Redirection of Grow Boating funds finds support - Trade Only Today

Redirection of Grow Boating funds finds support

Author:
Publish date:

Industry leaders are voicing their support for the recent decision to postpone a national advertising campaign and redirect Grow Boating assessments to the manufacturer and dealer levels.

“I’m 100 percent for it,” Phil Keeter, president of the Marine Retailers Association of America, told Soundings Trade Only. “I think it’s the right thing to do.”

The National Marine Manufacturers Association announced yesterday that its board of directors voted unanimously to redirect assessments to support immediate sales-driving efforts at the retail level. Boatbuilders who sign a pledge to follow certain criteria will get an 85 percent credit on assessments they’re supposed to submit for the Grow Boating campaign.

Keeter, an early proponent of a national advertising campaign, said the change is necessary given the ongoing slump in marine sales. He said it’s more important in today’s climate for dealers to get their product out the door.

“I’m disappointed we aren’t going to have as much money as we had before, but we can’t change that,” said Keeter. “It’s all just a reflection of the times.”

Irwin Jacobs, chairman of Genmar Holdings, agreed.

“This is not a time for generic marketing,” he said.

Jacobs had originally opposed the idea of a national advertising campaign, arguing several years ago that manufacturers can do a better job of marketing their own product. He eventually came around to support Grow Boating after other industry leaders convinced him of the value of a national campaign.

Given the current state of the economy, however, he said a national campaign “hasn’t been a high priority.”

Jacobs said Genmar has “lots of plans” of how to use the assessment money to help drive sales at the dealer level, but he declined to provide specifics.

Keeter had some suggestions of how manufacturers could help their dealers, such as demo days, retail promotions and more co-op support for boat shows.

“I’m anxious to see what innovative ways they [manufacturers] use this to help the dealers,” he said.

— Melanie Winters
m.winters@tradeonlytoday.com

Related

E-nnovation Lab to expand at 2018 Metstrade show

The growing demand for hybrid and electric engines is becoming more apparent within the leisure marine market, prompting Metstrade to introduce the E-nnovation Lab platform for electric propulsion technology.

Aluminum, tow boats lead moderate growth in May

Boat registrations were up 2.1 percent in May in the main powerboat categories, and rose 3.2 percent in all categories, according to preliminary data from Statistical Surveys Inc., a Michigan company that tracks new boat registrations.

Retaliatory tariffs on boats to EU start today

The 25 percent tariff the EU announced Wednesday on U.S.-built boats kicks in today, and a 10 percent tariff on boats sold to Canada will start July 1, prompting boatbuilders to worry they will lose sales to those countries.