Situation Analysis

Orvis 50/50 On the Water AdventurePro articleIn April 2018, Orvis launched the 50/50 On the Water campaign to create gender parity in fly fishing. It was our task to secure earned media and address the challenges women face when trying to learn the sport of fly fishing.


  • Generate more than 1,000 #5050ontheWater social media posts/tags
  • Secure three national, ten regional and at least one local market spot for six target markets
  • Generate over 50,000 views for anthem video
  • Create one female media ambassador to spread the 50/50 campaign virally
  • Identify/invite sports-minded anchors and sportscasters in local markets to experience fly fishing with a fishing manager


As Orvis sought to lower women’s barriers of entry by creating a new line of gear and apparel designed specifically for the female body, Marshall Communications created a targeted media list to pitch the 50/50 story to.

Orvis created women-focused fly-fishing events through local clubs and organizations, started offering women-only options for their free introductory fly-fishing courses, and developed women-only and couples’ fly-fishing trips. These were all important pieces of our plan.


By identifying the beats of the influencers we wanted to have cover 50/50, we could cater each pitch and knew the right angles to get them on board. For example, with our women’s gear testers, we highlighted the research and thoughtfulness that went into the new projects. We didn’t just “pink and shrink” for the female consumer. In addition to pitching, we sent product to media for testing and gear reviews, letting them know their feedback would help Orvis make a better product, and invited them to be part of the campaign.

To promote the new women’s-only fly-fishing classes and adventures, we invited local news anchors and sportscasters to participate in a class or have a private lesson with an Orvis manager/guide.

Orvis created a digital asset, the anthem video, to complement the campaign and hosted it on their YouTube channel.


  • Publicized more than 104 50/50 classes/events nationwide
  • Sales for the new women’s line was +33% to previous year
  • Earned media attention from The New York Times, Forbes, numerous articles in Outside, and NBC Nightly News, as well as local and regional publications throughout the nation
  • Over 9,000 posts for #5050ontheWater
  • Anthem video generated over 115K organic social views and over 457K YouTube views, as well as a pick-up from Outside magazine for their website, social and YouTube
  • Gained one female freelancer to become a 50/50 ambassador, sent her to Abaco Lodge in the Bahamas with representatives from 50/50, and supplied her with apparel and fly-fishing gear for testing; she produced four articles with estimated coverage views of 12.5K and online impressions of 124.4K
  • Pitched and handled logistics for several local market television segments; we identified and invited female sportscasters to learn how to fly fish, securing segments in New York; Portland, OR; Sevierville, TN; and Jackson Hole, WY.