Editor’s Note: Strike King’s man behind the Strike King pros, the Bassmaster Classic and Strike King’s social network is Chris Brown, the marketing and consumer-relations manager for Strike King. Much of what the public knows and sees about Strike King comes across his desk. But Chris is not a corporate executive sitting in an ivory tower. Chris is a bass fisherman and a hands-on kind of guy. If you come to the Bassmaster Classic in New Orleans this week, he’ll be in the Strike King booth at the Bassmaster Classic Consumer Outdoors Expo. Each morning, he’ll be at the weigh-in interviewing the pros before they go out on the water, and each afternoon he’ll be shooting video and photography at the weigh-in. He’ll be directing one of the biggest media blitzes ever put on by a fishing-tackle company at this year’s Bassmaster Classic. From Thursday afternoon on, Strike King will be covering the Classic to let you, the reader, be part of this event. To learn more about what will happen the rest of this week and to find out more about who Chris Brown is, we’ve interviewed Chris Brown about the 2011 Classic.
Part 1: What the 2011 Bassmaster Classic Means to Strike King Lures with Chris Brown
Question: Chris, what does the 2011 Bassmaster Classic mean to Strike King and the Strike King pros, from your national pro team, four of whom will be fishing the Classic, all the way down to your regional and state pros?
Brown: The Bassmaster Classic is the Super Bowl of bass fishing. When you win the Bassmaster Classic, that title and all that it carries with it doesn’t go away. When you win the Classic, you own that title for the year. If the Classic is won on a Strike King product, that product is ours to promote and sell for the year. Winning the Bassmaster Classic is a tremendous accomplishment for the pro who wins it, as well as for the sponsors of that pro. When Kevin VanDam won last year with the Red Eye Shad, that was a tremendous boost, for Strike King, but also for all the fishermen who buy Strike King lures and are part of the Strike King family. The Bassmaster Classic is a huge event for us.
Question: How many Classic victories have Strike King pros won?
Brown: Kevin VanDam has won three, George Cochran has won two, Mark Davis has won one, Denny Brauer has won one, and there were other Strike King pros who won Classics before I came on-board.
Question: How did Strike King bring-together such a strong group of tournament pros who have won so much?
Brown: We’ve got one of the best Pro Staffs in the fishing industry. We’ve had most of them for a long time. Many of these pros have been with us for 10 years or more, and we’ve been very blessed with the new fishermen we’ve picked-up, like Greg Hackney and James Niggemeyer. Strike King has a lot to offer a potential pro who becomes part of our family. We feel very blessed at Strike King to have one of the most-talented groups of professional fishermen in the entire fishing industry. Not only do they win, they’re very consistent and finish high in the standings each year. We consistently have four or more guys in the Classic every year, and Kevin VanDam has won three Angler-of-the-Year titles in recent years. At Strike King, we try to surround ourselves with good people and build the best team of pro anglers we can have.
Question: One of the big advantages of coming to the Bassmaster Classic is being able to meet and talk to professional fishermen. How much access will attendees have to the Strike King pros at the Strike King booth during the Bassmaster Classic Consumer Outdoors Expo?
Brown: We’ll have a number of professional fishermen in and around the booth throughout the entire show. Obviously, our pros who are fishing in the tournament won’t be in the booth, but the other guys on our Pro Staff, like Denny Brauer, Chad Brauer, Mark Menendez, James Niggemeyer and a good number of our regional pros from Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas and surrounding states will be in the booth. We want to give the people who come by the Strike King booth as much access as possible to the Strike King Pro Staff.
We want consumers to have time to ask questions, get to know the pros, get autographs and pictures, and learn how to fish our lures. We’re trying to make them available in our booth. This is one of the really-neat aspects of the Classic. We have pros who haven’t qualified or aren’t participating in the Classic come to help us and be part of the Classic party. The Classic’s a big event, and it’s a great outdoor experience. Strike King really wants to make this year’s Classic special for all the fans of bass fishing.
Question: Give us a thumbnail sketch of what Strike King will be doing at the Classic.
Brown: We want the Strike King webpage to be the place to go to get the latest and hottest information about the Classic. We not only want them to see and hear the contestants, we want them to be able to see and hear what’s going on at the Bassmaster Classic Consumer Outdoors Expo and get a behind-the-scenes look at how the Classic functions. We want to take them with us to the weigh-in. Our goal this year with our webpage and our social media is to take the readers and viewers who come to the Strike King webpage and go to our social-media outlets to the Classic with us.
We want you to see the Classic through our eyes from the time the Strike King team arrives onsite through the final press conference. We want to give you as much access as possible to the Strike King pros who are actually fishing in the Classic and access to some of our pros who will be working in the booth. We’re doing to do our best with videos and still photos to let you see inside the Classic this year.
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