Boating Industry

October 2016

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October 2016 | Boating Industry | 17 More than 40 percent 1% 31 to 40 percent 5% 21 to 30 percent 16% 11 to 20 percent 31% 5 to 10 percent 22% Less than 5 percent 14% Unsure 11% INCREASED BUSINESS FROM YOUNGER BUYERS Percent of business generated by Millennials Source: Boating Industry survey, August 2016 MARKET INTELLIGENCE CHALLENGES TO DIVERSITY We asked survey respondents what they saw as the biggest challenge in attracting non-white buyers to boating. Here is some of what they had to say: "They have not been exposed to boating activities since childhood and do not have the memories on the water to draw them to boating." "Reducing the 'snooty' factor as an attraction to boating; make it more about fun with kids and less about who to impress." "The biggest challenge is income and making them feel comfortable in a recreational activity [that] is predominantly white." "LACK OF APPARENT INTEREST." "The biggest challenge is the attitude of the dealers/brokers and service providers. They have to change that in order to attract a new customer base." "Getting media to portray them in editorial and advertising photos." "Availability of entry-level boats that anyone can afford to get into boating." "The illusion by some minorities that boating is a 'white men only' activity, not unlike golf." "Lack of knowledge about boating in general." "Ads are not geared toward them. … I think there needs to be more of a diverse culture in the ad." challenge cited when reaching out to minority buyers. Readers also said there is a general lack of interest in boating among many groups, not- ing many of the common concerns that they have not been exposed to the activity, especially as children. Still, the issue is of much less concern to most readers than the challenges of reaching younger buyers. Only 8 percent were very concerned about it, while another 19 percent was some- what concerned. Again, those numbers were ba- sically unchanged from 2014, when a total of 28 percent were concerned about it. More than half of respondents were somewhat unconcerned about the challenge, while 21 percent were not concerned at all. With that in mind, it's probably no surprise that less than a third of readers are actively attempting to attract non-white buyers to their products. As in 2014, for most readers, minority cus- tomers make up only a small portion of their business – 65 percent reported it was less than 10 percent, while 40 percent said it was less than 5 percent. Only 4 percent got more than half their business from non-white customers, although 13 percent said they weren't sure how much of their business those buyers represented. We asked survey respondents what they saw as the biggest challenge in bringing Millennials into boating. Here is some of what they had to say: "Making boating more affordable." "Why think about boating when most have student loans to pay off and get a job that pays what high school graduates get." "Lack of financial firepower and too much effort for them." "The amount of time required to participate in the sport." "Millennials want short-term gratification, in general, and they want it handed to them." "They are not interested in owning anything." "Too many boats are out of their price range." "If they have families, the competition with kid activities is real." "We don't embrace online communication enough in this industry." "They spend their money on high- excitement activities and tech." "Too many entertainment options and they seem unwilling to commit to much of anything." "College debt is the hangover that keeps our kids from making large purchases." "We have to make them understand that boating is affordable. … We have to work toward showing them that it could be very affordable with very easy low payments." ATTRACTING MORE MILLENNIALS

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