It’s pretty hard for an angler to step into the professional fishing scene and be where he needs to be right off the bat. It usually takes a lot of hard work and relationship building.
I’m happy to say this is exactly what led to my new title sponsorship with Garmin.
This is a big opportunity for me, but I have to say it was a hard decision, because people who know me know that I don’t like to do anything different from what’s been working. For a lot of years, my brand has been very recognizable. People would see that Falcon boat, and they knew it was me.
That’s because I’ve never been one to make a lot of changes. I was very comfortable with Falcon as my main sponsor; I was satisfied with them, they were satisfied with me and I really didn’t want to change.
But growth in this industry sometimes requires some change and, in this case, it was one of those things when the timing was right. Garmin wanted to make a big push with their marketing, and this move was just something that happened over a lunch meeting.
They’ve never done a title sponsorship before, so having a big part of the boat wrap and jersey gives them more billboard space. I think it gives fans more confidence that Garmin is going to be here to stay. It’s not something I went looking for, but I’m ecstatic that it happened.
The great part about this new arrangement is that nothing else has changed in my sponsor lineup. Falcon will still be a big part of what I do, and I’ll be a big part of what they do.
And as far as my relationship with Garmin, that’s nothing new either. I’ve been with them for several years, and I’ve taken a lot of pride in helping them with product development. Likewise, they take a lot of pride when I and their other pros do well.
The one thing I appreciate the most is that Garmin understands the relationship I have with Falcon, PRADCO, Ranger and my other sponsors, and they fully respect that. I also appreciate how understanding and encouraging Falcon was when I discussed this opportunity.
The way I see it, and they way my sponsors see it no one moved down; Garmin just decided to up their marketing profile. I’m really fortunate to be working with a group of companies that understand this sport, both the business and the people.
What’s good about this kind of situation is that everyone can benefit from the overall effort. Very often, my different sponsors will interact with one another to leverage what I’m doing so that everyone gains some marketing exposure.
A lot of times, I’m not even in the equation. But that’s fine with me. My job is to fish and promote; their job is to handle the marketing. We’re all working toward the same goals, and it’s very rewarding when it all comes together.
On the personal side, Garmin also knows how much time I spend with my girls and how much time I spend in the woods. They know I try to work as hard as I can during the season, but they know how important this time off means to me. This is just a ginormous bowl of respect, and I couldn’t be happier.
I look at this new title sponsorship with Garmin as a great example of a win-win for everyone. I really don’t see anyone who doesn’t benefit here. This goes to show how respect and relationship building really works.
It’s like Legos, you have to build it, build it and build it. My goal is to build the biggest Lego house I can have, but it doesn’t happen quickly, you have to build as you go.
And when you get to do so with the kind of sponsors I have around me, you count yourself extremely fortunate.