Freedom Boat Club

Dec 1, 2020

Freedom Boat Club, a division of Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC) and the nation’s largest boat club, held its annual franchisee conference last week, virtually bringing together club owners from around the world to celebrate a record year for the business.  Through November 2020, Freedom Boat Club has grown to more than 245 locations serving more than 55,000 members. 

“2020 marked one of the most successful years in franchise history as consumers turned to boating as safe, social-distance activity to spend time with friends and family,” said Cecil Cohn, President, Freedom Boat Club Network. “We are energized by the passion of our members and franchisees who are committed to building the largest and most diverse consumer base in boating by introducing the on-water lifestyle to the next generation and fostering a growing community of lifetime boaters.” 

The three-day virtual event was attended by franchisees from around the world as Freedom shared its vision for 2021 across Operations, Technology, Shared Services, Public Relations, Marketing, as well as providing updates from Freedom’s vast array of vendor partners.

Additionally, operators were able to interact with some of the world’s leading boat brands including Sea Ray, Bayliner, Cypress Cay, Boston Whaler, and more – all powered by Mercury Marine’s industry-leading four-stroke outboard engines.

“The annual conference is always one of the highlights of the year, and while we would have loved to join our fellow franchisees in person, we appreciated the opportunity to do so virtually,” said Matt O’Hara, franchise owner, Freedom Boat Club of Lake George. “The three days of online learning were valuable and left us with some key takeaways to improve our business, and more importantly continue to improve the member experience. We now look forward to combining the interest in boating and boat clubs generated in 2020 with the comprehensive tools provided by Brunswick to ensure Freedom Boat Club grows its position as the No. 1 option for consumers looking to create memories with their loved ones in 2021.”

“The event totally exceeded every expectation I had,” said Lisa Almeida, franchise owner, Freedom Boat Club of Jacksonville. “The presentations were informative and concise, and the ability to network with peers in real-time enabled me to experience that same joyful camaraderie that we get when we’re in-person.  I walked away, just as I do every year, feeling that same joy and love in my heart for my Freedom Boat Club family.”

“I thought in many ways, the conference this year was more efficient by saving on travel time,” said Amit Kumaria, franchise owner, Freedom Boat Club of Toronto. “The technology gives you the best of both worlds and it’s clear to me that we have a terrific leadership team in place. We look forward to more successful years like the one we all had in 2020.”

The conference concluded with an award ceremony where many franchisees were presented awards based on performance and contributions over the past year, including Franchise of the Year awarded to Matt Carrick & Matt O’Connor from Boston. Other award recipients included:

·        Guardian of Reciprocity – Freedom Boat Club Gulf Coast, Russell Atkinson

·        Territory Expansion – Freedom Boat Club of the Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast, Dan Lund

·        Highest % of Revenue Increase – Freedom Boat Club of Pittsburgh, Michael Hills

·        Pacesetter Club Award (Recognizes clubs who meet specific financial benchmarks)

o   Freedom Boat Club of Delaware & New Jersey

o   Freedom Boat Club of Eastern CT

o   Freedom Boat Club of Newburyport & Portsmouth

o   Freedom Boat Club of Maine

o   Freedom Boat Club of Northern Virginia

o   Freedom Boat Club of the Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast

o   Freedom Boat Club of Lake Oconee

o   Freedom Boat Club of Savannah

o   Freedom Boat Club of San Diego

o   Freedom Boat Club of Tacoma

o   Freedom Boat Club of Seattle

·        Marketing National Brand Champion – Freedom Boat Club of Southern Virginia, Andy Sutter

·        Marketer of the Year – Freedom Boat Club of Pittsburgh, Michael Hills

·        Membership Executive of the Year – Dustin Tidwell, Freedom Boat Club of the Palm

Beaches and Treasure Coast

·        Presidents Club – Freedom Boat Club of Tampa Bay, Glenn Bergoffen & Lisa Reho

·        Rookie Franchise of the Year – Freedom Boat Club of Carolina Beach, Zach Hollenbaugh

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