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RBLC New Markets Task Force announces educational plans

By Recreational Boating Leadership Council

On Monday during the American Boating Congress biannual meeting of the Recreational Boating Leadership Council, the New Markets Task Force announced final plans for its new industry-wide multicultural educational training module, including the selection of featured industry companies and a video production firm.

The forthcoming 45-minute multimedia training module is projected for a Fall 2016 debut, in time for the boat show season. The module will incorporate a mix of updated new demographic and economic trends data on the Hispanic, African American and Asian markets, as well as “best practices” custom video segments spotlighting marine retailers and businesses that have successfully engaged new markets. After a lengthy industry-wide search and call for nominations followed by 1:1 interviews of candidates, the following firms were selected for inclusion in the New Markets Task Force “best practices” segment:

  • Prince William Marine – Hispanic, African American and Asian Markets
  • M & P Mercury – Asian
  • West Marine – Hispanic
  • Tui Marine/The Moorings – African American
  • Freedom Boat Club – Hispanic

Representatives from each of these businesses will be videotaped and will share proven sales and marketing strategies and tactics for success in attracting and engaging multicultural markets.

Working under the direction of the New Markets Task Force, Strait Productions of Hugo, Minn., was selected to manage the video production and editing of the best practice segments. Strait was chosen from a field of nine video production companies with marine industry experience.

“We are very excited by the progress to date and especially the good work of our selected marine companies in engaging new markets,” said New Markets Task Force Chairperson Wanda Kenton Smith. “The educational module we are producing will provide not only the latest and most compelling demographic and economic trends and statistics of the Hispanic, African American and Asian markets, but real life case studies that we hope will both inspire and motivate others to follow.”

This educational initiative required private fundraising to underwrite the video production cost. Frank Peterson of the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) pledged $10,000 seed money with a provision for matching funding. A total of $25,000 has been raised from five sponsors. Title sponsor is the RBFF, with platinum sponsors including the MRAA, NMMA, Discover Boating and Freedom Boat Club. Additional work including content research and development along with training module design is being contributed by New Markets Task Force committee volunteers.

“From the outset, this project has been a labor of love among members of the New Markets Task Force who have been actively engaged in the process,” said Kenton Smith. “From those who were involved in the initial search for best practices nominees, to those who conducted 1:1 interviews and others who have researched statistics and market data, it has been a major effort on the part of a truly committed group of individuals who clearly understand that our industry’s future and growth is directly linked to how well we welcome, introduce and engage new markets to the boating lifestyle.”

In addition to planned webinars, the RBLC New Markets Task Force is seeking opportunities for live presentations of the training module at marine trade meetings, boat shows and events this fall and winter. If your group or organization is interested in a speaker to present the new training module, contact New Markets Task Force Chairperson Wanda Kenton Smith at wanda@freedomboatclub.com.

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