Although commonly known by the misnomer “Put Another Dollar In,” PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) officials insist that the company’s new licensing program is not merely intended to increase its already considerable control over the diving market. Through the agreement, PADI will lease its trademark and logo to the New Jersey-based corporate licensing firm Marathon Projects for a certain period of time, in exchange for which they will be paid a licensing fee. A marketing program will then be developed by Marathon Projects using PADI’s name, and will increase the potency of the company’s brand and extend its overall marketing outreach. In a statement, company representative Janelle Hamm stated that the goal of program is to “introduce scuba diving as a fun, life-changing and exhilarating adventure to an audience that may not otherwise be exposed to it.”
According to its website, Marathon Projects is a “brand and trademark licensing and consulting company” that seeks to “reinforce the brand name identities of major trademarks.” It has previously worked with clients such as McDonald’s, Nestlé, and Carnival cruise lines. Arrangements with such companies are often part of larger marketing campaigns which seek to increase a company’s profit from products with which it is not generally associated. Although the details of Marathon Project’s program have yet to be finalized, it may include a variety of items such as swimwear, beach apparel, footwear, dolls, action figures, Halloween costumes, video games, educational toys, and greetings cards. If the program is successful, the PADI brand will be extended into the markets for these items, which company officials hope will also “develop great brand recognition and appeal for scuba diving outside of the existing audience.”
Regarding the stereotype of the PADI acronym, there is no word yet on whether the products developed by Marathon Projects will be any more expensive than those made by competitors. However, despite the company’s insistence that the program is only intended to increase awareness of scuba diving, it may also be indicative of a broader campaign by PADI to increase its influence in markets associated with, but not directly related to sport.