sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Sailing School finds success by embracing Social Media
Sailing School finds success by embracing Social Media

'Bill Zimmerman and the clients he found through Social Media'    .

It's a story from which many a struggling sailing school could take a lead. The Seven Seas Sailing School, located in Buffalo, New York State, USA, was a challenging seasonal business, kept going by a lot of passion and determination, but the company was merely gliding, not flourishing. It all changed when they embraced social media on the Internet.

'It has completely transformed how we do business, said Bill Zimmerman, director of the company. 'We’ve gone from being a small, anxious business that was Buffalo’s best-kept secret, to a strong, thriving, waterfront institution. 'It has brought us a financial stability that is precious to us.'

The breakthrough came two years ago when the company began offering daily deals through the social buying websites LivingSocial and Groupon, heavily discounting its two-hour chartered picnic sail for two.

The strategy was that those customers would return to Seven Seas for keelboat lessons once they caught the sailing bug.

It seems to have worked.

'It’s hard to ask for a better season than last year,' Zimmerman said. 'I don’t want to be greedy, but I’m already getting the sense that this season is going to be tremendously successful, too.'

Where the company once prebooked five or six sails for the season, it prebooked more than 600 during 2010 and 2011.

Though the sails were discounted by about 64 percent, Seven Seas didn’t take a hit. That’s because many of the school’s captains — part paid, part commission, part volunteer — donate hours of their service simply for the love of sailing. Any money made on the tours goes directly to them.

Those big numbers have translated into lesson sales. The school has added 10 Coast Guard-certified instructors to its original four to handle the new students.

In years past, the school had spent $15,000 on television commercials.

'That sounds like a lot, but it’s a drop in the bucket compared to some budgets. You really need to spend a couple hundred grand to get your name out,' Zimmerman said. 'With social media, we’ve been able to inundate the marketplace with awareness.'

That market now stretches well beyond the Canadian border into Ontario.

'For anyone south of Toronto, it’s actually less of a stress to drive to Buffalo than to drive through Toronto,' Zimmerman said. 'But calling Welland used to be an $8 phone call. How could you afford to market there? Social media has blown that wide open now, and it’s only going to get bigger.'

He sees Ontario as a huge growth market for the company, with the potential to increase his business by one third solely on the influx of Canadian customers.

But Seven Seas Sailing School didn't stop there. In 2010, they opened the Indian school, where some of its local instructors now spend their winters. The Tanzanian school, on Lake Victoria, should be open next spring.

'I’ve done all kinds of sailing—racing, I owned a charter in Hawaii for years,' said Ed Quinlan, an instructor who helped set up the Indian school. 'Now the most pleasure I get is from promoting the sport of sailing through teaching.'

Seven Seas is on a mission to promote a love of sailing here, too.

http://www.buffalonews.com

The very idea of a community sailing school is something far removed from the traditional avenues to sailing. In the past, if you didn’t own a sailboat or belong to a yacht club, you generally didn’t learn to sail. The expense excluded entire populations of people from the sport.

But Seven Seas changed that, heading up a trend that has caught on around the country.

'Our business will definitely grow. It’s a rising tide that will lift all boats,' said Zimmerman.


by Buffalo News/Lee Mylchreest

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=97529

4:55 AM Tue 22 May 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







News - USA and the World

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 CEO Knut Frostad talks (Part I) *Feature by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team,










America's Cup: Team NZ wish Davis well with new team by Richard Gladwell, Sail-world.com/nz,


Fisher's View: Sailing perfection at Hamilton Island- Day 3 by Bob Fisher, Hamilton Island, Queensland




2014 Formula Kite World Championship Day 1 by Markus Schwendtner, Istanbul
























Opera House Cup - Images by Ingrid Abery by Ingrid Abery/Sail-World.com,


Teams descend upon Cowes for inaugural J/111 World Championships by Stuart Johnstone, Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
























IFDS Worlds - Gary Jobson to attend opening ceremonies
Melges 32 U.S. National Championship - Dalton DeVos crowned champion
2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games trailer
2014 Chicago Grand Slam - Canfield wins
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Varuna takes overall lead
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week; Crosbie Lorimer Day 1 Images
Fisher's View: Hamilton Island Race Week - Day 1 - Stayin' Alive
CORK Olympic Classes Regatta 2014 - Day one
Youth Olympics: practice over, athletes welcomed, time for YOG sailing
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Record for Artemis-Team Endeavour
2014 Melges 32 U.S. National Championship - Day 2
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland: Artemis sets fourth course record
2014 Chicago Grand Slam - Top seeds survive as semi-finalists
420 and 470 Junior Europeans - Breezy day 4 in Gdynia
RC44 World Championship - Dramatic improvement for Artemis Racing
18' Skiff International Regatta - Action begins August 25th
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Challenging conditions arise
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Record-breaking monohull victory
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Dongfeng Race Team finishes third
RC44 Marstrand World Championship - Bronenosec the star performer
Bahamian Olympic Sailor to carry flag in honour of Sir Durward Knowles   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race: Records continue to tumble   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race: Course Record for Team SCA   
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Team Alvimedica completes the race   
2014 Melges 32 U.S. National Championship - Day 1   
420 and 470 Junior European Championships - A crazy race day 3   
2014 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race: Monohull record smashed   
2014 Chicago Grand Slam - Top seeds take the early lead   
Frostad proud to have seven Volvo Ocean Race boats with seven sponsors *Feature   
RC44 World Championship - Bronenosec Sailing Team on form   
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Dongfeng defends third position   
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Vestas Wind emerges into the sunlight   
Volvo Ocean Race: Round Britain on board Team SCA with the   
Volvo Ocean Race: Round Britain on board Azzam and Team Campos   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race - Twist of fate on day 5   
Mallorca’s Puerto Portals to host the 2015 TP52 World Championship   
Volvo Ocean Race: Round Britain on board with Team Alvimedica   
Volvo Ocean Race: Round Britain with on board with Team Dongfeng   
Melges 32 U.S. National Championship 2014 - Teams ready for action   
USA Match Racing Grand Slam Series - Kicks off in Chicago   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT