|As featured in the Wednesday, January 2, 2002 edition of Trade Only Today.|
Despite the endorsements given to boats.com by the two biggest national marine trade organizations, another Web company iboats.com is gaining some ground with its own list of endorsements and what it says is a growing viewership.
The Salt Lake City-based Internet services provider is on the verge of signing an official endorsement agreement with the Boating Trades Association of Texas. The BTAT executive committee already has given staff approval to an agreement that would make iboats.com the official Internet services provider for the association and its members.
The board has authorized the executive committee to make a decision based on their best judgment, Ben Flusche of BTATs executive staff said this morning. That decision has been made; it just hasnt been fully implemented yet.
Flusche says he doesnt anticipate any problems whatsoever with the agreement, and expects it to be finalized very soon.
Both iboats.com and boats.com made presentations to the BTAT membership at its annual meeting in October. The association said the decision to move forward with iboats.com was based on the needs of members and the services provided by each of the vendors.
Based on some very positive input we have received, we are convinced that iboats.com will greatly assist our dealer members in creating and maintaining an efficient online presence, Gene Schkade, BTAT president, said in a statement.
While both Internet service providers emphasize the importance of the dealer network, Flusche said, We were very impressed with the presentation [iboats.com] made.
Also, he said, Some of our directors had past experiences with them and expressed satisfaction with the services they provided. They expressed confidence that iboats would be a stable presence in the industry.
One of the first tasks will be for iboats.com to focus on helping dealers create or update their Web sites.
Founded in 1998, iboats.com owns and operates several hundred marine-oriented Web sites, in addition to managing hundreds of sites of its marine retail partners. Two other large trade organizations the Marine Industry Association of Florida and the Southern California Marine Association also use the Salt Lake City companys services.
According to an iboats.com statement, the company was ranked in October as the most popular full-featured marine site, as measured by Alexa Internet.