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FLW Outdoors – When Foundations are Reinforced

BassFan Editor in Chief Jon Storm published an editorial today entitled When Foundations Shake.   In this article he voiced the legitimate question many are thinking — Namely, considering the fact that Irwin Jacobs is no longer in the bass boat business, why should he continue to operate FLW Outdoors?

The speculations of the article would leave anyone associated with FLW Outdoors worried.  Was Mr. Storm’s negativity over the top?  In my opinion it is.  But given both FLW Outdoors and BASS’s closed management styles–complete with histories of blind siding their partners with bad news from out of the blue — I can’t blame anyone for being a little negative.

I have no crystal ball to look into the future.  But it seems to me there is as much reason to think of this is a positive development as a negative one.  I’ve always felt  the way FLW Outdoors was run—with selling more Ranger boats as it’s primary reason for being–felt gimmicky.  I have no concrete evidence to back this opinion mind you.  But to me it has always had that vibe of being over-leveraged, over-hyped…just an uncomfortable gimmicky feeling to it.

Now FLW Outdoors has the opportunity to stand on it’s own two feet.  It could become a tournament organization run for the sole purpose of running a first class tournament trail–with no meddling from powers that have ulterior motives.  There has always been an inherit conflict of interest being owned by the same company that happens to sponsor the tour.  Maybe going forward those anglers whose sponsors don’t align perfectly with Irwin Jacobs will stop being treating like a second class citizens.  This would be very good for 85% of the FLW pros.  This could be very good for bass fans.

I am choosing to view the glass as half full with these developments.  If FLW Outdoors focuses on the mission of running first class tournaments–and rebuilds the organization on that foundation–then it could be stronger than ever moving forward.

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