Major League Fishing will double in size in 2014 by adding two events and 24 new anglers, the organization announced today. The new events will be sponsored by GEICO.
Called the GEICO Selects, the new events will be filmed this year and televised early in 2015. Prior to their television run, the two events – the Summit Select and the Challenge Select – will be aired as extended-coverage, web-based broadcasts.
The new MLF anglers are: Scott Ashmore, Brent Chapman, Jason Christie, Keith Combs, Ott DeFoe, Kurt Dove, Paul Elias, Todd Faircloth, Randy Howell, Andy Montgomery, Cliff Pace, Brandon Palaniuk, Keith Poche, Marty Robinson, Mark Rose, Casey Scanlon, Morizo Shimizu, Kevin Short, Fletcher Shryock, Michael Simonton, Scott Suggs, Gerald Swindle, James Watson and Jacob Wheeler.
“Major League Fishing has been successful beyond our most hopeful expectations,” said MLF general manager Jim Wilburn. “In fact, I’ve never seen a sports property gain the kind of momentum that Major League Fishing earned in such a short period of time. Our ratings, sponsor support and fan reaction are off the charts."
GEICO vice president of marketing Ted Ward added, “Fishing is one of America’s favorite pastimes, and the sport of angling has grown immensely. We are excited about the possibilities of working with Major League Fishing and promoting the GEICO brand to the vast community of anglers nationwide.”
The Selects will serve as companions to the MLF Summit Cup and Challenge Cup. Wilburn also announced that six anglers from the Summit Select event will advance to compete in the companion MLF Summit Cup, which will feature the original 24 MLF anglers, meaning the traditional MLF events will grow to 30 anglers. Also, six anglers will advance from the Challenge Select to compete in MLF Challenge Cup.
MLF angler Gary Klein said that the original 24 league anglers unanimously endorsed the addition of the Selects and 24 new anglers.
“We believe that we always need to make sure we keep Major League Fishing moving forward, and we think the Selects will be great for both Major League Fishing and the fishing industry as a whole,” Klein said. “I can’t wait to see what happens, and I’m also looking forward to bringing six more anglers into our field.”