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Old 04-22-2010, 07:15 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: .nest lake[ in the woods]
Posts: 151
Cool not just the fishermen are being cutback[event promoter's]

It seems that after paying over 35 Pro-Staff seminar speakers and putting on over 12 really good events that we only have 3 good Tackle and gear companies left that are still supporting the sport of fishing around where we live.
I always asked a tackle company who would be looking to do seminars engagements etc for our area.The list was always very long and I do not remember a single person asked that refused.I do not think that it was because we usually pay $300 to $500 per speaker per day and did expect them to work the floor during the day they were coming to help.
We did everything we could to add to the publicity that these seminars were happening and had great support of radio tv and newspaper.People knew that Fishing Pro's were in town.And we had the best.
But now we sit like the Fishermen wondering which companies will be in on supporting the INDUSTRY in our great state.
We are pushing hard for a new format of fish weigh in's giving teams or individuals a chance at more than 1 prize with each entry.Keep the cost way down and having 3 tournaments this year with many planned next season and maybe a couple more added this year.
If this industry wants attention than the Boat Motor and tackle companies are going to have to awaken and get back to the way it used to work------PUSH IT up and out of recession --its not coming back by dropping endorsements or paying for the ride.
I am all for getting all ages of persons to pay attention to tournament fishing ,but do not see a future if those really intending to get a free ride from the sport if they are not supporting ,endorsing,or getting actively involved just because the economy is down.Lets think and act as the economy will be down another 5 years and do you simply want more people dropping out of competitive fishing.
Also to many chain stores are not allowing a board to post tournaments but.If you have 10 isles of tackle and no community board you have just slowed down my travel into your stores.Help us make this a prosperous lifestyle.
We do not go out and ask twice anymore about promotion as time is MONEY.If you see a brand name missing at en event thats because they simply do not chip in anymore.Maybe the company is sponsoring rodeo's Nascar or golf [which I do like]but they are not going to get those people to cross over to fishing by doing this.
Support your local fishermen and this industry will thrive
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:35 AM
Blackmacs's Avatar
Blackmacs Blackmacs is offline
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Up Yonder, Minnesota, USA is there any better.
Posts: 1,926

Originally Posted by norhtshoreangler View Post

It is my opinion that a pro or tournament angler should not display so called sponsor logos unless they are actually getting something in return.

Morale of the story - as long as you have people willing to fly sponsor colors without being fairly compensated, it will remain tough to get "real" sponsorships in todays fishing world. Hold out for a real sponsorship or wait your turn.
Never, never, never give anyone free advertising without compensation. Free product is a farce too. Cash money is king. Back in my, and my friends, snowmobile racing careers no one got free advertising. I had one friend who exchanged machining for parts and got screwed big time. Show me the money and I'll put your sticker/patch on me and my boat/truck.
If you're more than a mile from Rainy Lake you're a million miles from home.
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Old 04-22-2010, 08:14 AM
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Chad Chad is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Fargo, ND, USA.
Posts: 3,522

Originally Posted by Blackmacs View Post
Never, never, never give anyone free advertising without compensation. Free product is a farce too. Cash money is king. Back in my, and my friends, snowmobile racing careers no one got free advertising. I had one friend who exchanged machining for parts and got screwed big time. Show me the money and I'll put your sticker/patch on me and my boat/truck.
Ha...that is exactly what the sponsors want to happen. NASCAR has it figured out...ever been to WAL MART? How many guys do you see tagging along with the Ms. sporting the mock team jackets, etc...They paid WAL MART to buy a coat to advertise for NASCAR (and the team sponsors) just so they could support their team.

....The pro staffers job is to get the average guy to want to be on the team!
Chad Maloy
NPAA #499
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Old 04-22-2010, 09:21 AM
reality check
Posts: n/a
Default meriting it

I think we our fooling ourselves here. Does the average walleye fishing public even know who the top pros are save for a couple? I don't think so. Some people I know that I consider very good anglers that spend a lot of time on the water fishing, and most importantly spend quite a lot of money on boats, motors, tackle, etc couldn't name 2 or 3 walleye fishing pros. And I would consider these guys hard core anglers, what does that say for the guy that goes walleye fishing once a month during the summer? Does he even know about walleye fishing pros or care? Again, I think not. Which brings me to my main point. The average fishing public is craving information and wants to learn how to catch fish. They don't care if it's a guy that's been a top pro for 20 years or if it is a guide on a local lake or someone else that they think is reputable, they want the person to educate them.

