Dammrich updates IBEX on Grow Boating initiative

MIAMI – National Marine Manufacturers Association President Thom Dammrich provided a progress report on the NMMA’s Grow Boating initiative during his keynote speech at the Industry Awards breakfast held this morning on the final day of the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference in Miami.

Dammrich told a crowd of industry officials that he believed a campaign to grow boating would help the industry, and asked them for their support as the initiative moves forward.

“I believe that a ‘Grow Boating’ initiative is possible and that it can help [create awareness and increase sales], and I believe as you know more, you will too,” Dammrich said. “With your help it is possible.”

Dammrich said the initiative -– if it receives support within the industry and continues to go forward – would have other positive results besides increased sales, citing a more unified industry as one key benefit.

Dammrich said that after peaking in 1997, when more than 70 million Americans were participating in boating, the industry experienced a four-year decline. However, in the post-September 11 world, interest has been rekindled and the industry is once again on the rise – growing by between 5 and 6 percent for the last two years.

He also reminded the audience that NMMA has been working hard to promote the industry beyond and above its Grow Boating initiative, spending millions of dollars a year on public relation’s efforts to generate interest in the sport.

Dammrich highlighted those efforts by presenting a video package of highlights from television news stories that had been run a result of NMMA’s efforts, including clips from CNN and Fox.

Dammrich said the NMMA would continue working with Minneapolis advertising firm Carmichael Lynch to develop a more concrete proposal for the Grow Boating campaign, and would try to have it ready in time for the Miami Boat Show in February so industry members could study it then.

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