Skip to main content

Excitement: That’s the new Discover Boating campaign

This year’s Discover Boating national campaign has hit the marketplace with the most exciting videos and media plans yet assembled, and there’s plenty in it for dealers and manufacturers.

It’s no secret that I’m a strong advocate for the DB campaign. That’s because realistically there are only two entities that nationally promote boating’s growth. They are the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation and our DB campaign. Both are underfunded in comparison to other recreational industries, and it should be our priority to close those gaps.

With that said, however, the $9 million budget for this year’s DB campaign is the best in more than a decade. But the most exciting news is the direction and materials produced for this year are really on target to grow our sport.

Bringing new boaters to our businesses is the total focus of the 2019 year-round DB campaign. The excitement of the boating lifestyle has been captured in some outstanding new videos and other materials. And, once these pique the interest of viewers, the DB process is designed to take them to the next step and connect them with manufacturers and dealers.

Even better, there is a very specific target for the new videos: 76 million millennials, now our largest U.S. demographic, and one we must reach out to in order to grow.

Cornerstones of the new campaign include action-packed digital videos, abundant social media and, for the first time, DB will be advertising on Connected TV. It’s a trending platform in which millions of users stream shows and movies through the internet via Roku, Hulu, Apple TV and more. Ads will also run in premium apps like ESPN, HGTV, TBS and CNN — an impactful new way to reach the target audience in the ways they consume television.

“Capturing the attention of potential boaters with exciting video and social media is the key to reaching the younger, diverse audience we want because that’s where they live these days,” says Joe Lewis, chairman of the industry’s Grow Boating initiative and owner of Mt. Dora Boating Center. “It’s important for my fellow dealers to know that DB’s social content is available free to all industry stakeholders to use on their social channels through the Get Social With Discover Boating program.”

Lewis is right on point when it comes to the importance of digital video and social media today. According to Yoram Wurmser, the principal analyst for the newsletter eMarketer, for the first time ever, US consumers will spend more time using their mobile devices than watching TV, with smartphone use dominating that time.

“We’ve expected that mobile would overtake TV for a while, but seeing it happen is still surprising," said Wurmser. "As recently as 2014, the average US adult watched nearly 2 hours more TV than they spent on their phones.”

The average US adult will spend 3 hours, 43 minutes on mobile devices in 2019, just above the 3:35 spent on TV. Of time spent on mobile, consumers will spend 2:55 on smartphones, a 9-minute increase from last year. In 2018, mobile time spent was 3:35, with TV time spent at 3:44. So the shift is clear and is why DB’s overall program this year is capitalizing on what’s happening.

In addition, it’s important that dealers recognize these trends, especially mobile consumption, and make certain their websites and all digital marketing programs are set up for mobile consumption. Consumers’ use of smartphones is projected to continue to make up the majority of media consumption going forward.

“Every dealer should be taking advantage of the free, professionally produced DB Tools You Can Use at” urges Lewis. “There is so much you can apply to your company’s marketing efforts, from social media content via Get Social with Discover Boating to online training courses to promotional materials and assets you can use in your dealership.”

Now, see something exciting; check out this link to the newest DB 30-second video spot at 


St. Petersburg Show Opens Thursday

The 44th edition combines with the Tampa Boat Show to create what organizers say is the largest show on the Florida Gulf Coast.

Pay To Play

When Covid restrictions were widespread, some MTAs found a new revenue stream by charging admission to previously free shows, and visitors had no problem ponying up.

Yamaha Expands F25 Line

The company added short-shaft power trim and tilt models, and two models with improved tiller handles.

MRAA Donates to Educational Foundation

The group reinvested $100,000 in donations it received to help the foundation’s effort to address workforce shortages.

TPG Adds to Marine Portfolio

The hospitality and marina management firm acquired Conanicut Marina and Taylor Point Boat Yard in Jamestown, R.I.

Trade Only Today Returns Jan. 18

The daily e-newsletter will not publish Monday, Jan. 17, in observation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We wish everyone a happy and safe holiday weekend.

ECONOMY REPORT: Omnipresent Omicron

The year closed with an uptick in consumer confidence, but the latest coronavirus variant threatens to derail progress