January Newswaves

Table of Contents

Brand Awareness Skyrockets in 2016

Awareness of the Take Me Fishing™ brand is at an all-time high! Brand awareness among RBFF’s Family Outdoors target market reached 88% (a 37% increase), while overall brand awareness increased from 41% to 64%, marking record highs in each category. The annual campaign evaluation also showed increases in intent to go fishing or boating, brand influence and other categories.

“As an organization, our primary focus is on drawing new participants to fishing and boating,” says RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson. “In today’s environment, a strong brand is critical to successfully engaging your audience, and this study proves we are well on our way to introducing people to the joys of fishing and boating, therefore ensuring funding for conservation programs across the U.S.”

The 2016 Take Me Fishing campaign evaluation shows:

  • An individual’s intent to fish increased 10%.
    • 92% reported being somewhat likely or very likely to fish in the next 24 months.
  • Intent to fish from a boat reached 86%.
    • A 15% increase from 2015.
  • Participants reported an intended increase in frequency of fishing in 2017.
  • Fewer individuals reported being less likely to fish in the coming year.
  • #FirstCatch is resonating well on social media.
    • Nearly half of social media users surveyed reported seeing the hashtag, an increase of 19% over 2015.
    • Recall of seeing a photo with #FirstCatch was highest among the Family Outdoors segment.
  • All Take Me Fishing advertisements showed positive impact scores, with TV ads having the highest influence (88%) and relevance (87%) scores.

Results are based on a survey of 1,200 adults, including RBFF’s Family Outdoors target market. This audience is comprised of over 18 million households and over 47 million men, women and children ages 6-17 who are already engaged in outdoor activity and are open to trying new things, including fishing and boating. The Family Outdoors market presents a great multicultural opportunity as well, with 15% (or 7.1 million individuals) being of Hispanic descent.

For details on the survey, please download the full Take Me Fishing Campaign Evaluation report in the RBFF Resource Center.

Case Study: The Success of Michigan’s License Restructuring

Just a few years ago, the state of Michigan, and along with it, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), had a big challenge on their hands. Around 200,000 people had left the state, where unemployment was peaking at 15% after nearly 800,000 jobs were lost over a 10-year period. Public perception of the agency was low, so the Michigan DNR went to work to gain public support and win back anglers.

First, the state developed license offerings that were simple, fair and efficient, cutting out several unnecessary license options along the way. The state was able to take advantage of RBFF’s free Online Fishing License Assessment, which outlined six ways to improve angler’s online license purchase and also employed Hewlett Packard to increase the efficiency of its online license system.

Various marketing and communications strategies were also employed to generate awareness of these updates and highlight Michigan’s great fishing opportunities. The state used partnerships with convention and visitors’ bureaus, as well as campaigns with Pure Michigan to elevate the DNR’s message. Email and social media campaigns were also employed by the state, as well as targeted promotions to recruit potential female anglers in particular areas.

While the changes brought about an expected slight decline in sales the first year of implementation, the agency has now experienced incredible results. Online fishing license sales have increased in each year since the restructuring and the number of new customers has increased over the last three years. All of this has led to budget growth greater than any other state agency in Michigan.

The future is looking bright for Michigan, who will use these additional license funds to provide fish stocking, manage invasive species problems, educate new and novice anglers and promote the world-class fisheries the state of Michigan has to offer.

This information was presented by Michigan DNR Deputy Director, Bill Moritz at the 2016 State Marketing Workshop. For a copy of this presentation and others from the Workshop, head to the RBFF Resource Center. If you’d like to learn more about the Michigan DNR’s license restructuring process, contact Kristin Phillips.

RBFF to Identify Best Family Fishing & Boating Spots in U.S.

For three years, RBFF has produced a list of the Top 100 Family Fishing & Boating Spots in America to help families and newcomers to the sport find a great spot to get on the water. While the goal is similar for this year, the newly-revamped Best Family-Friendly Places to Fish and Boat for 2017 promotion will take a new approach.

In previous years, RBFF has asked states to nominate some of their top family-friendly places to fish and boat. That list was then presented to our fans on social media for a nation-wide vote. At the end of the voting period, the scores were tallied and the list of top places was published.

This year, we are introducing a new method of creating the list to include a wide variety of industry experts, media, state representatives, social media fans and influential celebrities. Thus, instead of ranking the places based on consumer voting, we are listing the best of the best, according to experts and influencers!

This new Best Places format will make it easier for stakeholders to promote the great opportunities to fish and boat in their state. Having a wide variety of sources name their favorite places to fish and boat will give the locations more clout, helping to promote these great places to fish and boat to the media and consumers. Additionally, having fishing and boating prominently featured in media across the nation will help keep these activities in the minds of consumers, benefiting our industry partners.

We’ve sent a survey to all of our state agency contacts to vote on their favorite place to fish and boat. Voters are able to select a location that has been featured in last year’s list or nominate a new favorite spot. Our industry partners and celebrities will also get involved by sharing their favorite places to get on the water.

We’re hopeful this new approach will boost awareness of our nation’s vast fishing and boating resources through an exciting list of the Best Family-Friendly Places to Fish and Boat for 2017, engaging fans and providing high-quality content along the way. Be on the lookout for results to be shared in early Spring.