The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) today announced that Florida and Texas will serve as test markets for the launch of its five-year Hispanic Outreach Plan. In partnership with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission and Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, outreach will begin in spring 2014.
Capitalizing on the growing Hispanic population as a key market segment for first–time anglers, RBFF announced earlier this year the development of the five-year plan that will focus on a multi-channel outreach approach encompassing digital, social and traditional media, along with retail point-of-sale strategy and engagement with state agencies. With a high propensity of Hispanic consumers, Florida and Texas were selected to pilot the effort.
Nick Wiley, Executive Director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) said “the FWC is excited to work with RBFF to better engage our Hispanic citizens. We must be more effective in conveying our conservation messages and learn how to increase Hispanic participation in boating and fishing. These nature-based activities are great ways for families to enjoy the outdoors, help support our economy, and create jobs.”
“Texas Parks and Wildlife welcomes this partnership with RBFF to improve outreach to Hispanic audiences,” said Carter Smith, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Executive Director. “The effort reflects the priority we place on better serving all Texans. This is a business imperative for us, in light of the rapidly changing demographics in our state. It is not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do if we wish to maintain support for natural resource conservation and outdoor recreation into the future.”
Both states have a strong potential in closing the gap of underrepresentation of Hispanics in fishing and boating. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, at 36 percent, Texas has the highest 16+ Hispanic population in the country. However, only 17 percent of that population represents active anglers. Florida has a current Hispanic population of 24 percent with only five percent active anglers.
“With a combined Hispanic population of 9.7 million, Florida and Texas represent key geographies to initiate our outreach efforts,” said RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson. “Building on the test market results, we will expand the campaign nationwide to engage this audience that is critical to the long term sustainability of fishing and boating, and the conservation efforts that benefit from increased participation in the sport.”
Based on preliminary research indicating lack of familiarity of the sport and knowledge of licensing requirements, the outreach plan will focus heavily on awareness and education in the upfront years, and then will shift to drive participation in years three through five. In preparation, RBFF is focusing on content development in 2013, leveraging existing RBFF assets to create a campaign microsite. The campaign, launching in spring 2014, will include digital and radio ads, along with a series of experiential events to get Hispanics out on the water. Print public service announcements are also being considered. Building on the 2014 test market results, a market expansion will begin in 2015. National outreach efforts will continue to build and optimize throughout 2016 and 2017.
Additional information about RBFF’s Hispanic Outreach Plan will be released this spring. For more information about RBFF and Take Me Fishing, visit TakeMeFishing.org.