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SOME CATCH! SPONSORS LINING UP TO TAP SPORT FISHING INDUSTRY
Published March 25, 1998
Fishing is a $108B-a-year industry "that marketers are turning into one of the hottest marketplaces" in the U.S., according to USA TODAY's J. Taylor Buckley in a "Money" section cover story. Mass marketers from GM to General Mills are now "solidly hooked," and companies from Northwest Airlines to Land O' Lakes "are writing checks of $250,000 and more just to be identified" as fishing event sponsors. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that 35.2 million recreational anglers spent $37.8B directly on fishing trips and gear in '96. Making those numbers "light up even brighter are the sport's demographics." Close to 11 million of the 35.2 anglers are ages 15 and younger, and about three quarters of them male, "an especially attractive group for marketers." Buckley calls General Mills' decision to put a pro fishing champ on a national Wheaties box "a breakthrough" that sends "a powerful message to mass marketers." General Mills joins a list of "nontraditional" sponsors that includes Coca-Cola, Fuji film and Citgo. Citgo even "shelved its usual regional promotion" tied to a PGA Tour event in Hartford, CT, this year in favor of one built around the Wal-Mart FLW bass tournament slated for June. Teamed with other tournament sponsors, Citgo will be giving away a truck, soft drinks and merchandise coupons redeemable at Wal-Mart (J. Taylor Buckley, USA TODAY, 3/25).