This year, Hering Propellers will be a major sponsor at nine of the most significant high-performance events in the country. In addition to the already completed Desert Storm, Jacksonville River Rally, Big Cat Poker Run and Texas Outlaw Challenge events, the Marysville, Wash., company will sponsor the upcoming Emerald Coast Poker Run, Lake of the Ozarks Shootout and SkaterFest, the S.C.O.P.E. Poker Run, Dave’s Custom Boats Regatta, Absolute Speed and Marine Poker Run and Super Boat International Key West World Championships. That ups Hering’s event sponsorship commitments—including being on site with its promotional trailer—by two events from 2010 at a time when many high-performance marine companies are cutting their marketing budgets.
“Even in a down year, you still need to go out and reach the customer,” said Jeff Johnston of Hering. “Whether it is a delivery of a brand new set of props to an event, an onsite repair or just a few hat and T-shirt sales, it all comes down to customer interaction, shaking hands, working with these customers and dialing in their boats. It’s good old-fashion camaraderie, and we enjoy hanging out with our customers.”
Johnston said Hering selected its events so that its on-site presence would be as nationwide as possible. On-site services provided by the Hering trailer go beyond apparel sales and include technical support—complete with a technician at a fully outfitted work station with balancers, welding tools, polishers and grinders. The trailer also has an air-conditioned hospitality lounge.
“The primary function of the truck is on-site propeller repair, “ said Johnston. “Unfortunately, we no longer stock the truck with demo propellers. In this difficult time, it is too expensive to stock 15 to 20 sets of propellers, meaning more than $100,000 inventory, on the truck.
“As we all know, times are tough, and it’s a difficult budget to swallow to put the support truck on the road,” he continued. “But we do see significant return with on-site repairs and apparel sales, and most importantly, residuals for future prop sales with new customers we meet. It might be two, three, six, or even nine months down the road, but if they call back and order a set, it was worth it.”