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











International Moth Worlds: Rashley ahead as Aussies close in by Mark Jardine / YachtsandYachting.com,




















International Moth Worlds - Mothballed on day 4 + Video by Mark Jardine / YachtsandYachting.com,




Gladwell's Line: A change of direction needed in the America's Cup *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,
























Anna Tunnicliffe set to compete at the CrossFit Games by Anna Tunnicliffe, Pittsburgh, PA








No tiller sailing - how to steer using just the sails + Video
International Moth Worlds: Three bullets in a row for Greenhalgh
U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship - Sophia Reineke wins
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 0 Opening
Fuerteventura World Cup - Slalom action highlights day 2
2014 Governor's Cup - Sam Gilmour of RFBYC victorious again
Farr 40 West Coast Champ - Skipper Alberto Rossi leads Enfant Terrible
Flying Dutchman World Championships - Magyars are the Masters
Final day shakes up standings at Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek
2014 -15 Volvo Ocean Race: Team Alvimedica pushing towards Southampton
NYYC Race Week - Saving the best for last
VX One North American Championship - Chris Alexander commands
2014 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek - Waiting game on Day 3
International Moth Worlds: Thunderstorms delay racing on Day 1
Fuerteventura World Cup - Impressive tricks on day 1
2014 Governor's Cup - Two former winners in the finals
America's Cup: Iain Murray explains reasons for Australian withdrawal *Feature
Wilson and Roble remain number one match racers in U.S.
2014 ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship - Set to start
PWA Pozo World Cup - Moreno twins dominate home spot
ISAF Youth Worlds - Record breaking regatta in Tavira + Video   
Melges 32 European Championship - Robertissima remains out front   
Farr 40 West Coast Championship - Italians take one-point lead   
Melges 32 European Championship - Day 3 images by Carlo Borlenghi   
New York Yacht Club Race Week - Marstrom 32 fleet off to anxious start   
Melges 32 European Championship - Day 3 images by Max Ranchi   
CYC Race to Mackinac - Cruising fleet sets sail in 106th edition   
Team Alvimedica getting a touchup   
PWA Pozo World Cup - Plenty of drama on day 5   
ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship - Day 5 Videos   
NYYC Race Week - High performance classes put on shoreside show   
2014 Pacific Cup - 'Invisible Hand' the first boat to finish   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - B.C.'s Eric Holden skippers wins   
America's Cup: Updates on Team Australia withdraw   
J/70 North American titles - Brian Keane moves to top of leaderboard   
2016-2017 America's Cup - Team Australia withdraws   
VX One North American Championship - Chris Alexander takes charge   
America's Cup: Team NZ disappointed, but on track after Australians go   
America's Cup: Hamilton Island decides not to proceed with Challenge.   
America's Cup: Challenger of Record withdraws from Regatta   


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