NMTA promotes boating through giveaways

SEATTLE – More than $120,000 in boats was awarded to three winners last weekend, including a 5-year old boy, as part of the culmination of the Northwest Marine Trade Association’s regional Grow Boating campaign, the association reported in a recent statement.

Two boats were awarded last Saturday to grand prize winners of the 2008 Northwest Salmon Derby Series – a schedule of 14 fishing derbies throughout the Pacific Northwest. Jim Hardey of Tacoma, Wash. was selected as the winner of the adult division prize – a 23-foot, $71,000 fully loaded fishing machine from Pacific Boats. The kids division prize, a 14-foot, $15,000 Stabi-Craft fishing boat, was won by a 5-year old boy from Rainier, Wash. Both boats are equipped with Suzuki motors and EZ Loader trailers.

The Northwest Salmon Derby Series, presented by Travelers Insurance Co., partners with existing fishing tournaments to promote recreational fishing throughout the region. First started in 2004 with only six events, the series has grown to include 14 events stretching from Portland, Ore. to Bellingham, Wash., reported the association.

“Fishing is a big reason why people go boating in the Northwest,” said John Thorburn, NMTA’s communications director. “The Derby Series has become a tremendous tool to attract new anglers to the water, and remind boaters that there are many fishing opportunities throughout the year.”

The following day, NMTA’s new summer-long promotion with Major League Baseball’s Seattle Mariners ended when Steve Reeves of Tacoma, Wash. turned the winning key on his special edition Seattle Mariners Bayliner 205. The 20-foot boat, valued at more than $35,000, features wrapped graphics and embroidered upholstery containing the Mariners team logo and the Downtown Seattle skyline. The boat, provided by Olympic Boat Centers and Bayliner boats, was on display at Safeco Field beginning in mid-May. Reeves was among five finalists invited to last Sunday’s Mariners vs. New York Yankees game where each was given a key to start the boat. The finalists were selected at random from more than 10,000 entries received during the season.

“With an estimated two million fans attending games during the season, the Seattle Mariners promotion provided our industry an outlet to spread the message of boating to a huge audience,” said Thorburn. “We are proud of the success of our regional Grow Boating efforts this summer. It’s in tough times like these that it is critical to push forward and continue to promote the industry that we love. We’re planting the seeds to develop a crop of new buyers eager to get into boating when our economy turns for the better.”

NMTA created its own Grow Boating fund in 2003 by collecting $0.75 per square foot rented by exhibitors during the group’s annual Seattle Boat Show each January, it explained.

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