MIAMI – Boats.com and the National Marine Manufacturers Association handed out the fourth annual North American Marine Industry Web Awards during the 2008 Miami International Boat Show Media Breakfast, the two entities said in a press release yesterday. Launched in 2004, the Marine Industry Web Awards recognize the industry’s drive toward higher standards of excellence in Web site design and content.
Judges selected to evaluate this year’s Web Award entrants were Sharon Davison, CEO of Web design and consulting firm, Red Sky Blue Water; Sue Garibaldi, tech editor, Communication Arts magazine; Larry Rains, marketing manager, Boats.com/YachtWorld.com; and Fernando Regueiro, director of Internet services for NMMA.
Best Marine Site Overall
Best Marine Site Overall was presented to MasterCraft Boats. “The folks at MasterCraft truly understand their audience,” Garibaldi said. “With image and video galleries, a library of boating articles, profiles of MasterCraft athletes, a forum and a pro shop, this site has enough ‘extra’ content to ensure repeat visits. But, where it really shines is in providing beautifully simplified access to its line of boats and a boat-design tool that couldn’t be easier to use.”
Best Dealer/Broker Site
Legendary Marine received the award for Best Dealer/Broker Site. “This Web site excels at lead generation,” Garibaldi said. “Many dealer sites seemed to spend too little time highlighting the reasons why people should love boats and boating; Legendary Marine has forged ahead by reminding visitors about the beauty of being on the water,” said Garibaldi.
Best Marine Equipment Site
Mercury Marine took home the trophy for Best Marine Equipment Site. “Though an avid boater, I know virtually nothing about engines,” Davison said. “Yet with the Mercury site, I believe I could make an informed decision about the right motor for my needs. The site is exceptionally designed and leverages technology well. The side-by-side comparisons were particularly engaging, and Mercury’s passion for engines comes through with a wealth of information made easily accessible through intuitive functionality.”
Best OEM/Manufacturer Site
Judges gave the award for Best OEM/Manufacturer Site to Tigé Boats. “With an experiential approach, this site, beyond many that we saw, excelled at presenting a boating lifestyle,” Garibaldi said. “While other sites had equally good product offerings, this one surpassed them with the addition of engaging imagery, concise well-written copy, and a not-too-heavy-handed approach to the interface.”
Outstanding Contribution to the Online Marine Industry
The panel of judges honored Mad Mariner, a boating blog, for the most Outstanding Contribution to the Online Marine Industry. “If there was ever a question I had about what’s happening in the boating community, I know I could find the answer at Mad Mariner,” Davison said. “They offer an array of services, content and information in one easy-to-navigate location. Our vote went to MadMariner.com because it’s clear that the site’s number-one goal is to offer useful, inspiring content about boats, boaters and boating. With a diversity of image-supported content, this subscription-based site serves a broad boating audience.”
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