Canada to continue current use of Discover Boating funds

BOLTON, ON, Canada — Canada’s engine manufacturers last week unanimously decided that engine assessments collected to fund the Discover Boating Canada program will continue as in previous years, despite the temporary redirection of funds announced by the U.S. Grow Boating Initiative last month, the National Marine Manufacturers Association Canada reported in a recent statement.

“There is a strong sentiment among Canadian engine manufacturers that the program is on track, and the group felt it best to continue collecting assessments without temporary interruption to further Discover Boating Canada’s ongoing momentum,” said Thom Dammrich, president of National Marine Manufacturers Association Canada (NMMA Canada) and Grow Boating Inc. “Discover Boating Canada is structured much differently than the Grow Boating Initiative in the U.S., in that the engine assessments are collected directly at the engine manufacturer level; whereas in the U.S., the bulk of assessments are collected from boat manufacturers based on engine sales.”

In 2008, nearly 5,000 potential leads have been generated as a direct result of Discover Boating Canada efforts — all of whom have requested direct contact from a manufacturer or dealer. Also, more than 7,000 of the free “Get Started in Boating” DVDs were distributed to prospective new boaters through the program’s Web site, Well over 100 million impressions were generated through advertising, and an additional 20 million impressions were generated last year through national PR efforts and the program continues to grow and build year over year, according to the association.

“The Canadian marketplace has remained relatively strong despite the current North American economic challenges, and we felt strongly about maintaining support for the Discover Boating program in Canada,” explained Dave Barnier, chairman of Discover Boating Canada’s Board of Directors. “The current funding model is producing the kind of revenue that works in Canada for us to continue running a successful program and supporting our mandate to grow the recreational boating industry. Although the U.S. contribution for Canadian product sales will be somewhat reduced, with the continuing support of Canadian engine manufacturers and the regional marine trade associations, we will continue operating a strong program for all our stakeholders in Fiscal Year 2009.”

In the U.S., the NMMA Board of Directors approved a temporary redirection of Grow Boating assessments enabling 85 percent of those assessments to be redirected to sales-driving efforts for the Canadian and U.S. dealers of U.S.-manufactured product. The redirection began with assessments incurred on or after October 1, 2008 and will continue through June 30, 2009, at which time this redirection will be readdressed by the NMMA Board, the association explained.

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