SBJ/Dec. 16-22, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Geico to title sponsor Bassmaster for 2014

Geico has agreed to a deal to become title sponsor of the 2014 Bassmaster Classic.

An announcement is scheduled for this week. Financial terms were not available.

The 2014 Classic, considered the world championship of bass fishing, is scheduled for Feb. 21-23 in Alabama. Competition is slated for Lake Guntersville, with Birmingham hosting the daily weigh-ins and all other activities.

Birmingham is also home to the headquarters of BASS LLC, which owns the Classic.

According to BASS, Geico is the first title sponsor for the Classic since 2006, when Citgo had held that role dating to 2002. Last year’s Classic, held in Oklahoma, had Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa as a presenting sponsor.

With the deal, Geico will have in-arena branding at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex during the event as well as a presence at the Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo consumer show.

Fans sitting in front of the stage at the arena will be given Geico T-shirts to wear, as will the marshals who serve as the official observers in each competitor’s boat during competition.

TV coverage of the Classic is slated for ESPN2 in March.

Bill Brower, director of advertising at Geico, said the company saw a fit with the Classic and its audience because “aggressively promoting boat insurance is now at the top of Geico’s list.”

With the title sponsorship, Geico hopes to see an increase in sales throughout the next year. “[We will] monitor the results on boat policies selling and look for that uptick,” Brower said.

The Bassmaster deal adds to a deep sports sponsorship portfolio for Geico. Its deals include sponsorships across leagues, teams and organizations, including with Major League Fishing.

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