June 17, 1998 • MLF • Archives

HARTFORD, Conn.- June 18, 1998–Champion bass fisherman Denny Brauer of Camdenton, Missouri will soon be seen at the breakfast table of millions of Americans when he joins the ranks of America’s other top sports celebrities as the newest attraction on the cover of the Wheaties cereal box. Denny Brauer, the winner of the Wal-Mart FLW Tour’s Angler-of-the-Year points title, will be the first fishing champion in history to be featured on the cereal whose name has become synonymous with “Breakfast of Champions.”

Brauer earned the distinction after being crowned the Land O’Lakes Angler-of-the-Year Points Champion at the conclusion of the second day of competition during the $1 million Forrest Wood Open, the sixth event of the $3.65 million, 1998 Wal-Mart FLW Tour, being held in Hartford, Connecticut. The tour is the most lucrative fishing series in history.

In the cereal’s 74-year history, Brauer is the first angler to be featured on the Wheaties box, an honor shared by sports icons Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and other champion athletes.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be in the company of the greatest athletes in history. I never dreamed that my love of bass fishing would ever lead to a spot on the Wheaties box. I am really excited that fishing as gained this kind of notoriety” said Denny Brauer.

Denny Brauer, age 49, was born in Seward, Nebraska. His uncle taught him to fish at age 8, not long after his father passed away. He began fishing competitively in 1980 and is only the third angler to earn over $1 million in prize money. Denny has a wife, Shirley, and one son, Chad, who fishes competitively as well.

Irwin L. Jacobs, Chairman of the Wal-Mart FLW Tour said, “This is another major milestone in the evolution of fishing. Featuring the Wal-Mart FLW Tour’s points champion on the cover of the Wheaties box, a spot reserved only for those who have achieved legendary status in a particular sport, is an acknowledgment that fishing is taking its rightful place alongside other professional sports relative to prominence and awareness in our society.”

The Land O’ Lakes Angler-of-the-Year points race was initiated for participants in the professional division of the seven-venue Wal-Mart FLW Tour, currently in its third season. Anglers received points based upon their position in the standings at the end of the first round of competition at each Wal-Mart FLW Tour qualifying event, including the Forrest Wood Open. The angler amassing the highest accumulated point total after six events won the points title. In addition to appearing on the Wheaties box, Denny Brauer will receive an Evinrude-powered Ranger bass boat for winning the Land O’ Lakes Angler-of-the-Year points title.

“No other brand in America signifies the championship spirit better than Wheaties,” said Bart Reed, Wheaties Brand Manager. “Athletes from many sports have told us they’ve dreamed of being on the package since childhood. We are happy to welcome Denny Brauer to the legendary list of Wheaties champions.”

Wheaties’ sponsorship of the world’s richest bass fishing series marks General Mills’ first commitment to the vast fishing market that has more than 55 million participants.

The 1998 Wal-Mart FLW Tour will culminate with the $450,000 Wal-Mart FLW Tour Championship, presented by CITGO, September 16-19, 1998, on the Mississippi River at Moline, Illinois. First place will be $250,000 – the largest first place cash prize in angling history.

Sponsors of the tour include: Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola, Land O’Lakes, CITGO Petroleum, Chevrolet Trucks, Uniroyal, Fujifilm, EverStart Batteries, Northwest Airlines, Ranger Boats, Mitchell Rods and Reels, Spiderwire, Evinrude Outboards, Evinrude Electric Trolling Motors, Igloo, Eagle Electronics, American Camper, and Wheaties.

Video of Event Available By Satellite
Thursday, June 18 20:00 – 20:15 C-Band, Galaxy 9, Tr. 1
Thursday, June 18 21:45 – 22:00 C-Band, Galaxy 6, Tr. 11
Friday, June 19 05:00 – 05:15 C-Band, Galaxy 9, Tr. 2
Friday, June 19 11:00 – 11:15 C-Band, Galaxy 6, Tr. 11
Friday, June 19 15:00 – 15:15 C-Band, Galaxy 9, Tr. 2