Academy Sports + Outdoors Moves up to Title Sponsor of the Women's Bassmaster Tour

BASS announced today that Academy Sports + Outdoors increased its involvement with the Women's Bassmaster Tour, becoming the title sponsor of the circuit in a multiple-year agreement. Academy enhanced its level of association with BASS after serving as the presenting sponsor of the WBT since 2007.

The Katy, Texas, sports and outdoors lifestyle retailer will continue to have a significant presence at WBT events, including holding events at Academy stores on all three days of competition. Academy will also host all angler registrations and tournament briefings at applicable locations.

In its fourth year of existence, the WBT has made great strides, most notably since Academy joined as a presenting sponsor. In October 2007, BASS announced that the Toyota Tundra Women's Bassmaster Tour Angler of the Year would receive a qualifying berth in the Bassmaster Classic. Later this month, Kim Bain-Moore will make history as the first woman qualifier in the Classic, set for Feb. 20-22 on the Red River out of Shreveport-Bossier City, La.

"Academy Sports and Outdoors is actively involved in communities and events promoting healthy sports and outdoors lifestyles for every member of the family. We are pleased to sponsor the Women's Bassmaster Tour because it reflects our own philosophy that team sports and outdoors recreation should be accessible and affordable for everyone," said Jerry deBin, Academy's director of outdoor marketing. "Each tournament week kicks off at the Academy Sports and Outdoor store with 'meet the pros' Wednesday night, daily weigh-ins Thursday and Friday, and the final weigh-in Saturday that includes a host of free games and festivities for the whole family."

The 2009 Academy Sports + Outdoors Women's Bassmaster Tour schedule will kick off in less than two months with a season-opening event on Alabama's Neely Henry Lake, set for March 26-28 out of Gadsden, Ala. To view the entire schedule, click here.

The 2009 Academy Sports + Outdoors WBT Championship has yet to be announced. That event will feature a limited field and will be billed as a championship, stand-alone event. A decreased field — only the Top 20 pros and co-anglers in the AOY standings will qualify — will battle for the Toyota WBT Angler of the Year and a coveted Bassmaster Classic qualifying berth.

"We are excited to enhance our fantastic relationship with Academy Sports + Outdoors," said Tom Ricks, BASS vice president and general manager. "Companies like Academy understand the importance of growing the participation in our sport."