As our good friends at WARN are notorious for saying, “Wherever you go, go prepared.” Those words ring true in four wheeling mischief, overland journeys, powersports adventure, and outdoorsmen shenanigans such as hunting, fishing, and boating. And guess what? Companies like Dick Cepek, Weego, and Odyssey Battery are gauging consumer impressions of their premium brands in crossover markets.
According to a joint 2016 Special Report with Outdoor Foundation & Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, the top outdoor activities for those 25 years and older are:
- Running, jogging, and trail running—31.6 million participants
- Fishing (fresh, salt, and fly)—30.9 million participants
- Hiking—26.4 million participants
- Bicycling (road, mountain, and BMX)—26.1 million participants
- Camping (car, backpacking, backyard, and RV)—25 million participants
Automotive Aftermarket – Crossover Sales
With such compelling data, it’s understandable why automotive aftermarket brands are investing mega marketing dollars in crossover markets in the form of recreational sponsorship. Furthermore, runners, fishers, hikers, bicyclists, and campers shop complimentary brands, from the Rightline Gear tents, Yakima and Thule cargo boxes or bike racks, and Cequent towing products to DECKED storage solutions, outdoor gear, supplies, and emergency kit essentials. Another point to consider, both industries share a similar crossover consumer.
This year, Dick Cepek – an aftermarket wheel and tire manufacturer – returned as a Bassmaster Elite Series sponsor. Spokesperson Ken Warner, Vice President of Marketing, described how such partnerships are a vivid reminder of the company’s roots; therefore, it seems only natural for the brand to remain synonymous with sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts. “Dick Cepek was a true outdoorsman,” explained Warner. “He was an adventurer and developed tire and wheel products that could conquer any terrain. Our continued relationship with B.A.S.S reflects the spirit of our brand.” And what do most use to fish? Boats.
According to the National Marine Manufacturing Association (NMMA), there were an estimated 12.1 million registered boats in the US during 2016. Additionally, there were another 3.6 million undocumented vessels in operation; that’s a whopping estimated total of 15.8 million. About half of those boats are outboard-powered motor boats.
And so enter the Weego brand, owned by parent company Paris Corp. Weego partnered with Bassmaster Elite Pro Angler Adrian Avena and The Bass University to show how serious it is about brand recognition in crossover markets such as this. “The latest release of our award-winning, patented, ultra-simple and crazy-safe Weego portable jump starters has taken the boating industry by storm,” said Gerry Toscani, CEO of Weego.
“With built-in protections and certified IP65 to survive and thrive in the worst conditions, the Weego family of jump starters are perfect for keeping anglers in the fight and getting them back to shore safely. We want to show those just starting out all the way up to the seasoned pro our commitment to the sport by supporting educational programs like The Bass University and by promoting a young, upstart, fishing star like Adrian Avena. And he is right in our backyard, too!”
Combating a Dead Battery – Weego on the Go
To Weego’s point, we’re not sure there’s anything worse than catching a prized fish only to discover the boat battery has died with a master fisherman far from land. “Weego is all about mobility and being on the go. When a dead battery strikes in a car, truck, boat, personal watercraft, etc., you can’t move. Boating and recreational fishing go together so when you can’t go, you can’t fish,” said Brian Bell of Weego.
“Because tournaments have a set end time and they fish to the absolute latest, this can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost winnings. And let’s not forget bragging rights. So, having a Weego portable jump starter that requires assistance from no one (you have complete self-sufficiency), is pocket-sized and extremely lightweight, has crazy-long staying power (anywhere from 1 to 3 years depending on the model), doubles as a high-powered flashlight, is water resistant, and can be purchased at a competitive price is a no-brainer for both a professional or novice angler,” continued Bell.
Whilst on the topic of extreme batteries with superpower output, Odyssey Battery is no stranger to the world of tournament sponsorship either. And it’s yet another example of a big name brand taking full advantage of crossover markets. In fact, now-retired angler Shaw Grigsby endorsed Odyssey. Other big sponsorships include Team Penske, Brian Deegan, Tanner Foust, Terracross, and the Mint 400. Partnering with the best is subliminal messaging at its finest. “We align ourselves with other premium brands,” said Maria Orlando-Krick of Osyssey. But they do so in a way that’s genuine and wholesome. “We don’t want to get too big for our britches. We’re cognizant of our roots and refuse to be sellouts,” she continued.
And so, they’ve focused a majority of their efforts in the off-road and powersports markets where their batteries shine. “There’s a huge uptick in the powersports market, with Polaris selling upwards of 300,000 units this past year,” she continued. After all, it’s a cheaper space for enthusiasts to get into—think $25,000 as opposed to some serious off-road machinery that’s at least quadruple in price—and it’s a family-friendly activity, with room for four to join. “They get the ride and then there’s add-ons: a winch, lights, music, GPS… and when you add more electronics, you need more power. And when you need more power, then you get Odyssey,” added Orlando-Krick.
“Two-hundred miles in the desert and climbing over rocks. But an Odyssey battery will get them out of those places and help them win,” said Orlando-Krick. “Because there’s no gas station and there’s no outlets. So, you need something reliable. Something that can take all the shock vibration, the heat, the craziness of terrain.”
Shared Consumer Interest in Crossover Markets
Above all else, the underlying message is that all of these activities are interconnected—the fisher, boater, hunter, camper, powersports enthusiast. And at the end of the day, the crossover exposure just makes sense for the aftermarket manufacturers using it as a pulpit of brand promotion, for the shops looking to diversify their product offerings, and for consumers looking to benefit from the collaboration.