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MRAA honors Olson for its work on Discover Boating‘s “Welcome to the Water” campaign

Tuesday, December 20, 2011   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Matt Gruhn
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BOCA GRANDE, Fla. – The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA) recently presented the Jerry Martin Journalism Award to creative marketing agency Olson for its work and success with the "Welcome to the Water” campaign, which helped reignite the industry’s Discover Boating program in 2011. The award, given annually, is presented to a media organization that does the most to further the interests of the boating industry.

"With the re-launch of Discover Boating’s marketing efforts not even a year old, the statistics that earned Olson this award are impressive,” says Joe Lewis, MRAA Board and Executive Committee Member and Chairman of Grow Boating. "‘Welcome to the Water’ has proven to be a wonderful message that captures the essence of what boating is all about—an inviting experience. It has allowed us to create a powerful movement that’s given us a solid foundation to build on for the 2012 campaign and beyond.”

One of the most successful elements of the campaign has been its ability to engage with consumers wherever they are—on their computer, tablet, mobile phone, at a dealer or boat show—inviting them to experience the water at and creating an immediate connection to the boating lifestyle. As a result, in 2011 alone, the campaign generated a 46-percent increase in visits to, a five-percent increase in prospects and a 30-percent increase in hot leads and site referrals.

Olson also brought Discover Boating to even more consumers by creating a new mobile platform, allowing people to access the site on-the-go on their smartphones and tablets. In just five months, from June to October of 2011, more than 45,000 people visited from their mobile devices. In addition, Olson achieved a 67-percent engagement rate through mobile advertising, which is three and a half times the industry standard.

"We’re thrilled about the response to the ‘Welcome to the Water’ campaign,” says Olson representative Julie Hagemann, associate account director at Olson. "The industry has been very supportive, which has helped us reach and exceed our goals. We’re already working on the expansion of the campaign in 2012.”

About Marine Retailers Association of the Americas
The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas is the only North American association dedicated to furthering the interests of boat and engine dealers and other marine-related retailers throughout North America. Under the umbrella of MRAA Rewards, the MRAA offers a host of cost-saving, revenue-generating, business-improvement, and professional-development benefits exclusively for its members. For more information, visit

About Olson
Olson is one of the top 10 independent, full-service agencies in North America. The more than 400-person-strong agency is dedicated to building and activating brand communities by combining insight, ingenuity and accountability. For more information, visit, join us at and follow us on Twitter @Olsonagency.

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