Sea-Doo Life Test Ride Tour is more popular than ever
In its third year, the National Sea-Doo Life Test Ride Tour is in full swing and recently stopped at Medicine Lake in Minneapolis. The Boating Industry team took the opportunity to meet up with the BRP group to learn more about the event.
The unique tour began as a way for Sea-Doo to show off its unique features, like its intelligent throttle control, brake and reverse, etc. And in its third year of the tour, attendance and pre-registrations are at an all-time high, according to Adrien De Alexandris, marketing manager at Sea-Doo Watercraft and Boats.
“You can talk about these [features] in a show room, but you have to be able to experience the braking system and just how big the boat is on the water,” he said.
De Alexandris said the tour starts in May and runs through August with two groups, one starting on the East Coast in Florida and the other on the West Coast in California. Both groups move further north as the weather warms up.
The free-to-ride event is open to the public. Sea-Doo features four personal watercraft and its 21-foot jet boat model. De Alexandris said they feature their newest models while also trying to maintain a variety to appeal to the most boaters.
Participants represent a wide range of ages, according to De Alexandris, who estimates about 50 percent are previous boat owners, while the rest are new to the water.
Sea-Doo contacts local dealers to also attend the event and engage participants as they come off the water. They arrive the Friday morning before the event kicks off that afternoon to be trained on the event and the Sea-Doo models.
Sea-Doo contacts dealers in the area prior to ensure they have the right dealers at the event, not the most dealers.
“They need to be engaged,” De Alexandris said. “It is not like you just show up to be a part of it, you have to come engaged.”
Sea-Doo has worked with a marketing agency to promote the tour via direct mailings, its website and other mediums. However, the dealership is also asked to promote the event, whether it is through its own customer base or local radio, for example.
Cody Hawkins, who is an event manager for the Test Ride Tour, said such marketing efforts have paid off. The year-over-year attendance increase has greatly increased the effectiveness of the event.
“It is all about brand exposure. We see more and more interest every single year as far as people showing up and turning around, going to the dealership and actually buying,” Hawkins said.