On the Waterfront: Southeast Shops Get Nibbles

Recreational Boating and Fishing Group Dangles $36 Mil. Lure
BOSTON–The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation is angling for an agency.
The newly formed nonprofit group based in Alexandria, Va., has retained Pile and Co., the consulting company in Boston, to oversee the search process.
Funding for the planned advertising campaign comes from The Sportsfishing and Boating Safety Act of 1998. Through that legislation, $36 million has been earmarked for a five-year national communications outreach effort–about $7.2 million per year.
Pile and Co. has begun contacting agencies that have experience with sports and/or outdoor clients about handling both creative and media chores for the new account, said chairman Skip Pile.
Geography is not a consideration, Pile said. Thus far, large and midsize shops in the Southeast, New England and New York with strong creative resumes have been contacted, sources said.
The request for proposals indicates that the client is seeking “aspirational, emotional, compelling” advertising to promote recreational boating, fishing and the appreciation of nature, said a source who has seen the pitch materials.
Campaigns will also need to foster an awareness of the need to protect, conserve and restore the nation’s natural aquatic resources, a source said.
The Martin Agency, an invitee to recent Pile-conducted reviews such as A.T. Cross and Charles Schwab & Co., referred all calls to the consultant. The Richmond, Va., shop’s outdoor boot and apparel client Timberland fits the Pile profile.
Likewise, it is believed that Mullen in Wenham, Mass., another Pile review regular, which has a history of working for boating clients including Boston Whaler, has been asked to pitch.
Miami’s Crispin Porter & Bogusky, recently invited to pitch Schwab by Pile, serves several camping and sports-related clients, including Planetoutdoors.com and Schwinn bicycles.
Neither Mullen nor CP&B executives returned calls by press time, and Pile did not disclose which shops have been contacted. Semi-finalists will be named next week, and a winner will be selected in May following creative presentations by small group of finalists.
— with T.W. Siebert