Do The ‘Write’ Thing: Costa Del Mar Sunglasses Inc.

UPDATE 1/13/2013: Costa del Mar has announced they will no longer be sponsoring the PTTS.  Thank you Costa! And to everyone who spent the time to share your feelings with Save the Tarpon and Costa, congratulations, your voice was heard!

Save The Tarpon is asking your help to Do The ‘Write’ Thing by reaching out to those who sponsor and advertise with the Professional Tarpon Tournament Series. These companies care about their image and the integrity of their brand. And they really do want to hear from their current and future customers on issues that impact their business and, of course, their bottom line. Who are these companies? Meet Costa Del Mar Sunglasses Inc., PTTS sponsor. At the end of this post we’ll show you a few ways you can Do The ‘Write’ Thing by contacting Costa Del Mar to make your voice, combined with those of 12,000 others, heard. 

Costa del Mar SunglassesAbout Costa Del Mar:
Costa Del Mar Sunglasses Inc. is a Florida company based in Daytona Beach. It designs and manufactures high-end polarized sunglasses, as well as apparel and accessories tailored to the angling, sailing and surfing public. Its products are sold online and through 5,000 retailers nationwide. Costa was founded in 1983. On April 22, 2003, the A. T. Cross Company (think Cross Pens) purchased Costa Del Mar Sunglasses. Cross is headquartered in Lincoln, Rhode Island. It is listed on Nasdaq as ATX. The stock’s price per share hovers in the $11 range. It should be noted that publicly traded companies do tend to listen when their shareholders have something to say.

Costa is a high-profile sponsor of the Professional Tarpon Tournament Series. Along with its parent company, it is also very PR conscious. Costa prides itself on its Florida roots and its reputation for being a responsible and responsive corporate citizen. On its website, the company notes “We’re a big believer in grassroots initiatives.” It doesn’t get more “grassroots” than Save The Tarpon. In the case of the PTTS, it appears Costa Del Mar – which sponsors a number of fishing tournaments and events – made a poorly vetted choice that is inconsistent with the company’s pro-conservation traditions and its long history of supporting causes that include the Cousteau Society and the Bonefish Tarpon Trust.

Costa Del Mar’s CEO is Charles R. “Chas” MacDonald, 58, whose title is President, Cross Optical Group. It is unclear whether Mr. MacDonald is based in Florida or Rhode Island. But he calls the shots at Costa. Correspondence through the Costa website (see links below) can properly be addressed to him.

Contacting Costa Del Mar Sunglasses Inc.:
Reasonable but firm is probably the best way to approach Costa Del Mar Sunglasses. If you are a Cross shareholder, say so. If you are a Costa customer, say so. At $89 to $290 a pop, Costa products aren’t an impulse buy. The company shares the ultra competitive high-end optical market with brands such as Maui Jim, Oakley, Revo, Bolle, Smith Optics, Ray-Ban and Kaenon.

As a consumer, you have many choices. Letting Costa know that you, a valued customer, know these other choices exist is important. Letting Costa know that you, a valued customer, know these other choices aren’t pumping their promotional dollars into the PTTS is equally important. And it certainly wouldn’t hurt to mention if you, a valued customer, are considering a purchase of a new pair of high-end sunglasses sometime between now and May, 2013. It is, of course, unfortunate that Costa – as a PTTS sponsor – likely won’t be on your list.

As already noted, Costa Del Mar is responsive. This is reflected in the amount of contact information provided on the company’s website. You can give Costa a call, use the provided online comment form, connect with them on Facebook and Twitter, shoot off a fax or sit down and write them an old-fashioned letter. As always, please provide your name, address and all other requested information.

