An untapped resource in our industry is what some call non-endemic sponsors. There are thousands to choose from, and many of them will give anglers additional sponsor income and boost the sport of bass fishing at the same time. They’ll help the companies make a little money, too.
I’m going to talk about two of mine but not because I want to make this into an infomercial. It’s because I want to use them as an example of what can be done when we start thinking a little differently.
The first is Super Chewer.
It’s a subscription service that ships a box of treats and toys to your dog(s) every month. And, believe it or not they actually learn pretty quickly that the box that just arrived is for them. It only took a couple of deliveries for my two to figure that out. I don’t know if it’s the box or if it’s the smell. No matter, they know.
The second is The Warrior’s Journey.
It’s a religious organization that helps military personnel and their families deal with the challenges of military service. The advice and thoughts are practical and come from the perspective of men and women who have been there. They know what they’re talking about.
When I was a kid I disliked the military. My dad was in it, and he was gone all the time. But over time I’m come to realize that without a strong military, and the men and women who are gone all the time on deployments, none of us would have anything worth having. We certainly wouldn’t earn a living running around the country catching sport fish for fun.
The Warrior’s Journey is as good as it gets.
Those two sponsors are excellent examples of the opportunities that are available to us if we think a little different, especially about the ideas of endemic and non-endemic. There isn’t as much difference between them as many anglers think.
Super Chewer and The Warrior’s Journey might not fall into the traditional definition of endemic because we don’t catch fish with them. But that’s the wrong way to think about it.
Super Chewer deals with dogs. We’re outdoors and family people. I guarantee you that you can’t visit a campground, a practice, a tournament meeting or a weigh-in where there are Bassmaster Elite Series people around without seeing a couple of family pets with four legs. A lot of the guys have them for hunting, too.
A company that targets dog owners has a natural market when it comes to bass anglers. Why not target that company? You’ll make some money and so will they.
When it comes to the military, I’ve already said what needs to be said. Without them we’d have nothing. Not catching a big bass would be the least of our problems.
And, let’s not forget that our country has been in military conflict for almost a generation. We all know a man, a woman or a family that’s been touched by it. They’re as much a part of us as any company that makes a boat, a motor, a lure or anything else we use when we go fishing. They deserve our recognition.
We define endemic and non-endemic too narrowly. We need to broaden our horizons if we expect to grow.