August Newswaves

Table of Contents

RBFF Develops Resource for Creating State Angler R3 Plans

Dedicating valuable resources to angler and boater recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) activities is crucial to increasing participation and ultimately reaching the 60 in 60 goal. With this in mind, RBFF produced a Guiding Document to assist state agencies with their angler R3 planning.

The Guiding Document includes identifying angler R3 priorities and the importance of marketing and outreach components and developing appropriate budgets and timeframes. Additionally, a Worksheet to evaluate existing angler R3 efforts and a Resources List is included with the Guiding Document.

The Guiding Document comes at a critical time when state agencies across the country are beginning to plan and strategize for a future that places focus on effective R3 programs. Members of RBFF’s staff recently spent two days in Richmond, Virginia, assisting the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries (DGIF) develop an agency wide R3 plan. Here, RBFF, Wildlife Management Institute (WMI) and the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports (CAHSS) joined forces with staff from all sections of the agency to collaborate on a plan to grow participation in angling, boating, hunting, shooting sports and wildlife viewing in Virginia.

“The commitment to develop an R3 strategy is a long-term investment by the department,” said DGIF Executive Director Bob Duncan. “Not only will it directly support our new mission statement and in particular our focus on connecting people to Virginia’s wildlife and natural resources, it will play an integral role in developing sustainable wildlife management efforts that will be viewed as relevant to the next generation conservationists. The partnership with RBFF, CAHSS and WMI was exactly what we needed at this time of our agency’s strategic review. While their expertise and experienced facilitation greatly assisted our efforts during the two day workshop, their continued support and resources, such as the new RBFF Guiding Document, will help ensure our long-term success.”

No matter what stage of R3 planning you are in, this Guiding Document will help develop and implement successful R3 programs. RBFF encourages state agencies to download this document and utilize its R3 resources, which are available in the RBFF Resource Center.

If you have questions or need assistance in developing an angler or boater R3 plan for your state, please contact Dave Chanda, VP of State Agency Engagement, or Stephanie Hussey, State R3 Program Director.

The Power of LIVE Video

Did you know, you can drive engagement among your audience without spending any money and using very little of your organization’s resources? The ability to stream live video, like what’s seen on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube has brought a new dimension to connecting with your consumers.

While at ICAST this past July, the RBFF team went live on Facebook while fishing in Orlando. All that was required was a smartphone with the Facebook app, RBFF staff and one of our bloggers, Debbie Hanson, provided commentary and right on cue, we caught a few fish.

To date, this live video has brought in 17,000 views, all with minimal expertise, a small paid promotion budget and zero production. Additionally, a Facebook Live video to announce the winners of the 2017 Best Family-Friendly Places to Fish and Boat gained nearly 72,000 views and more than 30 comments behind paid promotion.
Take the jump! Your audience is out there, waiting to tune in.

A few tips:

  • If you know when you’ll be going live, let your audience know.
  • Make sure you have a good WiFi or cell signal.
  • Respond to comments DURING the live video and call the commenters out by name.
    • This is great for filling the downtime between the action.
  • Say what you’re up to in the video description.
  • Shoot for 10 minutes so you can reach more viewers.
  • Have fun!

Just Reported: 142 Million Americans Went Boating in 2016

According to a new study on participation, 142 million Americans went boating in 2016. That equates to 36 percent of U.S. households and is great news to the fishing and boating industry. The 2016 Recreational Boating Participation Study, released by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) and Discover Boating reveals this and plenty other insights that point to positive trends for the industry.

For instance, of the 142 million individuals who went boating in 2016, 17 million were first-time participants, and half of these first-time participants were children under the age of 18. Those who spent the most hours on the water or engaged in fishing and water sports were more likely to consider purchasing a boat. Also, despite what many people believe, boat owners are economically diverse with 62% having a household income of less than $100,000 per year.

With RBFF’s focus on emerging audiences, it’s encouraging to see that 32% of first-time boaters were Hispanic (compared to 11% of the active audience), signifying growth among this market. This is even more encouraging when you see that Hispanics make up 19% of the total U.S. population, but only 11% of active boaters, leaving plenty of room for growth in this segment.

Other key findings of the 2016 Recreational Boating Participation Study

  • Both time spent boating and engaging in active pursuits while boating (fishing and watersports) are predictors of purchase consideration among potential buyers.
    • Purchase consideration was more strongly related to active sports like water sports and fishing than to relaxation, spending time with family or friends, and enjoying nature.
  • 58 percent of first-time boaters were renters compared to 25 percent of active boaters.
  • The median age of a first-time boating experience was 12, and individuals who had a childhood boating experience were more likely to remain active boaters (52 percent vs. 40 percent of lapsed boaters), reinforcing that people who boat as a child are more likely to be life-long boaters.
  • There is a strong connection between fishing and boating: 83 percent of active anglers were also active boaters.
  • The mean age of the first fishing experience was 10; 90 percent of anglers and 94 percent of active anglers had their first fishing experience before age 18.
  • Boating is a social pastime. Almost all active boaters say they spend time with friends or family while boating (95 percent). Enjoying nature (94 percent) and relaxing (93 percent) are also nearly universal boating experiences.
  • Key target markets for boat ownership include people who fish and engage in water sports. These groups spend the most time boating and are most likely to consider boat ownership.

Prepared by QSA Research & Analytics, the study assessed the total number of boaters in the U.S., including those active during 2016 and those who went boating for the first time during 2016, as well as those who have never gone boating. The study also profiled both active boaters and first-time boaters according to their demographic characteristics, and measured the number of household participants who were active boaters and first-time boaters during 2016, their ages, and genders. Other topics featured in the study include boat ownership participation, the amount of time that active boaters spent boating during 2016, and the activities they engaged in while boating, including fishing and watersports.

NMMA members receive access to the study as part of their membership. RBFF stakeholders should contact Stephanie Vatalaro at to download the report.