BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Bass fishing fans will be seeing a new name linked to Bassmaster tournaments in the 2013 season: Shimano.
Maker of precision fishing tackle, Shimano has become an official Supporting Sponsor of the 2013 Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open, Cabela’s B.A.S.S. Nation and Carhartt Bassmaster College Series.
“Two of the best names in bass fishing just joined forces, and I think B.A.S.S. members and bass fans are the biggest winners here,” said Bruce Akin, CEO of Birmingham-based B.A.S.S. LLC. “Shimano will be a great addition in 2013 to all Bassmaster events and media.”
Shimano and B.A.S.S. have partnered before. One recent collaboration was in early 2012 in the creation of bassmaster.com/Shimano, a site that helps educate anglers about Shimano products, then directs them to local retailers to make a purchase. Sponsorship of Bassmaster events is a further step into the bass market.
“While we have relied on the support of B.A.S.S. and its members for a good number of years in order to become a prominent brand among bass anglers, this new sponsorship takes Shimano to a new level,” said Carey Graves, fishing division vice president for Shimano. “We’ll be interacting with anglers and fans at most of the B.A.S.S. tournament venues and events, plus we’re very pleased to be able to support the B.A.S.S. efforts with its live-release boats. It’s inherent to our success to do all we can to ensure a thriving, healthy bass fishery.”
Shimano will wrap Bassmaster live-release boats, continuing a long-standing tradition of support of smart catch-and-release practices, and especially of the use of release boats, which Shimano helped to pioneer. Shimano also will wrap the giant video screen on the Bassmaster stage used at Bassmaster Elite Series events.
At many of the more than 30 Bassmaster tournaments of 2013, fans will be treated to displays and demos of the company’s newest products. With events across the country in 20 different states, fans will have multiple chances to cast the company’s bass reels.
“B.A.S.S. members and others can expect to see a Shimano demo team exhibit at all the Elite Series events, and select Opens, B.A.S.S. Nation and College Series tournament sites,” noted Bob Mahoney, Shimano’s fishing division marketing manager. “We want anglers to be able to experience Shimano reels — the feel, the sensitivity, the smoothness, the power — rigged and ready to cast, whether they’ve come to watch their favorite pro anglers or are competing themselves in an event.”
Up first in 2013 will be the Jan. 31-Feb. 2 Bassmaster Southern Opens on Florida’s Lake Tohopekaliga. Next will be the Bassmaster Classic, Feb. 22-24, on Grand Lake out of Tulsa, Okla. Then the Bassmaster Elite Series season gears up March 14 in Orange, Texas, on the Sabine River System. Shimano plans to be there, too, with its well-known reel series bass anglers instantly recognize, like the new Calcutta D and proven Curado baitcasters, and Sustain and Stradic spinning reels.
“We’re anxious to showcase Shimano to bass anglers everywhere,” Mahoney said. “We obviously think we make the best bass reels out there, and we can’t wait to take our message to the best bass anglers in North America.”