This is where the long time pros feels they are owed something but in reality nobody knows who they are and the sponsors are starting to realize this. Sponsors want somebody who can sell product by teaching people how to catch fish and how to use the product. This very well may be a long time pro but it could be the young co-angler that knows a lot of the local fisherman that spend a lot of money on tackle. I was at a large sport show this spring and watched pro staffers very closely. It didn't seem to matter if it was a big name guy or just an average guide type, both were approached by people. So why should a sponsor give one more than the other when they are both doing the same job?

I agree with everything said about brandishing logos in tournaments. If you aren't on the staff at some level don't show the logos. However, don't rip a guy because he is getting discounted or free tackle. I would wager that this is how most relationships with sponsors are started, especially for guys trying to break into the tournament scene. I doubt many guys are starting with sponsors by getting cash deals from them, unless they are very established. We're trying to grow this sport, how do we do that by not attracting new tournament anglers? If they can't develop an entry level relationship with a sponsor they have little chance of success. Or don't the established guys want to have to compete with new guys?

It seems to me whoever started this post is disappointed because there is competition by some young anglers who are trying to break into this industry and want to get some free or discounted product. I would suggest that the pro needs to differentiate themselves from "average Joe pro-staffers" by focusing more on product development and media versus just trying to promote product. Then the sponsors will see the value you provide and pay you accordingly. If we compare to NASCAR do you think Dale Jr or Jeff Gordon is worried some new guy is going to drive down what they are being paid for sponsorship? I hardly doubt it. They are established commodities and sponsors will pay for that. The same applies to fishing industry sponsorship in my opinion.
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Old 04-22-2010, 10:09 AM
GiddyGills GiddyGills is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 450

Ostensibly the bottom line is sponsoring a fisherman at present time is the worst investment that can be made with a few exceptions. How much exposure and sales does the average pro truly produce for any given company? The attendance at most events are next to nothing, especially when looking at the big picture, the exposure in minimal compared to the 62 million fishermen. For every $1,000 of sponsorship you should be producing $10,000 in sales if you take sales and marketing standards. Besides, you have to take on the unrewarding task of promoting the sport of fishing before the dreamy eyes start twinkling about money in sponsorship.
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Old 04-22-2010, 11:13 AM
tomhowellsfishing tomhowellsfishing is offline
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Hibbing, MN, USA.
Posts: 589

I have a couple questions. If a Pro Staffer is given say 50% off any of his companies products, is he considered sponsored, and if he is considered sponsored then should he wear the fancy shirt, and have the sponsors logos on his tow vehicle.

I guess what I'm asking is how far should he take this as a return on the sponsor giving him the discount. At what point do you jump in all the way? Do you only do this if there is money involved, or do you do it for product.

Many companies have more than one level of Pro Staff. You may start as a local with the hopes of moving up to regional, and then national, but do any of the companies actually spell out what you have to do or acomplish to move up? Is there say four things you may have to do to move up, and by stating those four accomplishments you give the Pro Staffer a goal to shoot for, spelling out exactly what he needs to do for promotion up the ladder, or are the companies content to let you stay at a local level and only supply a discounted product verses paying you a salary.
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Old 04-22-2010, 02:28 PM
wa11eye wa11eye is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: .
Posts: 104

Here's my $.02 worth,

If a guy is trying to break into the fishing tournament world and gain sponsors, he/she needs to have fished a few of them and placed somewhat decently. After a year or two, they start looking for sponsorship. This may come as product because of the lack of top finishes.

If you receive free product, you are in the door. Normally a sponsor would like to see your name at the top of the list or in several articles, mentioning their products. If you dont do any of that, why would you expect to see any cash.

Too many anglers think "OK, well i paid my money in this tourney and i want sponsorship dollars to wear your logo!!" Why would I pay you if you finish dead last or not very consistently? I need you to promote me and tell others how to use my products successfully, not just in tournaments, but as a weekend warrior as well.

