Boating Group Floats Search via Pile and Co.

The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation is angling for an agency.
The newly formed nonprofit group, based in Alexandria, Va., has retained Pile and Co., the Boston consulting firm, to oversee the search process.
Funding for the planned campaign comes from The Sportsfishing and Boating Safety Act of 1998. Through that legislation, $36 million has been earmarked for a five-year national outreach and communications effort–about $7.2 million per year.
Pile and Co. has begun contacting agencies that have some background with sports or outdoor clients about handling creative and media chores, said chairman Skip Pile.
Geography is not a consideration, Pile said. So far, large and midsized shops in the Southeast, New England and New York with strong creative rƒsumƒs have been contacted, sources said.
The winning shop will likely fashion national campaigns in a variety of media.
The request for proposals indicates the client is seeking “aspirational, emotional, compelling” advertising to promote recreational boating, fishing and the appreciation of nature, a source said. Campaigns should also foster awareness of the need to protect, conserve and restore the nation’s natural aquatic resources, the source said.
It is believed that Mullen, Wenham, Mass., a frequent invitee to Pile-run reviews with a history of working for boating clients such as Boston Whaler, has been asked to pitch. Agency executives did not return calls by press time, and Pile did not disclose which shops have been contacted.
Semifinalists will be named next week, and a winner will be selected in May following creative presentations from a small group of finalists. K