February 10, 2014
TULSA, Okla. (February 10, 2014) - Major League Fishing will double in size in 2014 by adding two events and 24 new anglers. The new events will be sponsored by GEICO.
Called the GEICO Selects, the events will be filmed this year and televised early in 2015 by Outdoor Channel, America’s Leader in Outdoor TV. Prior to their television run, the two events – the Summit Select and the Challenge Select - will be aired as extended-coverage, web-based broadcasts.
The new Major League Fishing anglers are: Scott Ashmore, Brent Chapman, Jason Christie, Keith Combs, Ott DeFoe, Kurt Dove, Paul Elias, Todd Faircloth, Randy Howell, Andy Montgomery, Cliff Pace, Brandon Palaniuk, Keith Poche, Marty Robinson, Mark Rose, Casey Scanlon, Morizo Shimizu, Kevin Short, Fletcher Shryock, Michael Simonton, Scott Suggs, Gerald Swindle, James Watson and Jacob Wheeler.
“Major League Fishing has been successful beyond our most hopeful expectations,” said Major League Fishing General Manager Jim Wilburn. “In fact, I’ve never seen a sports property gain the kind of momentum that Major League Fishing earned in such a short period of time. Our ratings, sponsor support and fan reaction are off the charts.
“As a result, Outdoor Channel and the existing Major League Fishing anglers believe that it is time to expand our reach and our brand," Wilburn said. "So we’re taking the next logical step, which is to bring in additional quality anglers and produce more events. And we have a terrific partner in GEICO, who understands what we’re doing and wants to be part of our growth.”
GEICO Vice President of Marketing Ted Ward said, “Fishing is one of America’s favorite pastimes, and the sport of angling has grown immensely. We are excited about the possibilities of working with Major League Fishing and promoting the GEICO brand to the vast community of anglers nationwide.”
The Selects will serve as companions to the Major League Fishing Summit Cup and Challenge Cup, which began their television run on Outdoor Channel in 2012. Major League Fishing has filmed five events. Four have been aired on Outdoor Channel. The fifth will be broadcast during the second quarter this year.
Wilburn also announced that six anglers from the Summit Select event will advance to compete in the companion Major League Fishing Summit Cup, which will feature the original 24 MLF anglers. Also, six anglers will advance from the Challenge Select to compete in Major League Fishing’s Challenge Cup.
“The Selects will feature intense competition and stand on their own,” Wilburn said. “But this also means that traditional Major League Fishing events will grow from 24 anglers to 30.”
The Selects competition will employ the popular Major League Fishing format, which places leaderboards in the boats with anglers at all times. During Major League Fishing competition, anglers are not allowed to practice and have only 15 minutes of scouting time on the water before events begin.
Though the Selects will be televised as early as January 2015, fans will be able to see the competition as early as October 2014, when the series becomes available via Extended Cast, a two-hour-plus, web-based version of the show.
Major League Fishing angler Gary Klein said that the original 24 league anglers unanimously endorsed the addition of the Selects and 24 new anglers.
“We believe that we always need to make sure we keep Major League Fishing moving forward, and we think the Selects will be great for both Major League Fishing and the fishing industry as a whole,” Klein said. “I can’t wait to see what happens, and I’m also looking forward to bringing six more anglers into our field.”
GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company) is a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies and is the third-largest private passenger auto insurance company in the United States. GEICO, which was founded in 1936, provides millions of auto insurance quotes to U.S. drivers annually. The company is pleased to serve more than 12 million private passenger customers and insures more than 20 million vehicles (auto & cycle). GEICO’s online service center helps policyholders take care of policy sales, policy changes, claims reporting and to print insurance ID cards. Policyholders can also connect to GEICO through the GEICO App, reach a representative over the phone or visit a GEICO local agent. GEICO also provides insurance quotes on motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), travel trailers and motorhomes (RVs). Coverage for boats, life, homes and apartments is written by non-affiliated insurance companies and is secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency, Inc. Commercial auto insurance and personal umbrella protection are also available. For more information, go to www.geico.com.
About Major League Fishing
Major League Fishing is a partnership of 24 of the world’s most talented, influential professional bass anglers and Outdoor Channel. Jack Link’s is the organization’s title sponsor. For more information, visit www.majorleaguefishing.com.
About Outdoor Channel
Taking viewers across America and around the world on unparalleled adventures since 1993, Outdoor Channel is America’s Leader In Outdoor TV. Dedicated to the outdoor lifestyle and conservation, the independent cable network is a division of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, LLC and provides a complete spectrum of riveting hunting, fishing, shooting and adventure entertainment. Outdoor Channel is received by 39.1 million U.S. households – the largest outdoor TV footprint in the country – and is available in more than 50 countries internationally. Outdoor Channel can be viewed in HD and is accessible by broadband and mobile platforms. For program times and other information, visit www.outdoorchannel.com. Follow us on Twitter and on Facebook, and download our iPhone and iPad app.
Contact for MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING
Communications Director, Major League Fishing
Contact for Outdoor Channel
Brainerd Communicators, Inc.