Okay, I think I’ve made it abundantly clear, there aren’t enough pros in the West to make a sandwich, er…field a tour. And those who compete (from what I read) seem to be good with that. They’re not going to change professions. For them, fishing a pro tournament is like going to a carnival where they hope to break even on the cotton candy and stuffed animals.
But why would anyone think a sponsor would get involved with a tournament organization just to support tournament fishing?
When the traveling carnival comes to town, it pays for the privilege of setting up and putting out signage–because the owner believes he can get enough carnival goers to show up, buy hot dogs, sno-cones and ride tickets to make it profitable. He doesn’t come to town just to give the carnies a job.
Take the Wal-Mart involvement in FLW and their statement found on bassfan.com. They are leaning toward Fantasy Fishing, rather than full support of competitive fishing. Why? Because it’s easier and cheaper to reach it’s customers by offering them a game they can play at home that offers a big cash incentive.
This works much better than servicing and supporting pro anglers who have little or no sales appeal except in their isolated areas. In advertising, it’s called CPM. How much does it cost per thousand impressions? Is it less expensive to put up a cardboard Fantasy fishing sign in a Wal-Mart aisle or field a bunch of non-endemic “product teams,” whose cost reduces the profit margin for those sponsors contracted (forced, cajoled or convinced) to pay for them.
And bass fishing organizations are not going to change their ways. They hold tournaments for their own financial benefit, not that of the competitors. It’s not the Salvation Army. Fishermen may decide that running their own business may be the best way to go, but eventually, even a PGA-like entity will have to negotiate with sponsors who will have to be convinced that spending their money in that direction will be for sponsors’ best benefit.
And since visibility and name recognition (which usually comes with winning) are the standard of promotional value, do you think there will be more or fewer sponsorship dollars available for would-be pro anglers?
Let me give you a hint. There are lots of “guys,” but there is only one Kevin Van Dam.
4 Responses to “Do we misunderstand sponsorships?”
Good point George. The more KVD is KVD , the less Jay Yelas or Ish Monroe is KVD! But KVD is only sponsored by one reel company or one boat company at a time. So are the other companies settling for scraps? Skeet? Ike? Aaron? Alton?
If the paid pros don’t generate sales, the scraps will definitely be smaller. But in any event, there is nothing left for entry level players. Professional tournament fishing is on its way to being a closed industry.
Professional Bass fishing for a comfortable, reliable living has been achieved by very few.
Professional Bass fishing for a gambler, roll the dice, I live in a travel trailer living has been achieved by a few more than that.
Professional Bass fishing for most who roll the dice end up broke, homeless, divorced, and in bankruptcy is more of the norm.
What other sport pursued for a living will require a person to gamble everything they have to succeed?
1bigg: spoken like a man who knows the score. I still admire guys for trying–as long as they truly understand what they are up against.
I recommend raising your kids to be left-handed relief pitchers–they’ll have a better chance of success–even if they’re right-handed!