Reeling In A Big Catch: Bassmaster Announces New Sponsors Ahead Of New Season
The Bassmaster season starts this week with the Bassmaster Classic, fishing's Super Bowl. The season comes with a flurry of new sponsor announcements on the Bassmaster Elite Series, the highest competitive level on the tournament trail, including a new deal and the return of a longtime partner. The new sponsor is Rigid Industries, an Arizona-based company that designs and manufactures high-performance LED lighting. The connection with Rigid is that its LED lighting products are made to improve safety on boats, trucks and trailers. Rigid will title sponsor the March 21-24 tournament on Falcon Lake at Zapata, Texas. The bass-fishing series also has secured a renewal from Ramada Worldwide, which enters its sixth year as a supporting sponsor on the Bassmaster Elite Series. Ramada will title sponsor the April 18-21 event at Bull Shoals Lake in Arkansas. As a supporting sponsor, Ramada will have a presence at all eight Elite series tournaments this year. The season begins Thursday with the Bassmaster Classic in Tulsa, where the top fishermen will compete for $1.2M (Michael Smith, Staff Writer
EXPECTING A CROWD: In Tulsa, Kelly Bostian wrote since Tulsa and Grand Lake O' the Cherokees "were announced as the 2013 venue people have been saying the 43rd Classic may be the biggest yet." More than 100,000 are "expected to filter through the Bassmaster Classic Outdoors EXPO presented by Dick's Sporting Goods at the Convention Center," and the weigh-in at the BOK Center is "expected to attract capacity crowds, especially Saturday and Sunday." There is no "admission fee; all events are free and open to the public." Brent Chapman, who was named '12 Bassmaster Angler of the Year, said, "This is the farthest north and west it's ever been held. I know I have 10 times the people coming to watch me as I normally do and, not just people coming to watch me, a lot of people are coming from Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, even Colorado because it's never been this close before" (TULSA WORLD, 2/17).