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Opt outside on Black Friday

By Brianna Liestman

For the second year in a row, the sports co-op REI will close on Friday, Nov. 25 – Black Friday – in an effort to not “feed the Black Friday frenzy.” The move closes 149 stores and gives over 12,000 employees a paid day off, supported by a social media campaign #OptOutside.

Despite the cold Minnesota weather, I participated in this last year. I am grateful that my state opened its parks with free admission on Black Friday and is doing so again this year. Sadly, I can’t go on a boat in late November in Minnesota. But many other states do not have that limitation!

Last year the #OptOutside campaign got quite a bit of media attention, and I think it’s imperative the boating industry keep its profile raised during a time focused on outdoor activity. On the social sharing page for REI, the company offers a “This Black Friday, I’ll Be Paddling” post, but not a post for boating or fishing, which is disappointing. But it would be very easy to share one of the generic posts on your social media channels and encourage your customers to get out on the water, asking them to share their outdoor plans for the day.

Beyond that, if you don’t live in a state like Minnesota that is assisting with incentivizing outdoor activity, you can do it on your own: Host a demo event, plan a fall boat cruise, start a giveaway campaign surrounded by social sharing on a boat that day. The choice is yours!

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