Grant Direction, Water Sports Foundation
The Water Sports Foundation (WSF) has been a 501(c)3 non-profit U.S. Coast Guard recreational boating safety partner since 2011 managing more than $6.1 million in boating safety outreach projects. WSF is currently managing six boating/paddling outreach projects worth $940,000.
For 2019, there are two new native content (sponsored) campaigns.
1. The Consequences of Irresponsible Behavior on the Water campaign uses well-known boating celebs and dignitaries to present messages about the dangers of drinking alcohol while driving a boat. Alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents; where the primary cause was known (source U.S. Coast Guard 2017 Boating Accident Statistics).
A total of twelve new video PSA’s were produced with well-known celebrities such as pro anglers Bernie Schultz, George Poveromo, and Captain Benny Blanco. The series includes professional wakeboarders Steel Lafferty, Meagan Ethell and Danny Harf and boating industry stars Randy Vance and Chris Peterson. Through a contractual agreement with the industry’s best media providers, the video PSA’s are included as native content on boating, fishing and water sports websites such as Boating, Boating World and In-Fisherman. Although it’s not promoted to consumers, WSF maintains a complete library playlist on Youtube which can viewed here.
2. The Lessons for Life: Accidents as Learning Experiences campaign recounts real-life accidents in a video portrayal that reminds boaters and paddlers to be safe on the water by avoiding the mistakes that led to an accident where someone was injured or died. The native content campaign provides media outlets with a 1,500 word professionally written article complete with graphic elements, pull quotes, supporting images and promotional ads. Electronic newsletter promotion drives interest to the article and video PSA. A Whistle in the Wind, an account of how a veteran racing sailor was rescued at night in Lake Michigan by using a $4 whistle was released in early April. The story and video PSA can be viewed here. Miracle on the Chesapeake, another account of a near death accident in the 47 degree Chesapeake waters was released in late March. An electronic newsletter sample from the paddlesports campaign is attached below and the article post with images, graphics and the powerful video recount can be viewed here.
Two additional video and written stories (one for paddlesports and one for powerboating) will be produced for spring/summer distribution through major media outlets Boating, Boating World, WakeBoarding, In-Fisherman, Sailing World, Cruising World, Paddling, Kayak Angler, Canoe Kayak, Kayak Fish, SUP and Paddling.com.
Please feel free to use any of this in your newsletters. Boating Safety will be enhanced when more people are talking and sharing these stories.