The National Marine Manufacturers Association acquired the rights to the American Sportfishing Association’s four consumer shows, a strategic move that will boost the NMMA’s ability to expand the fishing component at some of its existing shows.
“Not only do we acquire four great shows that are strong and sell a lot of product — these are really strong shows. I’m amazed by the amount of stuff that is sold, and boats are being sold, as well,” NMMA vice president Ben Wold told Trade Only Today. “But what we hope for is that this acquisition gets us closer to the fishing and tackle manufacturing community.”
The four shows are the Chicagoland Fishing Travel and Outdoor Expo, which hosts its fourth annual event Jan. 28-31 at the Schaumburg Convention Center in Illinois; the Greater Philadelphia Outdoor Sportshow, which runs Feb. 25-28 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center for the seventh year; the World Fishing and Outdoor Exposition, which will hold its 39th installation March 10-13 in Suffern, N.Y., at Rockland Community College; and the Saltwater Fishing Expo, which opens its 11th year at the Garden State Exhibit Center March 18-20 in Somerset, N.J.
They will be added to the 23 shows the NMMA already runs and 12 of those are boat and sport shows, Wold says.
“Our hope is to expand exhibitor offerings within those sport shows and work with those teams to attract more fishermen,” Wold said. “We’re hoping to expand on the exhibitor and attendee side.”
The staff for the four shows will remain intact, Wold said. “If you’re an exhibitor in those shows, most of it will be the same. Frankly, they don’t need a lot of changes. They’re very strong, well-run shows,” Wold said.
With the acquisition, NMMA will bring on two full-time employees from the ASA to run the new NMMA shows and maintain the former ASA New Hampshire show office. Tod Alberto remains show manager, and Julia Bubar assistant show manager. Both have extensive experience running ASA shows and working with the recreational fishing industry.
In addition to the acquisition of ASA’s four consumer shows, NMMA is partnering with the ASA, with the ASA Consumer Show Committee providing strategic direction to help expand the fishing component at NMMA shows where that makes sense and help fishing tackle manufacturers sell more product. The NMMA also will make an annual donation to Keep America Fishing for the next five years to promote stronger engagement by anglers on important fishing advocacy issues.
“Our mission has always been to grow the recreational fishing industry, and we’re excited to join forces with the world’s leading producer in consumer boat and sport shows to achieve our mission and strengthen the relationship between the fishing and boating communities,” ASA president Mike Nussman said in a statement.
“This move should allow us to increase our attendance to include more fishermen and women,” Wold added, “as well as fishing features, promotions and educational events. This is taking a product grouping within our show, and hopefully this move will help us grow and strengthen those.”
“This is the acquisition of these four shows, but strategically, it’s more than that,” Wold added. “It’s a chance to get more engaged with the fishing and tackle industry and improve what we offer. We and the ASA have always had a great partnership. This underscores the relationship between fishing and boating and how they complement each other.”