MTAs contribute nearly $90,000 to Grow Boating

CHICAGO - Boating trade associations are putting financial support behind the industry-wide Grow Boating Initiative, with nearly $90,000 having been raised through contributions made by marine trade associations in California, Connecticut, Michigan, Florida, and the Lake Erie and Houston, Texas regions, the National Marine Manufacturers Association said in a release today.

“If I had to single out one thing that we must do to grow boating, it is to embrace the largest national campaign we can afford to create as an industry, and it must happen now,” said Lake Erie Marine Trades Association President Norm Schultz, whose association contributed $12,000 to the Grow Boating program. “We have committed this money to complete the creative process, and now we are looking forward to getting the program under way as quickly as possible.”

NMMA is collecting contributions for the start-up fund and recently received donations of $35,000 from the Marine Industries Association of Southern Florida and Marine Industries Association of Florida, $18,900 from the Michigan Boating Industries Association, $10,000 from the Southern California Marine Association, $10,000 from the Boating Trades Association of the Houston Metropolitan Area, along with contributions from the Connecticut Marine Trades Association and the Northern California Marine Association.

MBIA's donation is based on a $50 contribution for each member, according to Executive Director Van Snider.

“We view the Grow Boating initiative as more than just an advertising campaign. It's a structured plan with several elements that will help improve the quality of marine products as well as enhance the overall boating experience,” Snider said.

The $2 million start-up fund will cover the costs for the creative development and production of the marketing campaign that will launch in 2005. The marketing campaign will be introduced at a special All-Industry Meeting at the Miami International Boat Show, being held February 16 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

“To me, Feb. 16 is a pivotal date in the history of the future growth of this industry; possibly the most important industry meeting in decades,” said Schultz.

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