Your 2009 schedule
By Dave Erwin
The 2009 season is about to begin. If you havenít already, itís time to put the finishing touches on your schedule for the year. Youíve given careful thought to the circuits you want to compete in and several factors went into building your schedule including budget, time, personal obligations and benefit to your current or prospective sponsors. The schedule decisions you make now will have a lasting impact on your success and with your angling business. As we have read in previous editions of Bass Anglerís Guide, potential sponsors are not just interested in the tournaments you fish. These companies are looking at the Ďtotal packageí. What differentiates you from just another tournament angler? Keep this in mind as you continue to finalize your schedule.
One surefire way to impress prospective sponsors is through your efforts to support and represent your current sponsors. Talk with your current sponsors to find out their show schedules and add those events to your schedule now. Showing the initiative to support your sponsors is much more professional then searching for excuses when they call you at the last minute. With tournaments on the schedule and sponsor commitments complete, youíre finished with your schedule, right? Actually, youíve just met the minimum requirements expected of all of us.
Letís focus on our current sponsors for a moment. It should be our goal to strengthen those relationships. With a stronger relationship comes increased support for your angling business. Give some thought to how you can create exposure opportunities for your sponsor. The opportunities are endless. If you are supporting one sponsor at a trade show and have another sponsor which is not in attendance, you have an opportunity to give that second sponsor exposure they werenít expecting. Iíve given away one sponsorís products at another sponsorís booth. The free product brought customers to the booth and both sponsors were appreciative and benefited. Another method is to find local tournaments that would benefit from your sponsorís support. Add these local events to your calendar.
Now back to that Ďtotal packageí potential sponsors are looking for. So far, following the steps listed above, youíve met the minimum requirements with the tournaments and sponsor commitments and youíve created that extra opportunity for your current sponsor. But thereís one more element to complete the package: You have to meet your commitments as an Ďambassador for the sportí. While this is an often overlooked part of building the schedule itís the easiest and most meaningful thing you can do all year. Share the sport of fishing with young anglers and find a way to contribute to our community.
There are numerous opportunities out there that are simple, fun and take just a couple of hours of our time. If we donít add these events to the calendar now, we wonít have the time to add them later. Think about volunteering for a community fishing event. In Los Gatos, I participate in Fishing in the City each year which is a great time with kidís ages 5 to 15 years old. They learn about the sport and all I do is show up and net fish. Each year on the Delta, thereís a Pro/Teen tournament. This is a blast spending a few hours introducing a teenager to the tournament scene. With my military background, I also focus on taking care of our troops. Each year I support the Toys for the Troopsí Kids event on the Delta. This is a tournament with a twist where each participant brings a toy to donate at check-in. This is one of the best organized tournaments all year with a tremendous benefit for the children of our military. You can also take one of our nationís heroes fishing for a couple of hours at your convenience by signing up on the Practice with a Pro national registry. All tournament anglers (Professional or Amateur) can volunteer to take a veteran fishing. Itís a great way to say thank you for their sacrifices and another event for your angling resume.
I hope these tips will help you complete the package, bring you success, and give you a more fulfilling 2009 schedule. See you on the water!
Dave Erwin competed in his first bass tournament on Castaic Lake, CA in 1976. While serving in the Air Force for 21 years, he continued competing and fished in numerous lakes and rivers across the US and around the world. Since turning Pro in 2005, he has earned multiple top tens, made the cut in the FLW Stren Series and made the top 20 in his first FLW National Guard event.
Dave is a volunteer with the Fishing in the City program, Pro/Teen events, Toys for the Troopsí Kids and hosts the Practice with a Pro national registry on his website www.veteranangler.com
Dave is proud to be associated with the US Air Force, Ranger Boats, Evinrude, Minn Kota, Humminbird, Courtesy Chevrolet in Morgan Hill and San Jose, Stellar Solutions, G-Loomis, SPRO, Virtual Lifeline, High Five Lure Co. and Baits by Boyce.