"If we reach 60 million anglers, we could see a $200 million annual increase in license sales and funds for resource management and conservation, a $35 billion annual increase in economic contributions from anglers, 7.5 million new boaters, and a $10 billion annual increase in economic contributions from boaters."
ALEXANDRIA, VA (January 5, 2017) - The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) hosted the largest round-up of state fish and wildlife agency representatives December 13 - 15, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia at its annual State Marketing Workshop. Themed Charting the Course for Future Success, the Workshop attracted a total of 150 people, including representation from 47 state agencies. Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation (R3) strategies took center stage with an overall focus on achieving RBFF's ambitious goal to grow the current angler base of 46 million to 60 million in 60 months.
"The nation's second most popular pastime needs a shot in the arm," says RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson. "The fishing industry is losing slightly more enthusiasts each year than it is gaining, much like a leaky bucket. And with $1.5 billion in conservation dollars, 828,000 jobs and $115 billion in economic impact at stake, the holes have to be plugged."
The event kicked off with a keynote presentation from world-renowned marketer, Jay Baer, Founder and President of Convince & Convert. Baer opened discussion by showcasing how effective customer service can turn disgruntled customers into strong supporters in a presentation titled "Hug Your Haters."
RBFF and several state agencies presented case studies on how they have worked to effectively recruit, retain and reactivate anglers. Matt Dunfee, Programs Manager at the Wildlife Management Institute and thought leader in R3 programs gave an update on the latest developments in RBFF's R3 project with the Aquatic Resources Education Association before facilitating a small group huddle discussion session on how state agencies can become more effective in advancing angler R3 efforts.
Each state representative at the Workshop was given state goals for license sales throughout the 60-month duration. RBFF will continue to work with all state agencies to further develop these goals and provide resources and assistance to help make these goals a reality.
"We're working to motivate and support state agencies to implement more effective R3 initiatives," added Peterson. "If we could reach 60 million anglers, we could see a $200 million annual increase in license sales and funds for resource management and conservation, a $35 billion annual increase in economic contributions from anglers, 7.5 million new boaters, and a $10 billion annual increase in economic contributions from boaters."
Resources, including presentations, from the 2016 State Marketing Workshop can be downloaded in RBFF's online Resource Center.
A record $70,000 was raised for the 2016 State Marketing Workshop. RBFF is grateful for the support of the following sponsors: Diamond: Brandt Information Services, FISHBRAIN and J.F. Griffin Publishing; Platinum: Discover Boating; Gold: American Sportfishing Association, Bass Pro Shops, GovDelivery, Southwick Associates and U.S. Forest Service; Silver: BRP Evinrude, Brunswick Freshwater Group and Colle + McVoy/Exponent; Bronze: American Fly Fishing Trade Association, Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, Association of Marina Industries, EurekaFacts, LLC, Info-Link, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and Wildlife Management Institute; Donation: SourceLink.
The State Marketing Workshop was established in 2008 to bring the participants of RBFF's State Marketing Programs together to share successes, ideas and challenges to increase participation in fishing and boating. The Workshop was made available to all 50 states beginning in 2010, and has evolved to also include general marketing education and training.
About the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF)
RBFF is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase participation in recreational angling and boating, thereby protecting and restoring the nation's aquatic natural resources. RBFF developed the award-winning Take Me Fishing™ and Vamos A Pescar™ campaigns to create awareness around boating, fishing and conservation, and educate people about the benefits of participation. Take Me Fishing and Vamos A Pescar help boaters and anglers of all ages and experience levels learn, plan and equip for a day on the water. The campaign websites, TakeMeFishing.org, and VamosAPescar.org, feature how-to videos, information on how to get a fishing license and boat registration, and an interactive state-by-state map that allows visitors to find local boating and fishing spots.