This This Should Be Interesting……and Exciting
In this corner…a newcomer with a highly touted team backing it up – it’s AmeriGO RV Club.
In the other corner…the time tested and unbeaten champion – The Good Sam Club.
In case you missed the announcement on September 16th, the former executive management team of the Affinity Group announced the formation of the new RVer club AmeriGO RV Club. The press release named former AGI CEO and Chairman Joe McAdams as holding that role in the new AmeriGO club and named Joe Daquino, former Publisher of the Trailer Life Directory and a Senior Vice President at AGI as the President of AmeriGo. Affinity Group was the owner of the Good Sam Club and Camping World, both companies now owned by Good Sam Enterprises.
Although the press release does not name other AmeriGO executives, it may be safe to assume that several other former Affinity Group executives might be also be associated with AmeriGO.
As most people know who follow the RV and RV park businesses, Good Sam Enterprises and Camping World is headed by Marcus Lamonis, an aggressive and obviously talented businessman who has in the last couple of years moved to raise Good Sam’s image and Camping World’s image and footprint on national television and on the NASCAR racing circuit as well as in 100 or so communities across America.
The press release description of the AmeriGO member programs and benefits sure seems to mirror the programs and benefits available to Good Sam members (insurance options, RV extended warranties, road service plans, RV financing options, and campground discounts). Encore RV Resorts and Thousand Trails owned by Equity Lifestyle Properties (a company where McAdams served as President for several years after he left Affinity Group) and Carefree RV Resorts have signed on to offer AmeriGO members a 10% discount on camping.
Competition is a good thing, we’re told. Let the battle for the RVer begin. With an estimated 10 million RVers in the US and with an estimated 1 million Good Sam members, there should be ample room for both Good Sam and AmeriGO. And with about 9000 commercial campgrounds in the US and about 1300+ Good Sam Parks, it’s likely that there’s ample room for AmeriGO in the park market as well.
Can AmeriGO capture the newer, younger RVer market? Are those folks joiners? Can Good Sam come up with a way to overcome it’s image as the older, less affluent RV owners club and reach into the younger market?
Will park owners be besieged with new opportunities to partner with or market to these clubs of RVers? How will the parks be impacted by the new comer and by their long time relationship with Good Sam?
What surprises do Joe McAdams and Marcus Lamonis have in store for RV dealers, park owners and RVers? Given past history of both executives, we can expect some dramatic actions as McAdams tries to pilot the new AmeriGO to success and as Lamonis works to protect and grow the Good Sam club in the face of this new competition. Stand by.
It should be interesting to see how all of this develops in the coming months. For sure, the competition is going to be good for RVers. Any time the consumer has two or more companies going after them, it usually works to their advantage.