FLW had holding power because of the grass roots organization (Redman – Operation Bass) that Mike Whitaker built and Irwin Jacobs bought. It wasn’t a significant impact because of 60 core FLW Tour anglers, or 250 Tour and Costa wannabee’s. (2 ee’s on purpose).
Change has always been in fishing since Bassmaster coined the sport from a Texas All Star Angler’s move in Texas few knew about.
We’ve had so many come and go in this sport and FLW had Irwin’s support and monetary influence, which gained sponsorships. Had Irwin not purchased Ranger Boats in the first bankruptcy, we will never know if Bassmaster gained competition. Now Irwin is gone and change is again on the horizon. He had no ownership after the second Bankruptcy in Ranger Boats, so change was inevitable no matter his life existence.
In times before we had:
BCA -Bass Casters Association
Project Sports Inc. – PSI logo
World Bass Organiztion
US Bass Organization
Adding to that then we even had Lady Bass and Bass’n Gal.
There have been hundreds of small regional circuits which closed. We have been through all of those at some point. Most didn’t have a media stream to support the needed exposure to gain enough revenue to exist. Some had merit in the 1980’s and enough volume, though no way to get television as cable was really developing and we had no internet. The paper media trail was simply hard to crack.
Change will come and Kroenke Media bought the Outdoor Channel. Before that Roger Werner was CEO and he wanted The Outdoor Channel to own its own fishing program. Roger was exasperated with the hop around of fishing programs that simply bought time blocks. When Enos Kroenke bought OC, now Kroenke Media is continuing that commitment to their own programming. Matt Hutchins (COO) is a good guy and Stan Kroenke has given him full control of the platform. The commitment is tied to income and as long as MLF sees growth in advertising that commitment will flourish. Is it fragile, well it might be, though most likely not for the next 10 years. Read into this more and why it’s eventually fragile is in this post.
MLF will eventually either grow their own platform as a feeder system and base, or they will buy one. There is smoke and there are kindling embers causing that smoke, though it’s not a fire yet.
When it happens its its no longer a rumor and no one knows the truth. At this point it’s still a rumor. Even then any organization without a membership base is fragile and dependent on the core management driver to exist. MLF needs FLW as it has that membership and grass roots movement while it’s less than 10% of a Bassmaster, it’s still dedicated to fishing and BFL/FLW.
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