Knoxville, Tenn. – Professional angler Ott DeFoe began the 2017 Bassmaster Elite Series season two weeks ago with two new sponsors behind him – Superior Walls and Joe’s Jerky.
Ott DeFoe meets a lot of people each year. A full-time fishing career and the frequent speaking engagements and appearances that accompany it often lead the 30-year-old pro into settings filled with people he has not met before. His easy-going mannerisms and friendliness typically result in new friendships and promises (usually fulfilled) to catch up the next time he’s passing through.
It turns out the Tennessean meets people under non-working circumstances too. Take building a new home for his family on the Holston River in Blaine, Tenn., for example. “Following the 2016 season we put a lot of time and effort into the construction of a new home. We had researched a ton and kept hearing about a product called Superior Walls. We submitted our order to the company and then moved on to the next step in the building process,” DeFoe reflected.
“I saw an order labeled ‘DeFoe’ and immediately hoped it was Ott,” said Stacey Harvey, president of Superior Walls of East Tennesse, who also fishes tournaments regularly. Harvey is a co-angler in the 2017 Bassmaster Southern Opens. “I was told it was indeed one Arthur F. DeFoe so I gave him a call. He ended up taking me fishing and now his home is being constructed with Superior Walls precast concrete panels.
“I've often met sports-related personalities who don't quite match the image commonly portrayed in the media. Meeting Ott and spending a day on the lake with him instantly set him apart from the rest for me. While I didn't know what exactly we could do together right off the bat, that was secondary to me. As a business person, it's all about who you associate with as their values become your values. Ott DeFoe is our kind of American. You are who your friends are and we are proud of our friend Ott DeFoe.”
Stacey Harvey wasn’t the only person Ott met following the 2016 season, which had seen him win his first Bassmaster Elite Series event. During an appearance at the Indiana Fishing Expo DeFoe befriended Joe Martino. They talked about fishing and eventually beef jerky. DeFoe is a connoisseur of jerky and it turns out Joe makes the best Ott had ever tried.
Martino believes DeFoe is the perfect fit for his young company’s brand adding, “We always say that Joe's Jerky is ‘old-fashioned jerky with a new twist’ because while our products are true to the old-fashioned goodness and wholesomeness of whole muscle, minimally-processed products, we take a new, hip approach to the business. We aren't boring like jerky companies typically are. We try to make things fun and funny at times too.
“Pros like Ott make fishing look easy but we all know it isn’t. Ultimately he’s judged against the other top anglers in the country. Likewise, making the best beef jerky isn’t easy either but compare us to any jerky out there and you’ll find Joe’s Jerky is ‘elite’ as well. Good luck this year Ott!”
“I feel very blessed to have formed relationships with Joe and Stacey,” said DeFoe. “It won’t be too much longer until we get the house built and the first thing I’m going to do is sit on the back porch, look out over the beautiful Holston River and eat a whole bag of beef jerky. Then I’m going fishing.”
Knowing DeFoe he’ll probably make some new friends that afternoon on the river…