Columbia Sportswear to sponsorESPN Outdoors Saltwater Series

ESPN Outdoors announced that Columbia Sportswear has joined the ESPN Outdoors Saltwater Series as a supporting sponsor.

The agreement will provide Columbia, a global leader in the active outdoor apparel and footwear industries based in Portland, Ore., significant exposure across ESPN Outdoors' multimedia properties, including ESPN Outdoors Saltwater Magazine, which will publish in April 2010, ESPNOutdoors.com and coverage on ESPN2.

Columbia will also be integrated into the ESPN Outdoors Saltwater Gear-Up Giveaway. From a competition standpoint, ESPN Outdoors Saltwater Series competitors and guides who win EOSS tournaments and display the Columbia logo or wear Columbia apparel will receive a $500 bonus.

"Partnering with ESPN Outdoors provides a great platform for increasing the visibility of the Columbia brand among saltwater fishing and other outdoor enthusiasts," said Mandy Rutkowski, senior manager of promotions and public relations. "As the official apparel sponsor of the 2010 ESPN Saltwater Series, Columbia has a unique opportunity to demonstrate the sun-protective and stain-repellant performance of our innovative OMNI-Shade™ and OMNI-Shield™ Blood & Guts collections of apparel on the more than 300 anglers who are competing in the series."

The ESPN Outdoors Saltwater Series, created in July 2008, is in its second year of competition. The F.C.A. Montuak Redbone was played out last week and the fifth event of the season, the Rich's Golden Isle Red Trout Classic, is set for Oct. 8-9.

The ESPN2 television coverage will include six 30-minute episodes starting in March 2010. ESPN Outdoors personality Jose Wejebe, who has hosted ESPN2's Spanish Fly for 14 years, will host the ESPN Outdoors Saltwater Series episodes.

"We are excited to align with a powerful brand like Columbia," said Jamie Wilkinson, senior director of event operations and business development at ESPN Outdoors. "The Series continues to grow at an exponential rate and we feel an innovative company like Columbia, with a long history of anticipating the unique needs of fishing enthusiasts, is a perfect fit for the Series."

The EOSS includes many events in The Redbone Celebrity Tournament Series, which was founded by Gary and Susan Ellis in 1988 with a mission "To catch the cure for cystic fibrosis."

For more information on Columbia, visit www.columbia.com.