Water Sports Foundation Wins IBWSS Communication Award, Its Third National Boating Safety Recognition for 2021 Marketing Outreach

The Water Sports Foundation (WSF) announced today it has won the International Boating and Water Safety Summit (IBWSS) Communication Award presented by the National Safe Boating Council this week for its Spanish language recreational boating safety outreach radio campaign. The promotion included a series of three 60-second safe boating radio commercials launched immediately prior to the nation’s busiest boating holidays including Memorial Day and Independence Day in 2021. 

Photo Caption: Water Sports Foundation Content Director Jeff Moag accepts the IBWSS Communication Award for the no-profit Spanish language outreach campaign.

For the past six years, the Water Sports Foundation has partnered with the industry-leading Hispanic Communications Network (HCN) of Washington, DC to facilitate a coordinated multifaceted outreach campaign targeting Spanish speakers via an integrated broadcast, digital and social media platforms.

“We’re delighted to have been recognized among top boating safety providers for our work,” said WSF Executive Director Jim Emmons. “Our partners at HCN are great collaborators to work with as we developed targeted messaging that resonated with Spanish speakers.” 

Alison Rodden, CEO of the Hispanic Communications Network added, “Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups of recreational boaters in the United States providing practical boating safety information via human interest stories that are relatable from personal, cultural and linguistic perspectives can help existing and new generations of boaters enjoy their time on the water while staying safe. Thanks to our Hispanic media affiliates and partners, digital and social media channels, the Water Sports Foundation-HCN bilingual boating safety campaign continues to see solid interest and pickup.”


In addition to the millions of impressions delivered through Spanish language radio, HCN scored media time for its campaign spokesperson, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliarist Henry Cespedes, who was featured on Univision’s Despierta América program, netting 10.9 million bonus media impressions. 

This most recent award-winning campaign represents a trifecta for the Water Sports Foundation’s marketing and outreach projects.  Its national public relations outreach campaign launched in 2021 by media partner Kenton Smith Marketing won two major awards including top honors in the marketing outreach category for the Sea Tow Foundation’s National Boating Industry Safety Awards in December, followed by the top national Neptune Award for public relations presented by Marine Marketers of America in February. 

For WSF’s public relations campaign, Kenton Smith Marketing produced a series of highly targeted press releases that generated more than 601 million media impressions – nine times its goal of 65 million – and 490 published stories over a five-month period. The team scored live interviews on the Weather Channel and dozens of TV stations, along with coverage in USA Today, Men’s Journal, Yahoo Finance and hundreds of national and regional media outlets.

The Water Sports Foundation has been a U.S. Coast Guard recreational boating safety outreach partner since 2011 and is currently managing 10 outreach projects each promoting safer boating and paddling to specific U.S. targeted audiences. 


Water Sports Foundation

Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, the Water Sports Foundation is the non-profit educational arm of the Water Sports Industry Association.  The WSF has successfully managed 41 projects worth $9.5 million as a U.S. Coast Guard non-profit grant recipient. The Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund administered through congressional action provides funding for the U.S. Coast Guard’s recreational boating safety initiatives. For more information contact Jim Emmons, WSF Executive Director at info@WaterSportsFoundation.com.


Contact: Exec Director Jim Emmons