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ekbelt

Lure Manufacturers Sponsorship

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I've helped out with drumming up sponsorships for tournaments for 5 years now. Fund raising is tough, and real tough with the way the economy has been.

For big tournaments it seems the lure and tackle manufacturers always end up getting their product thrown into a captain's bag so every one gets a chance to check out what they've got. It works--although I've got a bunch of these freebies and I've got to say they don't necessaraly turn into something I run all the time. Maybe someone has a story about how they got this lure through a captain's bag and it just turn out awesome, but those stories are few and far between if you ask me.

Is there a better way to get some of the lure manufactures better return on investment (ROI)? A lot of these guys have small shops and don't have a huge cash flow, plus this sport is pretty limited to the Great Lakes Area so there isn't a ton of money in it compared to bass fishing for example. For example lets say as a lure manufacturer you know the top 5 baits you sell for a particular port so maybe the First Place gets 10 lures--2 of the top 5 bits they sell for that port. Or what if instead of getting 200 lures donated for the event, the sponsor offered $1000.00 in gift certificates which we could split up into 10 x $100 gift certificates to give away? Or maybe that $1000 gift certificate goes to 1 person for 1st place or for a Big Fish award?

Wondering if anyone has any ideas to make it more worth while and beneficial for the sponosors?

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Honestly, I always fish every lure that I get for free. That being said, I think that it is better for lure companies to get their products into the hands of the weekend warrior types than into the charter or pro tournament anglers. The smaller guys are actually buying lures where as the other guys are usually sponsored. If you are getting equipment from one company, it is unlikely that you will run lures from another company. I know that some of the companies have sponsored events such as the WMFL and the Muskegon League (sorry Don, can't remember what it's called) and I hope they feel that this has been beneficial to them. I know that I always appreciated it and if I had luck with the lures I went out of my way to post reports and fish them as the year went on. JMO

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weve been grateful for how much a sponsor gives us big or small becouse we really have nothing to offer them in return other than putting theyre product in the hands of the "weekend warrior".we try and make sure if we are given x amount of product it goes to that amount of people..we tend to not bundle a bunch say 10 spoons or 10 flys..they may end up in someones closet or glovebox when it could have went to several people..that being said we arent a huge tournament either..but i know with big tournaments it seems that usually the top finishers have a strong preference with what they run and you give them a prize they dont run they sell it off or dump it(not a guess...ive seen it)so sometimes guys give up theyre product to guys who have no appreciation for it..im starting to ramble sorry

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Pretty much what these two said^^. You need to offer a prize (a desirable one) for using the product. Last year we did this 4 times. We gave everyone 2 spoons or flies, and gave a prize for the biggest fish that came on that spoon/fly.

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Speaking from personal experience, Ken's method of offering prizes for using the sponsor provided lures works. In my case I got a spoon from Big Lake Lures that I used all day and got most of my fish on. Had there not been a prize offered, I probably would have just used spoons that I was more comfortable running but now I have confidence in them and use them all the time. Along the same lines, if a company is sponsoring an event and giving tackle packages, they should try to give tackle that has been proven to work, not just what they have lying around in the shop because no one buys it. Just my two cents.

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I'm one of "those guys" that Don is talking about. I'm pretty picky and typically only run a certain set on my boat. Rarely will I run the freebies, UNLESS there is something like Ken is mentioning, where you get a prize for biggest fish on a promotional item (fly or spoon). I kind of like the idea of giving away prize certificates vs predetermined spoons. That way the fisherman has a choice on color, but that kind of takes away from seeing what works during the tournament. Not sure I've helped or not, but just my two cents.

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Mark, I kind of like the gift certificate idea too.

Who wouldn't LOVE to spend $200 bucks on Big Weenie flys! :)

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I have to disagree with your post. I am currently a committee member of the Sandy Creek Shootout which is fished out of the port of Sandy Creek in Hamlin, NY. One of my biggest pushes is for donations from manufactures for the "Captain's bags". Captain's bags, I believe, are a win for everyone participating and those who donate to them. Captain's bags put product directly in the hands of those who compete, providing great advertisement for the sponsors. Rather than one team reaping the rewards of a prize pack or cash payout from a sponsor, all teams participating see the reward. For a team who didnt finish in the cash, it gives them an opportunity to not to go home empty handed. Which could prove to be a big deal to some. It may not provide the biggest exposure to a company name, as maybe a big cash sponsor would. It gives a team a chance to try a product without experiencing it and it provides companies with product exposure. Most of the teams fishing our event consist of an average of 4 team members. So by multiplying the team members by the number of teams the ripple affect can be felt longer and in the end providing more exposure for these companies.

