RBFF and Jake Owen promote boating


Two programs to get people out on the water are being stamped a success. The Boat Registration Marketing Program created by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation and the national media exposure by country music star Jake Owen, aka Discover Boating’s ambassador, are getting it done.


More than 44,000 boat owners with lapsed registrations in 20 states have been convinced to re-register their craft in 2015 as a result of marketing by the RBFF. The Boat Registration Marketing Program, now in its fourth season, sent out more than 522,000 direct-mail pieces to owners of lapsed boats. The strong response rate of 8.9 percent has virtually doubled the U.S. average 4.4 percent response rate for print direct mail, according to the Direct Marketing Association.

For the 20 state agencies enrolled in the program, the re-registration of these boats has meant $1.6 million in added revenue this year. Overall, the four-year program has triggered the re-registration of more than 168,600 lapsed boats for $6.06 million in additional revenue for partnering states. In addition, for the marine industry, getting more boaters back on the water generates more business at the dealer level.

President and CEO Frank Peterson says the RBFF is seeking to expand the program to additional partner states to draw even more boaters back into their boats and onto the water. “Not only does this program mean more revenue for state agencies, further assisting their conservation efforts. It also leads directly to more boaters on the water,” he said. “We want to see this successful program reaching lapsed boaters in more states.”

In addition to the state marketing programs, the RBFF’s iconic program, TakeMeFishing.org, drives consumers to the license and registration pages on all state agency websites. Last year, it drove more than 1 million referrals to state boat registration and fishing license pages. Moreover, TakeMeFishing.org also drives traffic to the marine industry’s DiscoverBoating.com for boating resources and information. So far this year, referrals to Discover Boating are up 46.6 percent.

Jake Owen

It’s good time all around for country music star Jake Owen, who is drawing record concert crowds and always taking time to share his love of boating with his audiences as well as the national media.

Owen was in New York City recently making the rounds of media outlets to talk about his music and his excitement for life on the water. The 34-year old Vero Beach, Florida, native began singing his songs in campus bars for free beer. He now plays to thousands nightly nationwide.

His current single "Real Life" is all about staying true to things that ground you and, for Owen, one of those things is boats. "From the time that I was a kid, I was always out on a boat," he said. He is a very successful part of the industry’s Discover Boating national campaign this year.

Check out his Fox News interview, where Owen talks about growing up on the water and his favorite boating activities.

You can also watch his interview with People.com.


The Coast Guard Wants Your Input

The agency is conducting a survey to determine the navigational needs of boats that operate in shallow-draft waterways. Also, states hit hard by reduced income during the pandemic face a tough road.