Press Releases

Neuse Sport Shop and Shimano Win

The American Sportfishing Association and the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation teamed up to recognize two industry leaders with awards during the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, or ICAST, at the Las Vegas Convention Center, where more than 5,000 representatives of the sportfishing industry came together. 

Shimano American Corporation, headquartered in Irvine, CA, was named the Water Works Wonders Fishing Manufacturer of the Year, and Neuse Sport Shop of Kinston, NC, was recognized as the Water Works Wonders Fishing Retailer of the Year.  The two companies were selected for their unequaled efforts in the usage of Water Works Wonders marketing materials in support of the industry’s national outreach effort by that name. 

Jerry Calengor, Executive Vice President of Normark/Rapala Corporation, along with ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman and RBFF president and CEO Bruce Matthews, presented the awards on July 14 at the Chairman’s Reception, during the first night of the ICAST show.

“What better place to honor two leaders from the fishing community than among their friends and peers at the largest sportfishing trade show in the world – ICAST 2004,” said Calengor, speaking as ASA Board Chairman.  “Shimano and Neuse have stepped forward and put the Water Works Wonders marketing materials to use in an exemplary manner to the benefit of their respective companies and this industry.  We should all follow their lead,” he said.

Shimano, one of the most respected fishing brands in the world, has incorporated the Water Works Wonders logo and imagery into almost every aspect of the company’s marketing materials.  Campaign components can be found on the Shimano Web site, on the back covers of their catalogs, on sales sheets, in print ads and throughout their special publications.

Of particular note is the fact that the rod and reel giant is now using the Water Works Wonders logo and Web site address on its product packaging, including reel boxes, rod flags and product hang-tags.  Some of the Shimano reel boxes and clampacks also include the Water Works Wonders images of family fishing.  Campaign components on product packaging is something that the RBFF has been promoting since its earliest days, believing such usage to be one of the best ways for manufacturers to leverage the consumer equity of the national ad campaign.

“Shimano is really making a push to get more people out there fishing,” said Steve Ferrera, the company’s Director of Fishing Tackle Operations.  “Since that is what the Water Works Wonders program is all about, it seems only logical for us to tie to it.”

“We’re hoping to do even more with the program this next year.  We’ll proudly put this trophy on display at Shimano,” he added.

Neuse Sport Shop is a 43,000 sq. ft. retail business located along North Carolina’s busy U.S. 70.  The highway is one of the most traveled roads in North Carolina as it is the primary route to the state’s popular beaches and coastal fishing waters, including the Outer Banks.    

Neuse Sport Shop has been using the Water Works Wonders campaign materials in a variety of formats over the last two years, and was the first to incorporate the program’s free billboard artwork into their highway signage advertising.  They also feature the Water Works Wonders imagery and messaging on the home page of their Web site, and have found the customizable materials easy to use in their print ads.

Russell Rhodes, Neuse Sport Shop president, upon receiving the award said, “The imagery of the Water Works Wonders Campaign is on target with our customer base.  While being positive in its perception, it also shows the fun and enjoyment of the sports in which we participate as we continue in our 51st year of operation.”

“The Hispanic versions of our ads have given us a predicted boost in traffic from our area's largest growing demographic and have also served to express our professional approach to marketing our store.  We’re proud to be a part of the Water Works Wonders effort, and honored by this award,” Rhodes added.

ASA staff members reviewed the RBFF entries and selected the winners.  In making the announcement, ASA’s Mike Nussman said this year’s selection process was extremely difficult because several companies were deserving of recognition. 

Nussman specifically cited Zebco for putting the Water Works Wonders logo on the packaging of one of the most popular reels of all time, the Zebco 33.  He also referenced the great support that TTI Industries has provided by using campaign elements on their unique Tru-Turn hook displays for retail. 

Nussman noted that Pure Fishing and PRADCO continued their strong support of the program, and that many other companies made first time, but excellent showings in 2004.  He also said that last year’s award winners, Bass Pro Shops and Plano Molding Company, continue to be big supporters of the program and users of campaign materials.

Examples of materials usage by Shimano, Neuse and the many other fishing and boating companies can be viewed online at  Click on “Cooperative Marketing Program,” and then “Case Studies and Examples.”  Then, look under the heading of “Examples by Organization” for fishing or boating, and select among the listings of retailers, manufacturers and distributors.

The two Water Works Wonders “Fishing” awards have counterparts on the “Boating” side.  The Boating Manufacturer of the Year will be named at the International BoatBuilder’s Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) in October, and the Boating Retailer of the Year is to be announced at the Marine Retailers Association of America (MRAA) Convention in November.  This is the second year for all of the awards, and the RBFF intends to present them annually.

Water Works Wonders is the name of the boating and fishing industry’s national advertising campaign.  Likened to the Dairy Industry’s “Got Milk” program, Water Works Wonders promotes fishing and boating as top of mind and unmatched leisure activities for family quality time and connection. 

The RBFF is responsible for the Water Works Wonders program.  The non-profit organization was founded in 1998 after congressional action authorized and provided funding for a national outreach effort to address the declining trends in fishing and boating participation. 

The Water Works Wonders ad campaign, including television, radio and print, has already generated nearly three billion consumer impressions since its inception only four years ago.

For more information about the RBFF, contact Dave Landahl at 703-519-0013 or