Plano boxes-up title to Elite Series’ season finale

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Tackle storage giant Plano Molding Co. has obtained the title sponsorship to the final event of the 2013 Bassmaster Elite Series season.

The Plano Championship Chase on Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River will take place Aug. 22-25 out of Detroit, Mich.

“We are proud that Plano decided to play a central role in our Elite Series season finale,” said Bruce Akin, CEO of B.A.S.S., which owns and produces the Elite Series. “The B.A.S.S.-Plano relationship goes back many years. This, our newest endeavor together, enriches that valued partnership.”

Plano, based in Plano, Ill., wanted to partner with B.A.S.S. to be the title sponsor for several very good reasons, said Jesse Simpkins, senior vice president, Sales & Marketing for Plano.

One reason: The Plano Championship Chase will feature the crowning of the 2013 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year.

“Top pros, including our own Kevin VanDam, will be driving toward the goal of being the Angler of the Year, a title that rivals the Bassmaster Classic as the most coveted title in all of bass fishing,” Simpkins said.

VanDam, the famed seven-time Angler of the Year and a member of Plano’s pro team, is in contention for an eighth title this year. After five of eight Elite events, VanDam is in third place. Ahead of him in the race are two more of the sport’s greats, Edwin Evers and Skeet Reese, a setup that strongly hints at a fierce fight for the title at the Plano Championship Chase.

Another reason Plano chose to sponsor the finale: Lake St. Clair — and the Detroit River, which connects St. Clair to Lake Erie — are great fisheries.

“Lake St. Clair is No. 1 on Bassmaster Magazine’s ‘100 Best Bass Lakes’ list for good reason. There are hordes of hungry smallmouth and pockets full of hefty largemouth,” Simpkins said.

Not to mention that Bassmaster Elite Series events are proven fan favorites. For the Elite Series, Lake St. Clair will be a new stop, and first-time Elite venues draw fans.

“B.A.S.S. has demonstrated its ability to pull the crowds in, then give those fans an unbelievable tournament experience,” Simpkins said.

As title sponsor, Plano will have top billing inThe Bassmasters TV show that features the Plano Championship Chase. On ESPN2, the show will air Saturday, Aug. 31, from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. ET, and again on Saturday, Sept. 14, from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. ET.

Fans also can catch the Plano Championship Chase show on ESPN Classic on Saturday, Aug. 31, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. ET, and on Sunday, Sept. 15, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. ET.

Almost every angler knows the Plano brand. Owning a Plano tacklebox has become a tradition that has endured for more than half a century. In 1952, Plano introduced the first molded plastic tacklebox, and since has found its way into the hearts and hands of four generations. Today, there’s a four-in-five chance that if you own a tacklebox, it was made by Plano.

Fans can check out Plano’s extensive line of tackle storage solutions at the Bassmaster Elite Series Expo held concurrently with the Chase. Among the 61-year-old company’s many popular items are the Elite Tackle Systems, Guide Series Tackle Systems and the new Flex ’N Go Satchels. For a full review of the hundreds of Plano items, go to

During the Plano Championship Chase, fans can follow the action live on, which includes extensive coverage of the event.