FLW Outdoors has released full details of its new 5-year, $15 million alliance with The Bass Federation Inc. (TBF Inc.). The agreement was struck last week with Federation presidents who met in Celebration, Fla. and ended the Federation's 35-year partnership with BASS.
The vote was 30-4 in favor of the proposal, with 14 abstentions by presidents who did not have the authority to cast a vote at the meetings. Robert Cartlidge, TBF Inc. president, has said he expects most of those 14 to join the majority after further consultation with their members.
“After our meeting with everyone from FLW Outdoors, it was clear what we needed to do,” Cartlidge said. “To a person, we felt at home. We could tell that we were among people of like values, people of like minds, people who share our concern for the nation’s youth and conservation.
"Beyond that, our members will now have 14 opportunities to advance beyond the Federation National Championship, compared to the six opportunities (that it had under the BASS plan). There are so many opportunities for our Federation members to continue doing what they are doing with people of like views that it was too powerful to pass up."
Cash Payment is Cornerstone
The FLW Outdoors announcement was the initial release of the concrete details of the plan. The key component is a pledge by FLW Outdoors to pay as much as $1 million annually to the Federation if all existing Federation members join FLW Outdoors.
The $1 million cash payment will be prorated based on the number of Federation members who join. For example, if that figure is 90%, the annual cash payment will be $900,000. Also, FLW will offer cash incentives to state Federation chapters for each new FLW Outdoors tournament member recruited.
Additional Chapter/Member Benefits
According to the FLW Outdoors release, Federation chapters and members will also receive the following:
> As members of FLW Outdoors, Federation anglers will receive FLW Outdoors Magazine, a 25% discount on FLW Outdoors clothing, special rates on health, boat and personal property insurance, and discounts on consumer electronics, cellular phones, books, health club memberships, motorist assistance programs and kitchen products through FLW Extras.
> Expenses-paid boater and co-angler berths in the BFL All-American from each Federation divisional championship (a total of 12 spots – six boaters and six non-boaters).
> One pro and one non-boater berth in the Forrest Wood Cup from the Federation National Championship. The Forrest Wood Cup will pay $1 million in cash to the winning pro if the pro is a Ranger owner. Half a million dollars cash will be awarded to the winning pro regardless of the brand of boat the pro owns.
> The Federation National Championship winner will receive a “Living the Dream” slot for one year with fully paid entry fees in the FLW Tour or FLW Series. That angler will also be furnished with a wrapped “Living the Dream” boat and a wrapped truck for use during the tournament season.
> Production and airing of the Federation National Championship to a national audience on Fox Sports Net (FSN).
> Early entry for boaters and co-anglers in all BFL tournaments.
> Early entry for co-anglers in all Stren Series, FLW Tour and FLW Series tournaments.
> Guaranteed entry in the Stren Series for all Federation State Champions.
> A boat-buying program through Ranger for all participating Federation chapters that results in a $400 credit to the state Federation for each new Ranger purchased by a Federation member. An additional $400 will be credited if the boat features a Yamaha engine. These credits are good toward the purchase of a Ranger boat.
> Youth packets, including banners, rods and reels, for use at Federation youth events.
> Participant travel assistance to junior state contenders advancing to a new Junior FLW Outdoors World Championship held during the Forrest Wood Cup.
> A co-sponsored FLW Outdoors/The Bass Federation credit and debit card program to help generate funds for use by state Federation chapters.
> Forrest and Nina Wood, along with FLW Outdoors management, will host a banquet at the Forrest Wood Cup for Federation presidents and The Bass Federation directors.
> Assistance in administration of the Federation National Championship, as needed.
> Associate sponsorship of the FLW Tour, FLW Series, Stren Series and BFL at no cost to the Federation.
> FLW Outdoors Magazine will introduce a new department dedicated to coverage of Federation news.
> Product samples and promotional giveaways for use at Federation divisional tournaments.
What the Federation Provides
> At least 80% of Federation chapters, 80% of the clubs in each participating chapter and 80% of the members in each participating club will join the partnership and become members of FLW Outdoors. Each chapter will contractually agree to the FLW Outdoors/Federation partnership for a minimum of five years.
> Category-exclusive sponsorships in each Federation chapter for Wal-Mart, Ranger Boats, Kellogg’s, BP, Castrol, Fujifilm, Yamaha, Land O’Lakes, Pure Fishing, M&M Mars, Pedigree and Chevy.
> Display of the FLW Outdoors logo on all materials printed by the Federation and Federation chapters.
> Recognition of Ranger Boats as the Federation’s official boat. For state Federations with existing arrangements with other boat brands, the Ranger exclusivity clause will become effective when the existing boat company deal expires or within one year, whichever comes first.
> Management of all conservation and youth programs for both the Federation and FLW Outdoors.