Bassmaster Classic Sets Records Across Platforms

A record
number of fans consumed 2009 Bassmaster Classic content featured across BASS
and ESPN’s multimedia vehicles. The multimedia blitz was supplemented by a
record on-site crowd of 137,700 fans at daily tournament weigh-ins and
surrounding festivities, obliterating the previous record set in New Orleans by more than
55,000.

“By all
metrics, including the compelling content that was delivered to fans worldwide,
the Bassmaster Classic was an absolute success,” says Tom Ricks, VP/GM of BASS. “The continued growth of the Classic is a testament
to the personalities and story lines associated with our athletes.”

The event,
held on the Red River and hosted by Shreveport-Bossier
City, LA, was won by Skeet Reese
of Auburn, CA, who collected the $500,000 top prize from the $1.2 million
purse. The event’s
successes this year included:
On
Bassmaster.com, BASSInsider.com, and ESPN.com, fans generated more than 12.3
million page views of bass-fishing content between Feb. 18 and Feb. 23, 64%
more than in the same period last year. Live,
streaming video of the daily Classic weigh-ins were presented on ESPN360.com
for the first time, and fishing fans watched more than 1 million minutes of
weigh-in coverage during the event. The Classic was one of the most watched
sporting events of the month on ESPN360.com. ESPN’s Mike Golic and Erik Kuselias helped kick off
the Classic with a live broadcast of ESPN Radio’s
Mike & Mike in the Morning from Red River South Marina on
Friday Feb. 20 at 6-10 a.m. ET. The broadcast
was delivered to the show’s 418,000 daily
listeners on 220 radio stations nationwide and simulcast on ESPN2, reaching
another 232,000 viewers — an increase of 31% vs 2008. The 12
hours of ESPN2 coverage included a 3% increase in the Male 18+ demographic (0.36
vs 0.35) and in Male 18+ Impressions (337,309). For the
first time, a Bassmaster Classic mini-marathon aired on ESPN Classic. On Feb.
22, the final hour of the five hours of coverage received the highest ESPN
Classic rating of 2009.

From an
international perspective, ESPN International will air the 2009 Classic on the
following networks: ESPN Africa
(sub-Saharan Africa), ESPN Middle East (ME & North Africa), ESPN Israel, ESPN
Pac Rim (Australia, New Zealand, Pacific
Islands), ESPN 2 Caribbean, and ESPN Dos (Mexico,
Central America, Venezuela, Dominican Republic). The
Bassmaster Classic will reach 10.1 million household in 106 countries on ESPN
networks.

From a
media perspective, a Classic record, since ESPN purchased BASS in 2001, of more
than 320 working media members attended the 2009 Bassmaster Classic. On-site
media included such publications as
The Dallas
Morning News, Miami Herald, San
Diego Union Tribune, South Florida Sun Sentinel, Arkansas Democrat Gazette and
Austin American Statesman.