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Volume 26 No. 28
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Major League Fishing Makes Big Move In Acquiring FLW

Each tournament hosted by MLF and FLW will feature collaborations that benefit anglers, sponsors and fans
Photo: MLF

Major League Fishing has reached an agreement to acquire Fishing League Worldwide, the world's largest tournament-fishing organization. FLW provides anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete in more than 290 bass-fishing tournaments across five circuits. They offer a High School Fishing and College Fishing Series, the Bass Fishing League, the Costa FLW Series and the FLW Tour. Terms of the deal, which was completed in-house by both organizations, will not be released. The FLW brand will remain for the near future. "This alignment between FLW and MLF will secure the future growth for the sport -- across all levels -- under one organization," said FLW President of Marketing Trisha Blake. "It will provide more opportunities for all entities including the anglers, sponsors and fans." Each tournament hosted by both organizations will feature collaborations that benefit anglers, sponsors and fans. Blake said, "I believe some of the immediate impacts will be the realignment of anglers and sponsors, along with a growing fan base that has not been tapped into in the past, based upon the powerful assets that this merger creates."

REELING THEM IN: MLF last year made a splash in the bass fishing industry after signing 80 of the world's top anglers to exclusive contracts. The organization wrapped up its inaugural season of the MLF Bass Pro Tour in August, which featured a weigh and immediate-release format where every scorable bass counts and the winner is the angler with the highest cumulative weight. Acquiring FLW will further increase the footprint for MLF within the fishing industry. "For the first time ever, anglers can advance through high school, college, grassroots, and circuit fishing into the MLF Bass Pro Tour, which enables our brand to offer sponsor activations and engagements at every level," said MFL President & CEO Jim Wilburn. "MLF is on a growth pattern with a voracious appetite to grow the sport, which could include additional acquisitions."