Press Releases

Discover Boating Unveils New ‘Welcome to the Water’ Campaign with Call for Industry to Join the Movement

CHICAGO (May 17, 2011) – Discover Boating unveiled marketing plans to reignite the brand with a new U.S. and Canadian campaign, titled Welcome to the Water, in an all-industry webinar this afternoon. The campaign aims to tap current boat owners to help engage those new to boating. It is also designed to increase traffic to and, therefore increasing the quality and quantity of prospects for manufacturers and dealers to grow sales of boating-related products and services.

The effort is supported with online advertising, search engine marketing, public relations and social media. Discover Boating Canada will also feature a limited amount of television advertising in their mix. As announced earlier this month, the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing campaign will partner with Discover Boating to leverage the reach of both campaigns.   

“By merging the passion and knowledge of current owners with the enthusiasm and desires of people who haven’t taken that step, Discover Boating is seeking to create something more than an ad campaign—it’s a movement towards boating,” says Carl Blackwell, chief marketing officer for Discover Boating and the National Marine Manufacturers Association. “We rebuilt the foundation of Discover Boating by designing a more intuitive consumer website, developing a video that captures the emotion of boating and offering tools to stakeholders while building a better communications platform for the industry.”

Campaign highlights for 2011 include:

Enhancements to A much-needed move to a mobile-friendly website with a bold, inviting and fun face to is underway. Upgrades to the site offer robust search engine optimization, easier navigation, enhanced personalization for the user, and an improved ability to gather and deliver leads. The site is also now available in three languages: English-American, English-Canadian and French-Canadian.

New ‘Get Off Your Dock’ Guide to Boating: An evolution of the Get Started in Boating DVD, this digital brochure provides greater ease of use and the ability to leverage more content directly on The Guide features nine “chapters” to help potential buyers decide which boat is right for their needs and addresses common questions for first-timers (i.e., storage, trailering, maintenance, etc.). Future plans include the addition of accessory and engine information, as well as a Spanish language version. 

Welcome to the Water Facebook Invitation Planner: This new Facebook tool (available in early June) is designed for boat owners across the U.S. and Canada to invite their friends out on their boats, helping more people get out on the water. As guests accept the invitation, it will be posted on their Facebook pages and news feeds, creating viral messages about boating and building stronger awareness for the boating lifestyle. Discover Boating will not only keep them organized—but motivated—with hundreds of prize giveaways throughout the summer.

“Given the inherently social nature of boating, reaching current and potential boaters through a variety of social mediums is a natural fit and efficient strategy,” notes Blackwell. “This event planner was created for consumer and industry use – but to help achieve our industry goals, we invite manufacturers, dealers, marinas and all stakeholders to use the Invitation Planner for their own events – personal or professional. We would love to see industry involvement with this.”

Public Relations: Discover Boating public relations efforts are at full throttle this spring and summer. A national radio tour with Jack Morris, Baseball Hall of Fame contender, 1991 World Series MVP and current Minnesota Twins sportscaster, was held May 12. Morris, an avid boater and angler, shared his passion for life on the water on national radio programs, including Fox Sports Radio and Sporting News, as well as several top-tier local market sports talk stations. Further campaign PR efforts include national broadcast media outreach and on-water media experiences for top-tier journalists.

Fresh Look for A complete overhaul of the industry website was undertaken to align with the Welcome to the Water campaign. The new site provides trade information for Marine Five Star Dealer Certification and serves as an entry point to the Discover Boating Lead System. The most significant update is that it’s now easier than ever for industry stakeholders to take advantage of Discover Boating digital tools and web resources available on to reach more current and potential boaters.

Blackwell adds, “Welcome to the Water is an open invitation for people to connect with the boating lifestyle and an opportunity for our industry to tap into the joy boating provides in order to compel people to take the step from dock to deck to join the boating community.”

About Discover Boating
Discover Boating is a national awareness campaign developed by the recreational boating industry and managed by the National Marine Manufacturers Association. Discover Boating is an industry-wide effort to promote the boating lifestyle and improve the boating experience to increase participation and, ultimately, sales of marine products and services. Discover Boating programs focus on improving the boating experience and building interest in recreational boating by providing a resource for people to explore the benefits, affordability and accessibility of the boating lifestyle. To find out more, visit  


Contact: Kelly Kaylor 312.946.6262