Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Future of Ranger, Triton and Stratos Boats. Part 2

Is this the Death of FLW?
By Luigi De Rose

Last Friday, Bass Pro Shop announced that it acquired Ranger, Triton and Stratos boats. This deal has transformed Bass Pro Shops into the largest bass boat company in the world and one of the largest boat companies in America. With this deal came many concerns on how the bass fishing world would be affected. Here is Part 2 of our look into this matter.

Corporate Alliances

The tournament organization FLW had two title sponsors; Ranger Boats and Walmart, both are the backbone of their entire operation. Here lies the potential problem.  Will Bass Pro Shop (BPS) continue to honour Ranger’s commitment to FLW or will BPS remain focused on their Bassmaster sponsorship? Currently, BPS is the main sponsor for the BASS Open events. Even a slight pullback of financial support could make a huge difference in FLW’s bottom line and future.

The second major conflict is retail between Bass Pro Shops and Walmart. Walmart is a huge player in FLW events, so much so that the last two weigh-ins of every Tour event take place at a Walmart. How willing is Johnny Morris, owner and CEO of Bass Pro Shops, of supporting a tournament organization that promotes a direct rival?  Will FLW events start taking place in Bass Pro Shop parking lots? It might not be that crazy of a notion.

One possible outcome is that BASS develops stronger alliances with Bass Pro Shop and Ranger Boats. Ranger could become the official bass boat of BASS and BPS could be the main Tour event sponsor. This scenario would strengthen BASS as it cripples FLW. Fans and anglers embrace two national tours but remember these are businesses that wish to generate as much money and power as possible. This could be a very big win for BASS if they play their cards correctly. Regardless of the combination of conflicts or outcomes, FLW outdoors will have to dance a very dangerous dance to remain one of the best tournament organizations.

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