Overview

OceanGate Inc. provides manned submersible solutions for commercial, research and military applications. OceanGate solutions are designed to deliver an excellent return on investment in both time and capital resources for five principal markets: commercial enterprises, research and academic institutions, government and defense agencies, nonprofits and NGOs, and film and media content providers. Through submersible solutions that leverage collaborative partnerships and the application of emerging technologies to specific oceanographic programs, OceanGate's team of professionals provides safe, efficient, and effective operations. The company is committed to opening the oceans while remaining dedicated to the sustainable use of marine ecosystems and the natural resources within them.

OceanGate has made a significant investment in research, development and manufacturing of the “next generation” of submersibles for the evolving military, commercial and scientific markets. In 2017, OceanGate will launch Cyclops 2, the first of their  4,000-meter capable submersibles to provide access to more than 50 percent of the ocean’s resources.

Cyclops 2 is being developed for clients with a vested interest in developing subsea technology to address the challenges of deepwater operations along the outer continental shelf region. The actual build and engineering of the Cyclops 2 is currently underway, and the submersible is scheduled for commercial operations in 2017.

Challenge

As a privately held company, founded in 2009, OceanGate required an integrated marketing and communications strategy that would:

  • Lift the visibility of the company and the value and benefits of OceanGate’s products and solutions to potential investors, partners and customers
  • Promote the tremendous economic growth rate for ocean and marine related technology requirements needed to access subsea resources
  • Capture the attention of thought leaders in specific market sectors with a stake in ocean related business, policy and conservation
  •  Highlight the potential of the ocean and its related resources as the next wave of economic development while promoting sustainability and responsible commercialization

Strategy

After conducting a lengthy market research and analysis report and brand valuation, the team developed an integrated marketing and communications program with tactics focused on a) regional and national press with the general public as a main audience; b) specific market verticals to value OceanGate’s products and solutions and help promote growth in sales and partner contracts; c) analyst outreach and briefings along with coverage in analyst pushed technology e-newsletters; d) multi-faceted social media outreach and blogging; e) whitepapers and case studies at top tier industry events; f) the establishment of partnership programs. A brief list of several campaigns and their respective results is listed below:

OceanGate completed a series of dives in the Gulf of Mexico for Black Elk Energy to observe the ecological impact of decommissioned oil platforms on ocean life. See below for CBS Evening News coverage.

[No Audio] OceanGate Inc. discovered this World War II-era Grumman F6F Hellcat off the coast of Miami. Please see below for link to CBS Morning News coverage.

  • Development of market vertical partnership agreements with press, media and analyst support:
    • Teledyne BlueView
    • Global Diving
    • Boeing
  • A unique three-day expedition called Expedition Lionfish was developed in an effort to promote private/public partnerships as an alternative to address current limitations to research efforts around invasive species eradication.
    • The expedition consisted of two days of diving and a third day culminating in a unique “media and science” summit and panel discussion. The program was the first of a series to continue to align stakeholders and funders around economic and biological issues facing ocean exploration, and to foster long-term collaboration among scientists. In addition, OceanGate was able to showcase the use of manned submersible solutions for use in these types of programs. Sponsors and Vendors included: NOAA, NOVA Southeastern University, Guy Harvey Foundation, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservations Commission ExploreOcean, Oregon State University, University of Miami, Broward County, Brownies YachtDiver, Reef Environmental Education Foundation.
      • Live broadcasts dockside
      • Social media campaigns and educational pushed content
  •  An expedition and press initiative focused on the energy sector:
    • We developed a series of dives in the Gulf of Mexico to observe the ecological impact of decommissioned oil platforms on ocean life using the 5-person manned submersible Antipodes. This expedition was part of an initial study related to the “Rigs to Reefs” program, a critical issue in the decommissioning of platforms in the Gulf of Mexico and around the world, and highlighted the unique ability of manned submersibles to collect a wide range of data, environmental information, and assessments around oil platforms. The potential to run ecological surveys for long periods of time in a one-atmosphere environment, and to collect specimens at depth, represents a tremendous asset, particularly for researchers working sites such as decommissioned oil platforms. The dives also helped promote OceanGate’s operational expertise and technology flexibility to work alone or in tandem with AUVs and ROVs. This flexibility is critical in offshore environments for a variety of operations including structural surveys, pipeline inspections, bottom debris surveys, and subsea facility inspections, and is an extremely important aspect for one of OceanGate primary markets. Along with collecting data, the expedition allowed stakeholders, including researchers, media, and engineers, the chance to see the environment first-hand and in real time with the flexibility to change mission operations on the fly. OceanGate’s expert crew took leading researcher and coral expert Dr. Paul W. Sammarco and CBS news reporter Chip Reid to South Timbalier 185 B, owned by Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations LLC (“Black Elk Energy”). Black Elk Energy CEO John Hoffman was also onboard with his team to help guide the effort and ensure data observation efforts were aligned with inspection and safety requirements.
  • Hellcat media campaign in conjunction with Virgin Oceanic, the Naval History & Heritage Command and the Smithsonian.
    • The campaign was focused on OceanGate’s discovery off the coast of Miami of a World War II-era Grumman F6F Hellcat plane. The team aligned the various stakeholders and used a phased approach to promote the discovery.
      • Phase I – joint press release with Virgin Oceanic, Smithsonian and Naval History & Heritage Command on the findings and benefits of sonar technology
      • Phase II – Developed an additional story to promote nautical archeology and the use of manned submersibles as a tool for sonar and sea floor mapping. The goal was to get a reporter onsite along with a nautical archeologist from the Navy

