Mercury Marine held an event with the mainstream media in Chicago last week — not to introduce new products, but to highlight the marine industry in general.
Chicago Bears linebacker Willie Young, a longtime boater and Mercury fan, attended, did 14 interviews with news outlets and “was a rock star,” Mercury spokesman Lee Gordon said.
“The Chicago media event was a fantastic success because we were able to attract national media attention for Mercury and the industry without a product launch,” Gordon told Trade Only Today.
“We didn’t launch a single new product, but instead focused our attention on expanding our brand and promoting the industry with a local celebrity who is as authentic and passionate about the marine industry as anyone we’ve ever seen before.”
“In all, we had reporters from 16 outlets, 11 live remotes and were able to promote the boating industry to a national audience,” Gordon added. “It’s our goal to continue to promote the latest engines and technology from Mercury Marine and our partners, but also to help grow the industry, and to do that we need to expand our message to mediums with a large audience.”
It was the second such event for Mercury. The first took place in New York City last August.
Outlets in Chicago included Fox Business, then locally in Chicago CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, WGN, the Chicago-Sun Times and Comcast Sports Net, as well as members of the marine media.
The company brought seven boats — a Sea Ray 350SLX; Sea Ray SLXW Wake Surf edition; Scout 350LXF; a 41-foot Mako; a Manitou with twin 400R Carbon Edition outboard engines; a Heyday; and a Boston Whaler 345 Conquest.
Several media members joined Young for boat rides during the June 1 event, which brought lots of sunshine after a wet spring.
“It was a perfect day, 75 degrees and not a cloud in the sky,” Gordon said. “I remember an anchor for one of the local affiliates saying it was going to be a real struggle for him to go back to work that night because he wanted to stay out on the water all day.”
Mercury will hold another New York event in August, Gordon said.
“We will continue to put on these mainstream media events and host them in cities where there is a large population of media,” Gordon said. “That’s why we picked New York last year and will return again this year in August with another mainstream media event. That’s why Chicago was so attractive because you are talking about two of the top three media markets in the United States, and the amount of national media in those locations is so vast that it makes sense to go to where the media is and work with them to help promote the industry.”
This video highlights Young’s fishing and boating background.
This NBC spot featured Young doing his sack celebration, during which he mimes catching and reeling in a fish.