Boaters in need of their Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) will be able to obtain the study guide as well as take the test at Canadian Tire stores come April.
BOATsmart! has formed an exclusive partnership with the retail chain to sell boating license materials at Canadian Tire stores across Canada. This will include pre-paid access cards for taking the PCOC test on BOATsmart!'s website and its educational study guides to prepare for the test.
BOATsmart! staff will also be on location at numerous Canadian Tire stores throughout the spring and summer to administer the tests in person.
“We'll be doing about 320 events at Canadian Tire stores this summer,” says BOATsmart! Canada President, Cameron Taylor. “It's a great opportunity to reach a lot of Canadian boaters to make sure they have what they need to become certified. Our on-site testing events are scheduled at stores for specific days, including weekdays and weekends. Those events will be listed on our website in approximately three weeks. We're looking at visiting 200 different Canadian Tire locations.”
Canadian Tire and BOATsmart! have worked together to produce a variety of lifestyle print, radio, web and social media advertising that will be used to promote the partnership. Taylor says these promotions in addition to BOATsmart!'s normal marketing efforts have amounted to $3.1 million this year.
To recruit all the members required for the promotion, BOATsmart! is conducting a nationwide college campus tour to find students to join its provincial teams. Taylor anticipates that he'll need nearly 100 employees to facilitate the events across the country.
However, Cameron stressed that BOATsmart! also remains committed to independent marine retailers administering the PCOC test. “Our independent marine retailers are still a very important part of our program to help reach boating consumers,” he says. “We have hundreds of marine retailers across the country that we'll still be doing events with and promoting as places to be certified as well.”