May 25, 1998 • MLF • Archives

Operation Bass, Inc., and Evinrude Outboards®, a product group of Outboard Marine Corporation,™ announced a major five year strategic alliance that will position the world’s leading outboard manufacturer as the official outboard sponsor of the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, EverStart Series, Red Man Tournament Trail, and the newly announced Ranger Millennium tournament.

In a joint announcement from the Red Man All-American Bass Fishing Championship in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, Evinrude and Operation Bass officials unveiled plans for the expansion of the outboard maker’s sponsorship commitment to Operation Bass’ tournament programs and the consolidation of the firm’s bass fishing sponsorships within the marine industry.

Irwin Jacobs, Chairman of Operation Bass, Inc., said, “We are pleased that our organizations will continue the association that began in 1983 and will now carry on into the new millennium and beyond. Evinrude and Operation Bass are both leaders in their respective fields, and with Evinrude’s unwavering support, we will continue to elevate fishing to unprecedented levels of awareness and acceptance.”

Evinrude has been the official outboard of Operation Bass’ 140-event, nationwide Red Man Tournament Trail for the past 15 years and a sponsor of the prestigious Wal-Mart FLW Tour since 1996. The new alliance gives Evinrude exclusive outboard rights of the new, 10-venue EverStart Series and the Ranger Millennium tournament that features a purse in excess of $3.5 million and a first place cash prize of up to $1 million – the largest in fishing history.

“We are very pleased to join forces with a truly innovative organization like Operation Bass,” said Paul Rabe, OMC’s Vice President, Marketing & Sales. “They have really raised the bar for tournament fishing in terms of prize money, sponsor participation, and media exposure. And, of equal importance to us, their tours provide a competitive outlet for anglers of all skill levels, not just the professionals. We look forward to working with them and further expanding the sport.”

The Wal-Mart FLW Tour is the most lucrative series in fishing history. The EverStart Series is Operation Bass’ advanced level of tournaments that awards anglers up to $1.8 million in cash while providing a pathway for top performing anglers to advance to the industry-leading, $3.65 million Wal-Mart FLW Tour. The Red Man Tournament Trail was designed for the “working man” angler and is the nation’s largest competitive bass tournament series. It is credited with opening competitive fishing to the masses and annually awards anglers up to $3.5 million in cash and prizes. Together with the new Ranger Millennium tournament, Operation Bass’ Evinrude-sponsored programs could award anglers in excess of $12.5 million in 1999.

Outboard Marine Corporation is a leading manufacturer of marine engines, boats, accessories, and FICHT™ fuel injection — the industry’s premier low-emission engine technology.