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I'd look at the 333 prizes as a model. Aside from the big fish money and cash prize for the 1st place team it is all tackle/product prizes. The big 4-5 prizes are substantial gift certificates that must be redeemed from the MFR website. That being said how many Traxtech, Depth Raiders, or Big Jon certificates does one team need. Ultimately it takes cash to play, and while there is value in new tackle prizes, cash rules. Whether by winning cash or selling the prizes/certificates for cash if you cannot use them.

Once you get through the top tackle prizes the tackle bags are all right, but if it were me I would issue a certificate to let the winners pick what they like and will use like they used to do. Throwing a bunch of lures and colors I don't like or won't use does little to promote any product. By redeeming the prize what you like and will use loosely translates to repeat business and more orders for these manufacturers and more bang for their buck.

Captains packs are fun and help support and highlight the big sponsors. I'd gladly pay less to enter even if it means less trinkets in the captains bag.

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Treat the sponsors right. You would not believe some of the stuff that happens. Karen asked for 2 shirts last year after giving $500.00 worth of flies. No we dont do that. Really! Sent about 40 flies to one deal, they put all our flies and all of one companies spoons ( all flies and spoons were the same ones ) in 1 bag for a drawing. Who needs forty of the same spoon or fly? We are open to any ideas you guys have for the fishing league and tourney Ken, Don and Maniac run:) BW

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Treat the sponsors right. You would not believe some of the stuff that happens. Karen asked for 2 shirts last year after giving $500.00 worth of flies. No we dont do that. Really! Sent about 40 flies to one deal, they put all our flies and all of one companies spoons ( all flies and spoons were the same ones ) in 1 bag for a drawing. Who needs forty of the same spoon or fly? We are open to any ideas you guys have for the fishing league and tourney Ken, Don and Maniac run:) BW

That is just laughable & so sad.

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Treat the sponsors right. You would not believe some of the stuff that happens. Karen asked for 2 shirts last year after giving $500.00 worth of flies. No we dont do that. Really! Sent about 40 flies to one deal, they put all our flies and all of one companies spoons ( all flies and spoons were the same ones ) in 1 bag for a drawing. Who needs forty of the same spoon or fly? We are open to any ideas you guys have for the fishing league and tourney Ken, Don and Maniac run:) BW

exactly what i mean..you dont want to bundle a bunch of a sponsors prizes for a "big prize"..like i was saying..if a sponsor gives us x amount of things you give out to that many people...if theres some left over we give them away at the next event..

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I guess first off you have to make sure the guys in the event thank the sponsors. Sponsorship for the sponsor is about promoting their product. They all have a budget and most of them get hit up by everybody for free stuff. One thing I always ask for is decals and hats and shirts a lure may or may not catch you a fish but people wearing their logo gets them name recognition and that helps them. So first off when you get a prize let the sponsor know you really like it let others know how it worked for you. Remember the names of companies who sponsor the events you enjoy and help to promote them. If for instance you got some Big Weenie flies in the WMFL let the guys at Big Weenie know how happy you are that they sponsored the event. When they know that they are getting something back for their sponsorship it makes them much more willing to keep doing it. I know for me after fishing a lot of the smaller events I go out of my way to buy Big Weenie stuff as well as Silver Streak and many others that seem to always sponsor the smaller tournies.

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I would have to agree with BW. I have given out a lot of stuff in the few years that I have been around. And some people I won't answer the phone for ,just for the reason steve & BW have said we as sponsors ,work hard at what we do and enjoy what we do ( I know I do)and don't have a issue handing out things for the tourneys and other events, but we do get beat down with a lot of the people and place's that don't even say thanks. I know for me that cost sometime is pretty great on give always, but I know when the right people are putting the tourney together, we do get paid back by the fisherman that pat us on the back and also for the one that go to our local stores and buy from them. It's a great feeling to know something you have worked so hard on is paying off for other people.

I know last year when ken and dave called from the WMFL they had it together,and I was happy to help them out.

Luremaker

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a lot of the people and place's that don't even say thanks.

That's it in a nutshell, always say thanks and patronize your sponsors. This goes a long way, I have always sent an e-mail to event and prize sponsors to say thanks when we win them. We have opened accounts with Huntington bank, switched brands of riggers, rod holders, and even certain types of lures to support sponsors and help them be seen at these events.

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