fishing license and boat registration sales,” said RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson. “And its value will only increase after the voting ends, as we’re planning to use the findings in our media relations efforts and to create rich, localized website content.”

Working with its state fish and wildlife agency partners, RBFF identified 250 local, state or national parks from across the U.S. that are within an hour’s drive of a metropolitan area and offer amenities for families or beginner anglers. Sweepstakes entrants were able to vote daily for the three parks that they felt offer the best experience. The parks with the most votes will be placed on the list of America’s Top 100 Family Fishing and Boating Spots, which RBFF will use to entice families and newcomers to try the sports during National Fishing and Boating Week, as well as throughout summer.

RBFF state agency partners were active in the promotion, including information about the Top Places promo on their websites, in newsletters and social media channels. RBFF will make available template promotional materials that stakeholders can use to promote the Top 100 locations in their own communications and media outreach.

If you have any questions about this promotion, please contact RBFF Communications Manager, Stephanie Vatalaro at svatalaro@rbff.org or (703) 519-6917.