Press Releases

RBFF Announces Award-Winning Angler Retention Toolkit
Toolkit leverages success of pilot email communications program to retain first-time anglers
Angler Retention Program wins Gold Circle Award

ALEXANDRIA, VA (May 25, 2017) – The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) today announced its First-Time Buyers Retention Email Campaign Toolkit has won an ASAE Gold Circle Award. The toolkit won the award as a pilot program for 2016 and is now available to all state agencies to assist in keeping first-time anglers hooked on the sport.

“First-timers are a critical group for the entire industry,” said RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson. “And keeping these individuals coming back for years to come is just as important as recruiting them to the sport in the first place. Without effective retention programs like this one, we will surely miss the mark in our 60 in 60 goal and essential conservation efforts will suffer as a result.”

The First-Time Buyers Retention Email Campaign Toolkit includes everything a state agency needs in setting up and carrying out an effective angler retention campaign. By downloading the free toolkit, state agencies can utilize a step-by-step guide to retaining first-time anglers, which includes:

  • The process for effectively creating treatment and control groups
  • A plan for different types of email communications to send
    • Including when these should be distributed and to who
  • Customizable, mobile-friendly email templates, expertly created by RBFF and its creative agency

RBFF utilized its extensive experience in direct marketing from the Fishing License Marketing Program, a direct mail campaign to reactivate lapsed anglers. RBFF has shifted the focus to email campaigns, most recently partnering with the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division on a pilot retention program targeting first-time license buyers. The toolkit was a huge success, reeling in over $92,000 in revenue by retaining 7,380 anglers.

These efforts did not go unnoticed, as ASAE: The center for Association Leadership, honored RBFF and the program with a Gold Circle Award. This award recognizes excellence, innovation and achievement in association/nonprofit marketing, membership and communications programs. In all, 172 entries across 11 categories were judged on criteria established by the ASAE Gold Circle Award Committee. More information on the Gold Circle Awards and the 2017 winners can be found on the ASAE website.

If you are interested in how this program could help your state increase fishing license sales and your agency’s revenue, please contact Joanne Martonik.


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,, and, 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.

About ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership

ASAE is a membership organization of more than 30,000 association executives and industry partners representing more than 7,400 organizations. Its members manage leading trade associations, individual membership societies and voluntary organizations across the United States and in nearly 50 countries around the world. With support of the ASAE Foundation, a separate nonprofit entity, ASAE is the premier source of learning, knowledge and future-oriented research for the association and nonprofit profession, and provides resources, education, ideas and advocacy to enhance the power and performance of the association and nonprofit community. For more information about ASAE, visit

For further information: Stephanie Vatalaro,, 703-778-5156