RBFF Inspires Americans to Leave Pandemic Stress in Their Wake

  • Digital Marketing ,
  • Crisis Prevention and Resolution ,
  • Influencer Engagement ,
  • Media Relations ,
  • Social Media Engagement ,

Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation

America headed into summer 2020 with uncertainty, and health professionals braced for the worst. The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) might have seemed like an unexpected ally in protecting America’s well-being, but the organization believed it could make a valuable contribution.

RBFF and Discover Boating Get On Board

Americans have long turned to recreational fishing and boating for relief and rejuvenation. According to the 2019 Special Report on Fishing, “relaxing and unwinding” is the no. 1 experience associated with the activity. Not only is fishing a wellness-boosting activity, but it also lends itself naturally to social distancing.

Get On Board is an integrated campaign that raised awareness about the wellness benefits of fishing and boating while social distancing. Through an omnichannel approach, the campaign offered resources and inspiration to help Americans navigate the uncharted waters of the pandemic. RBFF and Exponent enlisted an unexpected ambassador to spread the safety messages — nationally acclaimed psychiatrist Dr. Sue Varma, who was new to fishing.

An interactive map supplied consumers with real-time updates on safe fishing and boating access directly from state natural resources agencies. And how-to videos and educational social media content taught first-timers step-by-step.

Get On Board PSA

Get On Board strived to make a difference for people from all walks of life. That meant updating this traditional pastime to represent inclusivity and relevant cultural conversations.

Quarantined in “the bubble” for playoffs, NBA players quickly developed a love of fishing in their downtime, aided by the encouragement of some friendly competition courtesy of Get On Board. The phenomenon even earned a segment on ESPN’s talk show The Jump.

The Results

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By the end of summer 2020, 60% of Americans were more likely to try fishing and boating after learning about the sport’s restorative benefits.
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2 million
Get On Board helped drive a total of 2 million additional fishing licenses year-over-year, and data confirms that African American, Hispanic and female anglers are rapidly growing.