Thousands participate in Gamecock Walk prior to the South Carolina vs. Kentucky game. Photo Courtesy of Learfield
COLUMBIA, S.C. — October 5, 2021 — The South Carolina Boating & Fishing Alliance (SCBFA)partnered with Gamecock Athletics Saturday, September 25, to host the first-of-its-kind boating and fishing showcase combining three of South Carolina’s favorite pastimes: boating, fishing, and football.
Before the SEC East battle between Kentucky and South Carolina, the Gamecock Athletics Department estimates more than 20,000 fans visited Gamecock Village to see one of South Carolina’s top industries on display, boating and fishing, which provides the state with 23,000 jobs and a $5.1 billion economic impact.
“The first-ever boating and fishing showcase at Williams-Brice was one of the most successful Gamecock Village marketing activations we have participated in. It added another level of excitement for the fans,” said Eric Nichols, University of South Carolina Senior Associate Athletic Director and Chief Marketing Officer.
SCBFA proudly showcased its partners and advocacy of the industry that comprises 3.1% of the state’s gross domestic product.
“We were thrilled to make a bit of history with the first-ever boating and fishing event at Williams-Brice,” said Chris Butler, president of Butler Marine and board chairman of SCBFA. “Thousands of football fans were able to see iconic brands of boats and fishing tackle, and most were unaware that they are made right here in South Carolina. Raising awareness of our industry and showcasing our products will continue to be a major focus of SCBFA.”
Not only was Saturday game day for college football fans across the country, but it was also National Hunting and Fishing Day, as recognized by Gov. Henry McMaster and promoted through the Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation.
“National Hunting and Fishing Day recognizes the significant economic and conservation funding contributions of hunters and anglers. Hats off to the SCBFA for hosting their showcase on this important day for South Carolinians,” said John Culclasure, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation Southeastern States Assistant Director.
The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation reports that South Carolina is home to 847,000 hunters and anglers, which provide a combined 40,000 jobs.
Nationwide, 53.4 million sportsmen and women contribute $119 billion to the U.S. GDP and support more than 1.6 million jobs.
“Millions of Americans use South Carolina-made products in the outdoors every day,” said Gettys Brannon, SCBFA Chief Executive Officer. “To showcase a portion of our 30-plus boating and fishing manufacturers in South Carolina on an SEC football Saturday is something we look forward to repeating.”
SCBFA Participants included: Abu Garcia, Avenger Boats, Bentley Pontoons, Berkley Fishing, Berkeley Outdoors, Falcon Bass Boats, Local Boy Outfitters, Mid-Carolina Marine, Palmetto State Armory — Fishing Outpost, PENN Fishing, Pioneer Boats, Quantum Paints, Safer Boater, Sea Hunt Boats, Sea Pro Boats, Sportsmans Boats, Tidewater Boats, Ugly Stik, What the Fin Apparel, and Yamaha Rightwaters™.
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