A “First” for Maryland and a “First” for America
Sportsmen’s Marketing Initiative (SMI)
On October 3, 2012, under the auspices of the Maryland Legislative Sportsmen’s Foundation (MLSF), the following sportsmen’s groups formally requested that Governor Martin O’Malley publicly underwrite an initiative to promote Maryland as a premiere destination to fish and hunt:
- Maryland Aquatic Resource Coalition
- Maryland Outfitters & Guides Association
- Maryland Saltwater Sport Fishing Association
- Coastal Conservation Association
- Maryland Bowhunter’s Society
- Maryland Bass Nation Federation
- Trout Unlimited, Mid-Atlantic Council
- Chesapeake Guides Association
- Allegany/Garrett Sportsmen’s Association.
Further support was provided by the bi-partisan Maryland Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus within the State Legislature.
MLSF provided a three-fold rationale to Governor O’Malley to establish Maryland as a national Leader in promoting its standing as a world class sportsmen’s destination. The O’Malley Administration concurred and the fiscal year 2014 State Budget included $300,000 to underwrite this initiative as part of the Office of Tourism Development’s (OTD) statewide marketing strategy.
To ensure broad constituent engagement, OTD granted funding to Maryland Sportsmen’s Foundation (MSF) to support the creation of the Sportsmen’s Marketing Initiative (SMI). The object of this project was to support SMI’s goal of increasing the economic impact of fishing and hunting through cohesive, sustainable product development and marketing.
With the support of MSF, Maryland’s Department of Business & Economic Development (“DBED”), and Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR), an 11-Member Steering Committee, comprised of both public and private sector individuals, was created to oversee the SMI project. The SMI steering committee has worked with the creative agency, The Isenberg Group, and research firm, Responsive Management, to create the Fish & Hunt Maryland brand and marketing materials, and continues to oversee the strategic marketing campaign.
Sportsmen Marketing Initiative Steering Committee Members:
- Aaron Frazier, Chair
- Sandy Turner, Vice-Chair
- Senator John Astle
- David Sutherland
- Sara Duck
- Ann Hilyer
- Brent Miller
- Sean Mann
- Captain Ed O’Brien
- Robert Pascal
- Marci Ross
- Dolores Jones and Charles Rodney (proxy)
- Project Manager: Bill Miles