Company Address:
Charles R. MacDonald
Cross Optical Group
c/o Costa Del Mar Sunglasses Inc.
2361 Mason Avenue, Suite 100
Daytona Beach, FL 32117

Company Phone and Fax:
(800) 447-3700 Toll Free
(386) 274-4001 Fax
Note: If you phone, ask to speak to someone in Public Relations. These are the people who are paid to listen. If you fax, include “ATTN: Public Relations.” If you opt to give Costa a call, you might still wish to use some or all of the other available resources. HINT: Don’t expect the voice on the phone to do a whole lot more than listen and ask a few questions. The decisions are made by the decision makers upstairs. Be friendly, polite and to the point. Keep it simple. You are a current or potential Costa customer and as such, you have some strong concerns about an event the company sponsors. Let them take it from there. Odds are good they will. If the person you’re speaking with is already aware of the situation with the PTTS, request a statement on the company’s position and ask to add your name and voice to the list of concerned callers.

Online:
Costa provides an online contact form. Under “Subject,” please select “Public Relations” from the drop-down menu. You will be asked to provide a first and last name, email address, phone number and physical address. These fields are followed by a box for your comments. Speak your mind. Then click “Submit” and you’re done.

Again, the contact form can be found here.

Facebook:
Stop by the company’s Facebook page and give Costa a “like.” Then mention you’ve sent off a message concerning the PTTS. You can also add a link to http://www.savethetarpon.com or http://www.facebook.com/SaveTheTarpon

Twitter:
A Tweet to Costa would be equally sweet. Same deal as Facebook.

Other Options:
You may also wish to share your concerns with your local Costa Del Mar retailer. A list of Costa dealers in your area can be found here. Just enter your ZIP code into the box provided on the page.

*It’s probably useful to note that Costa Del Mar might seek to explain that it has a contractual obligation with the Professional Tarpon Tournament Series and that its hands are, essentially, tied. This isn’t entirely correct. Most promotional contracts contain a stated or implied “morals clause.” This provision holds the PTTS to certain behavioral standards designed to prevent the tournament from bringing disrepute, contempt or scandal to a sponsor. You may wish to invite Costa Del Mar Sunglasses Inc. to review the extensive collection of material found on SaveTheTarpon.com to make its own determination on this question.

Then what?
You might get a phone call or an email requesting additional information. Tell your own story in your own words. Point Costa towards savethetarpon.com and the Facebook page with its more than 8,500 followers. But be sincere (we know you are) and be yourself. And thanks for taking the time to Do The ‘Write’ Thing by lending a hand and your voice to this very important cause.

If you Do The ‘Write’ Thing and receive feedback from Costa Del Mar Sunglasses Inc., let us know how it went. Feel free to Do The ‘Write’ Thing with us by shooting off a message to Save The Tarpon.

Comments

  1. Bruce Davis says

    Wow, and this is the same company that told me my lifetime warrantied Costas could not be replaced, but I could have a $20 off coupon on a new $200 pair. granted they were 20 years old but, I bought ’em, and they should have stood behind their crap. Another company that is only interested in their good advertising, not anything else. By the way, I ranted at Costa about the jig fishing to them. I have lived here all my life, and the tarpon fishing is the worst since the big phosphate spill in the ’70’s.

  2. RJ Kirker says

    What a positive approach this is! Thank you for the extensive background and contact information on Costa Del Mar. It takes just a minute to go to the company’s contact page and submit a comment. Consider those 60 seconds one of the best investments you can make to help ensure the future of Boca Grande Pass and our tarpon fishery.

  3. says

    The PTTS is the worst kind of tournament one can imagine. As a Florida company that markets to anglers, Costa must consider whether it can still support the PTTS.

  4. says

    My letter to our marketing contact at Costa. They may not support Florida Fly Fishing magazine because of our position and frankly, that’s fine with us. Rather we bear the pain than bear the shame.

    “I know you’re not a part of this but I want to strongly encourage you to pass this along to the “Powers That Be” that Costa is getting bad press–and will continue to with our involvement–because of its support of the Professional Tarpon Tournament Series, PTTS, which has established itself as a destructive and irresponsible fish-killing tournament. “

  5. says

    Lies. Lies. Lies. Stand behind your product Costas. DO WHAT YOU SAY YOU WILL Peter white is not someone I would have representing my company. You cannot lie to a customer. It’s just not good business.

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