GBI reaches $2 million goal

CHICAGO – With a $50,000 contribution from Zieman Manufacturing – a trailer manufacturer based in Goshen, Ind. – the Grow Boating Initiative has now raised the $2 million it set as the original goal for the program’s Start Up Fund, the National Marine Manufacturers Association reported in a release yesterday.

“We gladly offer our monetary support to the Grow Boating campaign as we are investing in this industry for the long term,” says Jimmy Conroy II, National Operations officer for Zieman Manufacturing. “Our contribution should be seen as an indicator of our resolve to help grow the boating industry.”

NMMA also said, in a separate release, that marine electronics manufacturer Raymarine has made another donation to the fund. The company’s most recent contribution was triple its original donation made in December.

“The Grow Boating Initiative is an integral part of the recreational boating industry, and the Start Up fund is essential to expanding the group’s efforts in bringing the community together,” said Terry Carlson, president of Raymarine. “As one of the leaders in marine technology, we believe strongly in this mission and hope our contribution will help advance the Initiative’s creative vision and promote its marketing endeavors.”

The $2 million raised for the Start Up Fund is paying for the creative development and production of the marketing campaign used for the Grow Boating initiative.

The NMMA board has voted to support a funding level of $16.2 million for the complete integrated Grow Boating program in 2006, with a marketing and communications budget of $15 million.

NMMA’s board has also given the association its approval to move forward on three initiatives:

  • Developing a dealer certification program to raise the bar on the sales and service experience, and to improve the overall consumer experience at the retail level.
  • An extensive national Public Relations campaign working with Carmichael Lynch Spong to promote the boating lifestyle through earned media.
  • Enhancing the website to mirror the national Grow Boating campaign and to complete the work on the creative executions and develop lead dissemination software and processes.
  • “There is much work that remains to be done to be ready for the full launch in early 2006,” said NMMA president Thom Dammrich. “Since the permanent funding is not expected to begin until sometime this summer, we need to raise our goal by $500,000 to cover the costs for additional work we will be undertaking in the coming months that was authorized by NMMA’s board of directors during their meeting at the Miami International Boat Show.”

    Engine manufacturers are meeting later this month to work out the implementation details of plans for them to act as the collection point to provide the bulk of the funding needed for the campaign, but that revenue will not be implemented until after the new model year after July 1.

    “We did a great job raising the first $2 million needed for the Grow Boating Start Up Fund. Now that we are entering a new phase, I am very optimistic that we will raise the extra $500,000 to keep the momentum moving forward,” said Dammrich.

    For information on contributing to the Grow Boating fund, or to contribute online, visit the Grow Boating Web site at: Contributions can also be sent to NMMA, Grow Boating Start Up Fund, 33928 Treasury Center, Chicago, Ill., 60694-3900.

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