Mercury has renewed its official support of College B.A.S.S. and has become title sponsor of the growing student circuit, covered live by Bassmaster.com and broadcast on ESPNU. The sponsorship will include College B.A.S.S.’s Super Regionals, as well as the season-ending Mercury College B.A.S.S. Championship.
“Mercury Marine is pleased to extend its participation in sponsoring College B.A.S.S.,” said Mark Schwabero, president of Mercury Marine. “This is a wonderful opportunity to not only help grow the sport, but also to influence the manner in which tournament fishing creates an even greater outdoors environment in this country and beyond. Bass fishing and its many family aspects illustrate the reasons Mercury has long supported virtually all types of angling.
“Bass tournament fishing and Mercury Marine are a perfect match, and we're excited about this increased affiliation with College B.A.S.S.”
Fans of all ages can track Mercury College B.A.S.S. through online and TV coverage in 2011. As it did for the season opener, Bassmaster.com will continue to provide all-out coverage with live streaming broadcasts of the daily weigh-ins and real-time leaderboard standings. Results, standings, analysis and BASSCam videos will be posted and updated frequently at Bassmaster.com.
Now in 72.6 million households, ESPNU will air the Mercury College B.A.S.S. events beginning Sunday, July 31, at 9 p.m. (ET). Two more original airings in 2011 will follow on Aug. 7 and Aug. 14, also at 9 p.m. (ET).
“We’re excited about showcasing these college anglers on such a big stage as ESPNU,” said Mike McKinnis, vice president-media content at JM Associates.
The shows will begin with a review of how Andy Halford and Brock Mosley of the Ole Miss fishing team triumphed over 47 other two-angler teams in the May 20-21 season kickoff out of Montgomery, Ala., birthplace of B.A.S.S. Also highlighted on the ESPNU shows will be the circuit’s two additional regional events of 2011: the West Super Regional, June 2-3 on Lake Dardanelle out of Russellville, Ark.; and the North Super Regional, June 27-28 from Syracuse, N.Y., on Oneida Lake.
The July 7-9 finale will be the Mercury College B.A.S.S. National Championship out of Little Rock, Ark. Like the regional events, the championship will be a competition among two-angler teams. Schools qualify to participate in the championship by fielding teams that finished in the top half of a Super Regional competition.
Then, in a nail-biting twist to bass angling competition, the two anglers on the National Championship team will compete against each other for a berth at the 2012 Bassmaster Classic. That head-to-head contest will take place July 11 at a to-be-announced location.
This is the sixth season for college bass angling competition and the first under the B.A.S.S. umbrella.
“With the solid support offered by Mercury, B.A.S.S. can continue to foster this important program,” said McKinnis. “Together, we can serve this core group of anglers like never before. Perhaps many of them are future pros, but even now, as college-age competitors, they inspire younger kids to take up the sport.”