Discover Boating’s Year-Round Campaign, Brand Experience Attracts New Consumers

The past 12 months saw the launch of the new Discover Boating strategy, taking the industry’s collective effort to expand the market for recreational boating from a six-month marketing campaign to a robust, year-round brand experience beginning with winter boat shows and continuing throughout spring and summer. Powered by NMMA and MRAA, Discover Boating invites the next generation – a key focus to help expand the market for boating – and retains current boaters, and with its new strategy delivered more than 3.6 billion impressionsbetween October 1, 2022 and September 31, 2023.

As a result of this extended reach, Discover Boating engaged 5.4 million people on the brand’s websites, and introduced nearly 2 million of them to manufacturers and dealers through website referrals, boat shows, and leads. Additionally, the brand is reaching its target audience with DiscoverBoating.com traffic from the 35 to 55 age group up to 45% of audience, compared to 42% last year.

“This year we successfully transitioned to a fully integrated omni-channel strategy, where Discover Boating was in front of consumers all year round, supporting their boating interests wherever they may be in their journey, whether it was through our See You Out Here awareness campaign, our growing digital community, boat shows, brand partnerships and the buying/ownership experience in partnership with MRAA,” said Ellen Bradley, Chief Brand Officer for NMMA. “We touched more people, connected manufacturers and dealers with more potential buyers, and for every dollar invested by the industry in Discover Boating, NMMA made that dollar perform like four as a result of our multi-channel strategy. Making our industry’s dollars work harder to ensure recreational boating is the number one recreation activity is especially important as we face an increasingly crowded marketplace and time strapped consumer.”

“The Discover Boating campaign delivered on its influential objectives to generate consumer interest in boating by producing content, messaging and events to educate first-time boat buyers and welcome a diverse audience of new boaters,” noted Matt Gruhn, MRAA President. “Our dealers represent the core of the recreational boating community, playing a significant, multilayered role as ownership guide, service expert and faithful industry ally. That’s why generating avenues for dealers to connect with their customers helps establish trust and improve engagement. Providing an unsurpassed customer experience is paramount because it not only aids boater retention but also ensures future generations view boating as meaningful outdoor adventure.”

Highlights of the campaign’s success include:

  • Reached 3.6 billion impressions (the number of times the campaign was served to people), driving our industry’s voice in the market to expand to new consumers and build positive awareness for boating with 5.4 million people coming to Discover Boating websites and 2 million introductions made to boat manufacturers and dealers.
  • Created targeted video content for different boating audiences (including Float On, I’m a Boater: Ask Me Anything, Seeking the Present, Discover Boating Safety Basics Presented with Progressive® Insurance) generating more than 5 million views.
  • Launched enhanced features and functionality on DiscoverBoating.com making it easier for people to navigate, particularly from mobile devices, while providing a variety of digital touchpoints to connect the site’s visitors to NMMA member boat brands.
  • Leveraged strategic media partnerships, including YouTube, SHAPE, Complex, The Root, Uptown, Telemundo, Golf Channel, NBC, Vevo and other emerging Hispanic media platforms to help tell our story to new audiences through the influential voices of these outlets.
  • Generated 32,000 news stories, including a public service announcement, driving $11.8 million dollars in media value (equivalent cost to secure the same media “real estate” if the news coverage were paid advertising).
  • Grew social media audiences across all platforms including Instagram, TikTok, Meta/Facebook and X/Twitter with more than 800,000 followers.
  • Hosted dozens of brand activations, including numerous high-profile sports-related events (viewing professional sports is a common thread that runs through Discover Boating’s core, growth and emerging segments) to reach new audiences and generate awareness including Black Boaters SummitBoatgating with Professional Football Icons, WNBA All Star Game and American Century Golf Championship with NBC Sports.

For questions related to Discover Boating, contact Kevin Williams, NMMA’s Vice President of Marketing, at kwilliams@nmma.org.

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