Empowering Women To ‘Find Their Best Self’ Fishing & Boating

In the years to come, RBFF is committed to continuing its efforts that center on women’s experiences and highlight the benefits of fishing and boating for women.

With the Take Me Fishing Find Your Best Self on the Water campaign, we set out to create awareness among diverse new audiences and motivate participation, specifically helping women uncover the life-changing benefits of fishing and boating—knowing women are key to industry growth through their purchasing power and family decision-making. As we look back on a successful 2023, the results demonstrate how we accomplished just that.

The Find Your Best Self campaign was conceived and developed by a women-led team and built with foundational research conducted by IPSOS in 2022 that revealed women who fish are happier and healthier. Since lack of representation is prohibitive for at least one in every four female anglers, we ensured the Find Your Best Self on the Water campaign would accurately and inclusively depict women in fishing, inspiring more females to feel comfortable trying this life-enhancing activity. Our ambitious, national integrated marketing campaign confronted these barriers and inspired women across the nation to challenge themselves to try something new while supporting a more inclusive fishing and boating community.

Our Find Your Best Self campaign achieved impressive reach and engagement through paid, influencer, and earned media with nearly three billion impressions. These impressions aren’t just passive viewers but are working hard for the boating and fishing industry. We are seeing the campaign increasing viewers’ intent to fish year-over-year. Currently 80 percent say they are “very” or “somewhat” likely to fish in the next 24 months. This is a significant four-point increase from 2022 and is again tracking with pre-COVID intent behavior. This enthusiasm translates to boating as well, where we’re seeing intent to fish from a boat increase to 66 percent, also up from 2022.

The campaign focused on our primary audience of Active Outdoors Women. These women have three strong independent indicators of their likelihood to fish, including Take Me Fishing brand logo recall, they fished as a child, and they are parents of young children. Strategic paid social targeting allowed us to efficiently reach this audience, reaching 84.9 million impressions across key social platforms. As a result, we saw a notable uptick in the usage of female-specific fishing and boating hashtags in social conversations. From the lowest point in 2022 to highest point in 2023, we observed a remarkable 384 percent surge in conversations across these platforms.

While the campaign was running, we saw a 17 percent year-over-year increase in organic and referral traffic to Take Me Fishing’s website and generated unique earned media with storytelling articles that featured key messages on recruitment. These results confirm our content and brand is resonating with consumers to take action.

When it comes to action, our industry partners help create outlets for consumers to take the next step and get involved. We’ve been thrilled to see a surge in women’s fishing and boating programs that help support our national campaign at the local level. From the take-charge energy of Yamaha’s new Women Run the Water program, to the established MarineMax’ Women on Water educational programming, our partners are breaking barriers alongside us. Strong specialty communities are being built with the Virginia Fly Fishing and Wine Festivals’ Beyond the Cast: Women’s Fly-Fishing Symposium and United Women on the Fly events. Industry manufacturer Volvo Penta even invited RBFF to share its message at their media event in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, for a group of regional women influencers and writers.

In the years to come, RBFF is committed to continuing our efforts that center on women’s experiences and highlight the benefits of fishing and boating for women. 2024 specifically will sharpen our focus on community through new integrated partnerships and programming to directly encourage discovery of fishing and boating and its benefits at a community level. Looking ahead, we plan to keep our hand on the throttle. We will utilize representation to recruit new participants, while employing strategic connection opportunities to retain them. By continuing to show the water is open to everyone, we are keeping the momentum going for increasing female participation in fishing and boating. Our key message and rallying cry will maintain: Find your best self on the water.

** This article originally appeared in the March edition of Fishing Tackle Retailer.