ALEXANDRIA, VA (July 17, 2008) – The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) announced the recipients of the Anglers' Legacy Leadership Awards at an ICAST Media Breakfast this morning in Las Vegas, Nev. Bass Pro Shops, Cabela's, ESPN Outdoors/BASS and North American Fisherman were honored for outstanding promotion of the program and exceptional achievement in encouraging anglers to "Take the Pledge."
"Together, these four organizations brought in about 40 percent of all Anglers' Legacy Pledges to date," said RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson. "We're pleased to recognize these partners who have collected the largest number of Pledges for Anglers' Legacy over the past year and demonstrated leadership by creating unique new programs to promote Anglers' Legacy and to grow and protect the sport for future generations."
Bass Pro Shops hosted an Anglers' Legacy Pledge drive that focused on their Spring Fishing Classic event, encouraging staff, customers and fishing pros at stores across the country to share their love of fishing and introduce a newcomer to the sport. Titled the Pledge to Preserve the Legacy, Bass Pro Shops' efforts highlighted the fact that new anglers purchase fishing licenses which fund conservation. They promoted the program through in-store displays, flyers and public service announcements. Shoppers who signed up received a trophy fish poster to record details about their prize catch.
"All of us at Bass Pro Shops are honored to receive this award," stated Bass Pro Shops Manager of Communications Larry Whiteley. "We are proud to partner with RBFF in their efforts to introduce both kids and adults to the grand sport of fishing."
Cabela's leadership took the shape of a year-long campaign – currently underway – carrying the message to their customers through store displays, newsletter articles, newspaper tabs, links on individual store Web sites, as well as public service announcements on the company's TV programs and in Cabela's Outfitter Journal. Cabela's is encouraging promotional managers, store associates and pro staff to "Take the Pledge," offering those who sign up a trophy fish poster and a chance to win a Cabela's gift certificate.
"The Anglers' Legacy program is vitally important to preserving the fishing tradition," said Cabela's President and Chief Executive Officer Dennis Highby. "Cabela's is extremely proud to receive this award and excited about the positive impact our role in the program will have on individuals participating in it. I encourage everyone to take the Anglers' Legacy Pledge. The person you take won't be the only one who gets something out of the experience."
ESPN Outdoors/BASS, for the second year in a row, launched an Anglers' Legacy Sweepstakes to help drive enrollment in the program and introduce newcomers to boating and fishing. They promoted the sweepstakes with full page advertisements in Bassmaster magazine and with Web banners. ESPN Outdoors/BASS will select a grand prize winner this fall, who will receive a trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., including a two-night stay and guided fishing excursion.
"ESPN Outdoors and BASS are honored to receive the Anglers' Legacy Leadership Award," said BASS Vice President and General Manager Tom Ricks. "We support this great program in generating Pledges through BASS' multimedia platforms and event assets. Anglers' Legacy is focused on identifying new participants, and BASS is committed to growing the program."
North American Fisherman, the official Club publication of the North American Fishing Club, launched a year-long Anglers' Legacy sweepstakes that encourages anglers to share the sport and protect the legacy. Working with G3 Boats, Yamaha and Cabela's to create a prize for the sweepstakes, North American Fisherman promoted Anglers' Legacy in its magazine, Web site and through editorial efforts. The sweepstakes offers those who "Take the Pledge" a chance to win a boat, motor and trailer package, and a gift certificate from Cabela's.
"Introducing new anglers to our great sport is essential to ensuring its future," says North American Fisherman Editor Kurt Beckstrom, "and Anglers' Legacy is the perfect program for achieving that goal. We're just proud to have done our part by carrying the message to all North American Fishing Club members."
Launched in May 2006, Anglers' Legacy asks avid anglers to share their passion for boating and fishing and to visit AnglersLegacy.org where they're asked to "Take the Pledge" – promising to take at least one new person fishing each year. To date, the Anglers' Legacy program has signed on nearly 60,000 Ambassadors nationwide.
According to a 2007 survey of Ambassadors, most take more than four people a year fishing and also generate an initial $120 in fishing tackle and equipment sales, $166 in boating supplies and accessories and purchase 3.2 fishing licenses. At nearly 60,000 Pledges, this means the program may have already generated $14.5 million for the boating and fishing industries and more than 100,000 new fishing licenses for states.
For more information, visit AnglersLegacy.org or call RBFF at (703) 519-0013.
RBFF is a nonprofit organization established in 1998 to increase participation in recreational angling and boating. RBFF helps people discover, share and protect the legacy of boating and fishing through national outreach programs including the Take Me Fishing™ campaign and Anglers' Legacy.