Winners of 2009 North American Marine Industry Web Awards

More than 100 marine businesses took part in the competition

March 30th 2009

SEATTLE – March 30, 2009 – The North American Marine Industry Web Awards is an annual competition co-sponsored by Boats.com, the NMMA and Soundings Trade Only. The winners for 2009 were announced today.

“There is no doubt that the Internet is the key resource for anyone researching boats and equipment,” said Ian Atkins, VP and general manager of Boats.com and YachtWorld.com, when making the announcement. “It is encouraging to see just how much effort is being put into developing a professional and effective Web presence as evidenced by over 100 leading marine businesses being part of this competition. This is still just the beginning though—the majority of the leisure marine market still has a long way to go.”

“A good website is essential to today’s businesses and is a reflection of one’s brand or company identity. We believe this competition helps raise the bar for our industry and will encourage more companies to embrace the importance of their Web sites and the Internet in today’s business climate” stated Carl Blackwell, VP, marketing and communications, NMMA.

The winners of the 2009 North American Marine Industry Web Awards are:

Best OEM/Manufacturer Sitewww.sea-doo.com – This Web site did an excellent job of providing information within an engaging “wrapper.” The blend of technology and clean design in content presentation was effective in captivating attention while not overwhelming a less experienced site visitor with too much information per area. Best practice design considerations were used in type faces, content layout and navigation approaches. The design approach using sound and video combined with the easy to understand content made this a memorable site after just one visit and leaves you wanting to come back again.

Best Dealer/Broker Sitewww.marinemax.com – This site stood out for its organized, clean and easy to navigate design. The Web site has all the information needed for consumers who are either researching their first boat or ready to buy one. The “Quick Search” feature right on the home page allowed consumers to dive right into product search, while the “Event Calendar” and “Parts and Service Center” encouraged deeper exploration of the Web site.

Best Marine Equipment Sitewww.transhield-usa.com – This site was most noteworthy for its depth of content that caused it to be a useful tool for understanding the product. The use of interactive books with a Spanish language translation was a good start in trying to reach out and create a more compelling user experience with content delivery.

Best Marine Site – Editorial Contentwww.windcheckmagazine.com – WindCheck Magazine did a great job getting out of the way and letting the content speak for itself. Their blend of regional and youth-specific content does a great job of promoting boating in the Northeast and reaching out to young people.

Best Marine Site – Discover Boating – No award made.

When asked to provide insight on how marine industry Web sites could be improved, the judges offered the following general comments:

“Many of the participants were still in the early ‘digital brochure stage’ and/or used excessive amounts of video as a substitute for good design and user-friendly navigation. Trademarks were also often outdated, leaving the site visitor to wonder if the content as well was outdated. User participation techniques—often called user generated content, used so effectively in other industry categories—were also missing from a majority of sites. The best Dealer/Broker Site was tough to judge because so many of the entrants were using the same templated format which meant there was little to differentiate one site from another.”

About Boats.com – Boats.com is the single most powerful and effective global marketing solution for new and used boat dealers, boat builders and private-party sellers. In addition to providing an online marketing venue, Boats.com provides back-end marketing tools like lead management, inventory management and data distribution for boat builders and their dealers. Featuring over 140,000 new and used powerboat, sailboat, fishing boat and other listings, Boats.com provides visitors with a wide range of boats to choose from – plus exclusive articles from the world’s top boating writers and all the relevant information a boater needs to make a buying or selling decision. Well over one million boating consumers visit Boats.com every month and click through over 20 million page views, making this the recreational boating industry’s most popular online destination. Headquartered in Seattle, Wash., Boats.com has European headquarters in the United Kingdom. Boats.com is a division of Dominion Enterprises, based in Norfolk, Va.

About NMMA – National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is the leading association representing the recreational boating industry. NMMA member companies produce more than 80 percent of the boats, engines, trailers, accessories and gear used by boaters in the United States. The association is dedicated to industry growth through programs in public policy, market research and data, product quality assurance and marketing communications.

About Soundings Trade Only – Soundings Trade Only is a B2B magazine that marine industry professionals turn to for all of the news that’s relevant and important to them. The magazine’s Web site, TradeOnlyToday.com, together with an e-newsletter that is published each business day, keep the industry up to date with fast reporting on breaking news that will be of interest to businesses. Trade Only is owned by Dominion Enterprises, based in Norfolk, Va.

About Dominion Enterprises – Dominion Enterprises is a leading marketing services company serving the automotive, enthusiast and commercial vehicle, real estate, apartment rental, and employment industries. The company’s businesses provide a comprehensive suite of technology-based marketing solutions including Internet advertising, lead generation, CRM, Web site design and hosting, and data management services. The company has more than 45 market-leading Web sites reaching more than 16.7 million unique visitors, and more than 450 magazines with a weekly circulation of 4.3 million. Headquartered in Norfolk, Va., the company has 5,400 employees in more than 200 offices nationwide. For more information, visit http://www.DominionEnterprises.com.