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Big name sponsors back Bassmaster tournament

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WADDINGTON – Big name sponsors are shelling out big bucks to participate in the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society’s Bassmaster Elite Series Tournament in Waddington.

The tournament brings the world’s top 102 anglers competing for over $11 million in prizes to Waddington. With the stakes so high, B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin says it’s no wonder why big names are cramming for a piece of the action

“We have been averaging more than 10,000 spectators at each event,” Mr. Akin said. “Bassmaster Elite Series sponsors value the ability to ‘activate’ at our events, where they can introduce potential consumers to their trucks, boats and motors, soft drinks and other products at our popular and family-friendly expos.”

The Elite Series Expo will be held through Aug. 8 to 11. The expo will feature demo tours provided by Mercury, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Performance Boats, Triton Boats and Yamaha Motors.

In addition, the popular, one-of-a-kind Toyota Torque Pull will take place during the expos, and visitors to the Berkley booth can enter to win a new boat.

“There’s so much to do,” Mr. Akin said.

Like NASCAR, the NFL and Major League Baseball, sponsorships are vital to the professional bass fishing, Mr. Akin said.

“Their support enables us to put on events that offer great experiences for the fans and to pay higher purses for the anglers,” he said. “In addition, their investments help us promote and grow the sport as well as underwrite one of the most successful conservation programs in freshwater fishing.”

A good example is Evan Williams, the title sponsor of the event, will be offering samples of their bourbon at the expo. Officials have since changed the tournament’s name from St. Lawrence River Showdown to Evans Williams Bourbon Showdown in honor of the whiskey company’s commitment.

Other 2013 Bassmaster Elite Series official sponsors include Toyota, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha. Supporting Sponsors: Carhartt, Diet Mountain Dew, Livingston Lures, Lowrance, Luck-E-Strike, Power-Pole, Ramada, Shimano

Another attraction for sponsors coming to Waddington is the opportunity to be featured on national media and television programs, Mr. Akin said.

“It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. Bassmaster Elite Series tournaments reach millions of people through media coverage, ESPN2 television programming and our own web and magazine coverage, and that exposure helps build the brands of major companies that want to reach our fans,” he said.

Local sponsors are also taking the opportunity to promote their organizations and businesses.

Local sponsors include St. Lawrence County IDA, Quality Inn, Massena, FISHCAP, St. Lawrence River Valley Redevelopment Agency (RVRDA), North Country Savings Bank, Walmart, St. Lawrence Federal Credit Union, Community Bank, Waddington Ultimate Fishing Town Committee, Alcoa, Waddington Chamber of Commerce, Blevins Seaway Motors, Cape Air, Town of Massena, Murray’s Old Irish Inn, Waddington, Howie’s, Ogdensburg, The Pub, Ogdensburg, Econo Lodge, Massena, VFW Post 1231, Canton, JillyBean Designs, The Riverview of Waddington, Michele and Paul Jones, Steve’s Stop-n-Shop, Massena, Rogue Decals, Commercial Press, Canton, Hosmer’s Marina, Ogdensburg, Uppstrom’s Bait and Tackle, Madrid-Waddington, Massena Bait and Tackle, Kunoco, Waddington, Off the Hook B&B, Gingerbread House, and Seaway Trail Car Wash.

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