Pure Michigan and Bassmaster team up to bring Elite Series to Escanaba

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan’s world-class fishing opportunities will be in the spotlight this September when the Bassmaster Elite Series heads to the Upper Peninsula for a four-day competition in Escanaba. The Bassmaster Elite Series AOY Championship tournament is part of a new partnership between Pure Michigan and Bassmaster to promote Michigan as a top destination for anglers.
“In the past few years we have amplified our efforts to showcase the diversity and quality of the fishing experience here in Michigan,” said Leslie Hornung, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). “This partnership with Bassmaster is a terrific way to reach anglers and highlight all we have to offer in terms of fishing, as well as an overall recreation experience.”
The Bassmaster Elite Series event returns to Michigan September 18-21 and will bring the top 50 professional anglers and their fans for four days of competition in Escanaba. The championship will crown the 2014 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year and will award $900,000 to the top contenders in the Elite Series. Live coverage of the tournament will take place on Bassmaster.com. Additionally, “The Bassmasters” television show will provide coverage after the tournament on ESPN2, ESPN Classic and the Outdoor Channel.
In addition to the Bassmaster Elite Series, the partnership will also feature a special section in Bassmaster Magazine, an online campaign with editorial content and a fan sweepstakes, an episode of Zona’s Awesome Fishing Show in Michigan, a Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open presented by Allstate event to be held at Lake St. Clair September 4-7 and a commitment to work with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) on conservation projects.
“Michigan’s bass fisheries are some of the finest in the world, and they’re a favorite destination for our Elite anglers,” said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin. “We look forward to helping Pure Michigan spread the word about Michigan’s fantastic natural resources to our more than 500,000 B.A.S.S. members and to countless other recreational anglers and their families.”
While the new partnership provides additional targeted promotional opportunities around fishing in the state, Bassmaster is no stranger to Michigan. In the 2013 postseason, the Bassmaster Elite Series brought the Toyota Trucks All-Star Week and Evan Williams Bourbon Championship to Muskegon last September. Bassmaster Magazine also named Lake St. Clair No. 1 on its Best 100 Bass Lakes list of 2013.
Senator Goeff Hansen (R-Hart), Chair of the Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Committee, experienced firsthand the success of the 2013 Elite Series event in Muskegon, and was a strong advocate for bringing the event back to Michigan.
“I’m thrilled that the MEDC and Bassmaster have formally entered into a partnership to promote the Pure Michigan campaign and Michigan’s world-class fishing opportunities,” said Senator Hansen. “The Bassmaster Elite Series Toyota All-Star Week held in Muskegon last year was a great success and brought so much positive exposure to the state of Michigan.  It was the perfect springboard to a series of meetings I facilitated last fall between world-class angler Kevin VanDam, a Kalamazoo native, Bassmaster officials and the MEDC to establish a partnership with Pure Michigan. The success of the Muskegon tournament and future events will continue to be a wonderful opportunity to showcase Pure Michigan to anglers from all over the world.  I look forward to similar events coming to Michigan in the future.”
The Bassmaster partnership and Elite Series tournament is the latest effort to shine the spotlight on fishing in Michigan. Other initiatives include the Perfect Spot fishing-focused ad in the national television advertising campaign rotation, the Pure Michigan landing page onOutdoorHub.com, the recent Jack Link’s Major League Fishing competition television series filmed in Alpena, and “Michigan Moments” and video segments featuring renowned anglers, such as Brent Ehrler, Alton Jones, Ish Monroe, Skeet Reese, Byron Velvick and Michigan native Kevin VanDam, found on michigan.org.
The MEDC and DNR are also working together on a number of initiatives to increase both hunting and fishing license sales in the state and promote programs and events including Free Fishing Weekend and Rec 101 managed by the DNR. 
According to the DNR, more than 1.2 million anglers purchased fishing licenses last year. The most recent data from the Congressional Sportsmen Foundation reported the fishing industry generates approximately $2.4 billion in economic impact in Michigan and supports nearly 38,000 jobs in the state. 
Pure Michigan is a brand representing business, talent and tourism initiatives across Michigan. These efforts are driven by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which serves as the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business growth, jobs and opportunity with a focus on helping grow Michigan’s economy.
For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit: michiganbusiness.org. For Michigan travel news, updates and information, visitmichigan.org.

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