PADDLING BUSINESSstream: Editorial: I Gave At The Office | Rapid Magazine | Rapid Media
Photo: John Webster Photo: John Webster

What is BRANDstream

There are things we do every business day that don’t directly add to our companies’ bottom lines.

Things like shipping out swag to events too small to matter, loaning pop-up tents to public school barbeques and sitting on boards of directors. I once spent five years building a whitewater festival only to hand it over to a non-profit paddling school. My accountant thought I was crazy. My accountant doesn’t paddle.

We do these extra things for many different reasons. Very few come with any form of recognition or charitable receipts. You probably don’t even mention them around the dinner table after a long day. Doing good deeds is not in your job description or on your list of key deliverables.

In this special issue of Paddling Business, 16 industry leaders took the time to reply to dozens of our questions. They didn’t have to do that. You can read a sampling of their responses in Signals on page nine.

The last two years, decision-makers of leading paddlesports brands have been getting up early before the Outdoor Retailer show floor opens to meet with the Water Sports Foundation and the U.S. Coast Guard. The coffee is free and the Danishes are fresh, but they’re really donating their time and ultimately the resources of their companies to collectively influence change by creating and disseminating a paddling safety campaign.

Inserting safety information in new boats and distributing videos takes time, and time is money. It’s hard to put a dollar value on this type of giving-back to a community. You can calculate work-hours, but you can’t quantify the return on that investment.

It’s these extra efforts, not written in our job descriptions, that make this industry so special. Putting ink on paper, sewing fabric, layering fiberglass cloth or whatever, let’s face it, we could do it all elsewhere for twice the money.

Instead we produce media, gear and boats in a friendly world where direct competitors drink beer together in the aisles of tradeshows. We support grassroots. We save rivers. We return calls to college students with dreams.

We take this time because we remember calling on CEOs when we were in school. We do it because it’s magical to see 500 paddlers dancing together after a day on the water. But mostly, I think we give at the office because that’s just who we are. And despite deadlines, shrinking margins and whatever else is on our desks, we will keep contributing in meaningful ways to this fantastic community in which we live and do our business.

Scott MacGregor is the founder and publisher at Rapid Media. This article was first published in the 2017 issue of Paddling Business. Read it here.


Related items


Join 100 000+ fellow paddlers! Get the latest paddling news and special offers delivered straight to your inbox.  


1 (613) 706-0677