Over the past year, Freedom Boat Club has experienced exponential growth, a fact President and CEO John Giglio attributes to greater brand awareness of the boat sharing concept, coupled with the opening of new clubs and the resulting consumer demand for the unique maintenance-free boating lifestyle. According to Giglio, the company has experienced a 40 percent growth in franchise club expansion since December 2015.
Freedom Boat Club, ranked in the Entrepreneur Magazine Franchise 500, now has 125 locations in 22 states and Canada. The club has 15,000 memberships and operates a fleet of 1,500 boats.
In the past six months, Freedom Boat Club has opened brand new markets and opened multiple clubs in Seattle,, Stockton, Calif., Seneca, S.C., and Fort Pierce, Fla.
Recent existing franchise owner/operators have also announced major regional expansions, adding clubs in their respective territories.
For example, Freedom Boat Club of Greater Boston and Cape Cod has 11 locations in Massachusetts, opening three new clubs in under two years. Partners Matt Carrick and Captain Matt O’Connor this week jointly announced their eleventh location at Kingman Yacht Center in Cataumet, a Cape Cod full-service marina.
“We’re looking forward to working with Freedom Boat Club and its members.” said Scott Zeien, Kingman Yacht Center owner and president. “Our job is to help people get out on and enjoy the water, and Freedom Boat Club offers an exciting, alternative way for people to do just that. This has all the makings of an excellent partnership.”
Other recent franchise market expansions and/or upcoming 2017 season openings include Baltimore and Washington D.C.; Boynton Beach, Palm Coast and a second location in Jacksonville, Fla.; Pittsburg, Calif.; Stratford and Branford, Conn.; and a second location in Babylon, Long Island, N.Y.
“Freedom Boat Club offers a proven revenue model and the success is clearly reflected in the numbers of new franchise owners opening new clubs, the growth of new members and the continued investment of the club in new boats and marine-related goods,” said Giglio. ”We expect this robust trend to continue, with several new locations currently under review throughout the U.S. and Canada. We also anticipate launching the club abroad where exciting new opportunities abound.
“As we’ve opened clubs in new markets and introduced the concept, we’ve had a very enthusiastic reception from newcomers and lapsed boaters alike,” Giglio added. “People love the free hands-on training provided by our licensed Coast Guard captains, and they appreciate the affordable cost of entry and maintenance-free lifestyle. We’re especially pleased to see an impressive bump in millennial memberships in major markets where the sharing economy has become a way of life.”
Giglio, whose company and franchises buy on average 550 new boats a year for club usage, says that while collaborative consumption is certainly propelling new membership, Freedom Boat Club also creates a healthy funnel that leads directly to new boat sales.
“We’ve worked very hard to educate the marine industry about the boat club model and how it brings new people into boating, keeps former boat owners engaged and ultimately serves as a springboard to boat sales, with 20 percent of our members eventually investing in a boat of their own,” said Giglio. “The fact that we introduce thousands of people to this lifestyle, train them how to safely operate our vessels and then introduce them to multiple brands is simply good for boating. Our recent partnerships with boat and engine manufacturers, major wholesalers, marina owners/operators and the slow warming of more savvy retailers is certainly a win-win for all involved.”
For more information, visit www.freedomboatclub.com or the franchise website at www.freedomboatclubfranchise.com. For franchise information, contact David Aldrich – firstname.lastname@example.org or call 843-368-1103.