A rash of boat makeover competitions is making headlines in the US

Building on the success of this year’s “Bling My Boat” promotion at the 35th annual Minneapolis Boat Show, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) will feature the promotion at a pair of its boat shows in 2008?looking to again duplicate its success at the Minneapolis event and introduce it for the first time at the 78th annual Chicago Boat, RV & Outdoors Show.

“Bling My Boat” presented by Travelers will reward two lucky winners (one from each show) with the opportunity to win a boat makeover and have their new-and-improved boat revealed to them on opening day of the show. The Chicago show takes place January 16-20, 2008 at McCormick Place, while the Minneapolis event begins one week later, January 23-27 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Interested candidates submit their stories for consideration on the respective boat show websites (MinneapolisBoatShow.com, ChicagoBoatShow.com), outlining why they deserve to have their boat “blinged.” Winners are then selected (one has already been chosen for Minneapolis; Chicago’s deadline to enter is October 15, 2007). The winning boats are then taken to local market sponsors and revamped.

Finished products will be unveiled Opening Day of each show and featured in morning TV news segments airing in the Minneapolis and Chicago markets.

“The ‘Bling My Boat’ promotion we did this year in Minneapolis was a huge success, earning nearly 33 million media impressions through public relations efforts, and we decided to not only bring the concept back to Minneapolis in 2008, but also expand it into other boat show markets,” says Ben Wold, NMMA executive vice president. “We anticipate an even more popular and favorable response this year.”