On Monday, February 12, 2018, the pleasure boat builder Jeanneau announced an agreement with Freedom Boat Club (FBC). With a presence at more than 150 bases in the United States and Canada, FBC is a major player in the boat club sector in the United States. All members of the Jeanneau brand's European network will be offered the opportunity to open an FBC database.
The choice of partnership
Jeanneau's approach differs from that of Bénéteau, who has just created his own boat club. However, it is the result of group reflection, explains Jean-Paul Chapeleau, Jeanneau's Executive Director. "This is the result of two parallel initiatives within the Bénéteau Group. We had been looking for some time at what was happening in the boat club sector, which makes it possible to find people who don't want to invest in a boat. At least not immediately. At Bénéteau, leading dealers wanted to expand their offer. On our side, we had already created a link with Freedom Boat Club to whom we have been supplying Merry Fisher in the US for 1 year. As we were reflecting on our strategy, FBC informed us of its desire to develop in Europe, which is difficult from the United States. It was just in time for our reflection."
25 Boat Clubs for the summer of 2018
After defining a strategy in the summer of 2017, tests were conducted with key distributors from Nautic 2017 onwards to define the necessary resources. "FBC now offers a well-made and efficient package to Jeanneau dealers to reach the right customers by choosing the right boats and the right people. The objective is to reach 25 Jeanneau BCF bases in Europe by the summer of 2018," says Jeanneau's director. A first meeting between FBC and Jeanneau dealers is planned at the Miami show.
Strengthening the network
European Jeanneau dealers will work directly with FBC on a franchise basis. "We are the binder. Our interest is to strengthen our network by allowing it to develop complementary activities and spread our brand. If there is no exclusivity, it is a very high priority."