Operation Bass Becomes FLW Outdoors,
Promises New Era in Outdoor Sports Coverage
Gilbertsville, Ky. (Dec. 19, 2001) - Operation Bass, the world's leading
marketer of competitive fishing tournaments, is expanding beyond fishing
with a new name, new television series, new magazine and new Web site
destined to capture the hearts and minds of America's 77 million outdoor
Effective today, Operation Bass is now FLW Outdoors.
"FLW Outdoors is more than a name. It embodies a wholesome way of life that
we support," said Irwin L. Jacobs, chairman of FLW Outdoors. "We are 100
percent committed to competitive fishing, which has been the cornerstone of
our organization, but as FLW Outdoors our audience expands beyond the 55
million Americans who fish to more than 77 million Americans who enjoy a
variety of outdoor activities."
Along with the organization's name change come exciting new tournament
enhancements for 2002. They include a $1.6 million increase to purses, the
addition of five new Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League divisions and cash awards
for a greater percentage of anglers in each EverStart Series event. Overall,
in 2002, FLW Outdoors will award up to $22 million to its tournament
participants through the prestigious $5.1 million Wal-Mart FLW Tour, $2.8
million EverStart Series, $6.4 million Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, $1
million Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail, $2.9 million Wal-Mart RCL Walleye
Circuit, and $3.6 million Ranger M1.
Live programming on PAX TV
For the first time in the history of outdoor programming, FLW Outdoors will
bring live coverage of all seven Wal-Mart FLW Tour events, the BFL
All-American and Ranger M1 to 84 million households on PAX TV. Additionally,
there will be 18 live in-studio broadcasts during the 27-week series, which
debuts Jan. 19 and continues every Saturday at 3 p.m. EST, 2 p.m. CST and 3
p.m. PST. FLW Outdoors will also include in-depth features on fishing
superstars and other personalities and experiences from the outdoor sports
"PAX TV is the only family-friendly network," said Bill Scott, PAX TV
president of programming. "Our viewers love our programming and are loyal to
our sponsors. In the past three years, PAX primetime ratings are up 101
percent, which is greater than all other networks. Compared to non-news
cable networks, PAX ratings are again up 16 percent this year. We are
committed to more marketing and promotions for all FLW Outdoors properties
than any other network that has previously televised FLW tournaments. PAX is
committed to making this a winning proposition for everyone involved."
New FLW Outdoors Magazine
FLW Outdoors magazine (formerly Bass Fishing) debuts in January with an
exciting new format and the same detailed tournament coverage to which its
readers have grown accustomed. As FLW Outdoors, the magazine will be
expanded to include more bass and walleye angler personality profiles,
technique tips, and features focusing on boating, camping, hiking and other
outdoor activities. FLW Outdoors magazine will also be featured in select
Wal-Mart stores with distribution in more than 2,600 Wal-Mart stores slated
for later in 2002. FLW Outdoors members will continue to receive the
bimonthly magazine delivered to their doorstep.
"Our goal is to make FLW Outdoors magazine the largest outdoor publication
in North America through expanding our membership base and our exclusive
distribution agreement with Wal-Mart," Jacobs said.
FLW Outdoors plans to launch an aggressive new membership-building program
in the first quarter of 2002 that will offer substantial value and benefits
to its members.
Revamped Web site
A new look, new departments and easier navigation are some of the
enhancements planned for the FLW Outdoors Web site, FLWOutdoors.com. Outdoor
enthusiasts can register for tournaments online, check tournament results
and angler profiles, and read the FLW Outdoors e-zine with just a few clicks
of the mouse. Starting Jan. 2, Wal-Mart FLW Tour fans visiting
FLWOutdoors.com can register to win $1 million in the Conseco Fishing
"As FLW Outdoors, we will take the development of outdoor sports into a new
era," Jacobs said. "We will provide real-time, family oriented programming
that portrays outdoor activities in highly entertaining formats; we are
going to fill a void in outdoor sports coverage; and we are confident that
along with Wal-Mart and our other FLW Outdoors sponsors we will drive
viewership and participation in outdoor activities to new heights."
FLW Outdoors was founded as Operation Bass in 1979. Jacobs purchased the
organization in 1996 and quickly established it as the world leader in
competitive fishing tournament promotions with the introduction of the
Wal-Mart FLW Tour. Today, the Wal-Mart FLW Tour remains America's most
prestigious and lucrative tournament series. For 2002, FLW Outdoors will
operate 170 bass and walleye fishing events.
The switch from Operation Bass to FLW Outdoors comes at a time when the
popularity of outdoor sports is at an all-time high and sponsor involvement
is eclipsing many of America's other mainstream sports.
"When the Wal-Mart FLW Tour started six years ago, we were looking for a new
property that would complement and entertain our Wal-Mart customers," said
Tom Coughlin, president and CEO Wal-Mart Stores Division. "The Wal-Mart FLW
Tour was immediately embraced by our customers and has since expanded to
include the EverStart Series, Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Circuit, Wal-Mart Texas
Tournament Trail and Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League. All have performed beyond
The FLW Outdoors sponsor lineup includes Wal-Mart, ALPO Pet Foods, BC
Powder, BFGoodrich Tires, Castrol, Chevy Trucks, Coleman, Conseco, Eagle
Electronics, Energizer, EverStart Batteries, Evinrude, Faded Glory,
Frito-Lay, Fujifilm, Garmin, Kellogg's, Land O'Lakes, Minn Kota, Pepsi,
Poulan, Ranger Boats, Shop-Vac, Snickers, Stanley Works, Stren, US Bank,
Weed Eater and Yamaha Outboards. Associate sponsors are Abu Garcia, Act II,
Berkley, David Sunflower Seeds, Eagle Claw, Laker, Plano and Solar Bat.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its Wal-Mart tournament
FLWOutdoors.com or call 270-362-4880.