The pro angler game isn't a get rich quick scheme and never was. Bass fishing maybe, but anybody can catch bass. I am talking about walleye tourneys.

An aspiring pro should wear his or her products logo if they are receiving them from the supplier to the store, to their local fishing club meetings as well as promote that company in articles.
When the angler is consistent and proves themselves worthy, then that's when the money comes, and not a lot of it. You may get your entry fees paid by one, lodging by another and gas from another--If you're lucky.

Your winnings will hopefully make you a profit.
This almost sounds like some of my employees at work.
They sat by a machine for one day and watched it run, and the next day they come to me asking for more money because they now know how to run the machine!!
No, you have seen it run, but havent experienced more than a few jobs. It takes time to experience different things and they aren't efficient yet. Why would I pay them more now?

Same thing with an angler that caught a fish. why pay them. if you like fishing, do it because you like fishing, not so you can make money. If you are waiting to just cash a check, you are going to be miserable for a long time.

good luck getting or keeping sponsors if you want the quick paycheck. there are plenty more out there that will play the game.
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Old 04-22-2010, 04:54 PM
Posts: n/a

After reading many of these posts, it's obvious that the "brainwashing" in this industry is pretty deep.

This whole concept that there are levels with the endemic sponsors and you work your way up until someday you get money is, for the most part, a load of crap. The endemic sponsors have figured out that they can get a bunch of customers to spend a lot of money on product and promote those products if they believe they are "sponsored". Also, the desire on the part of most anglers to "look like pros" means they will do anything for a shirt with logos just to “make progress” up the non-existent ladder.

For example: Ranger Boats biggest customer base and largest revenue source is “Pro Anglers” who are buying new boats every year because they are getting what they think is a “pro staff” discount. When in reality, Ranger is making money hand over fist on these guys. And every angler thinks if he fishes well and promotes Ranger Boats, works boat shows and writes articles; someday he’ll find that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It’s all just a smart business model that exploits the hopes and dreams of “Pro Anglers”.

Also, there are two types of value that an angler can bring to their sponsor. Brand Recognition and Sales/Promotion. The latter is pretty much what endemics are interested in, and it is a low impact / low leverage endeavor. By that I mean, anyone can do one-of, face to face sales and promotion (i.e. boat shows, tackle booths, etc). Most endemics just look at the prostaff as a low leverage extension of their sales team. You could train monkeys to do this, and it has very low dollar value (that’s why tackle salesman at sporting goods stores are making $7/hour).

The Brand Recognition part is where the money is, and this is what non-endemics pay real money for. This is what Nike pays Tiger for, it’s what Viagra pays NASCAR drivers for, and its value can be based on pure analogous advertising value. And all the sport shows in the world won’t do much to help a non-endemic with brand recognition. It requires big brand exposure numbers on TV, in Print media and other mechanisms. It requires that the brand exposure occurs in the same demographic that is likely to buy the product. When these companies go into a large brand recognition campaign, they will admit that pro fishing gives them some exposure, but it’s too small on its own, and they will have to augment that with other sources to reach the numbers they want. Therein lies the problem they would rather go to one place (i.e. Tiger Woods, NASCAR, etc) to meet their needs than sponsor every fisherman, skeet shooter, lumberjack, and extreme snowboarder to meet their overall exposure goals).

Bottom line is this. The only reason for professional fishing is to sell dreams and thus products to wannabe pro fisherman. The “pros” are the customers not the ambassadors that they think they are. The real money is in non-endemics, and pro walleye fishing doesn’t have enough exposure to make it attractive to non-endemics.
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:06 PM
GiddyGills GiddyGills is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 450

ugh...you have summed it up beautifully!
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:50 PM
Posts: n/a
Default Joke

To Many guys will sell there sole for a chance to wear a free shirt just to look cool
And pretend to be something there not
Just look at Lund in the past for example it would appear they had around 80,000 pro staff
Just a bunch of guys getting F@*&K All.
But was great for lund
I'm not picking on lund just an example theres lots of companys like that. And alot of wannabes
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