Strategy Impact:

Our campaign strategy and overall communications tactics increased OceanGate’s exposure in both national and international media and specific industry trade publications, while also expanding the reputation of the manned submersible industry as a whole. All three campaigns were featured in print, radio, television and digital media outlet channels. OceanGate was soon featured in such national media as The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News, MSN Money, CNBC, USA Today, The Miami Herald, The Washington Post, LA Times, the Weather Channel, Associated Press, The CBS Morning and Evening News and countless other newscasts, newspapers and websites (some of which are listed below). In addition, footage and clips from our efforts were cross promoted through a variety of partnerships.

 

Media Coverage

Business, Finance & Analyst Publications

  • Puget Sound Business Journal
  • San Francisco Chronicle
  • Thruster Magazine- New Space Global
  • Entrepreneur Magazine   

Top Tier and Consumer and General Media Publications/Print

  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • The Miami Herald
  • The Sun- Sentinel
  • The Palm Beach Post
  • On Earth Magazine
  • Miami Today
  • The Monterey County Herald
  • Peninsula Daily
  • Everett Herald
  • Seattle Times
  • Seattle News

Industry Specific Publications

  • Northrop Grumman’s Inside Aerospace
  • Ocean News and Technology
  • WorkBoat Magazine
  • SeaDiscovery.com

Broadcast and Radio

  • CBS Morning News
  • CBS Nightly News
  • Miami
  • Seattle
  • Fox News
  • Discovery Channel
  • National Geographic
  • NPR
  • CBS Evening News
  • The Weather Channel
  • John Batchelor Show
  • WIBC Afternoon News
  • Local 10 WPLG
  • WSVN-7 Fox
  • NBC 6 Miami- shot live from OceanGate HQ
  • King 5
  • KOMO News
  • KPLU Public Radio

Digital Media

Consumer and General Interest Outlets

  • ABC News.com
  • LA Times
  • National Geographic
  • The Huffington Post
  • Cayman News Service
  • Keysnet.com
  • McLatchy DC
  • Sacramento Bee

Industry Specific Outlets

  • Florida Dive Connection
  • The Fishing Wire
  • MarineLink.com
  • Marine Technology News
  • Military.com
  • Maritime Global News
  • Ocean News and Technology Weekly E-Newsletter
  • Oil and Gas Monitor
  • Sea-Technology Magazine- Monthly E-Newsletter

Business, Finance & Analyst Outlets

  • Wall Street Journal
  • Yahoo Finance
  • Market Watch
  • MSN News On Main
  • Business Insider
  • CNBC
  • MSNBC
  • NBC New York
  • Orlando Business Journal
  • Tampa Bay Business Journal 

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