St. Croix renews title sponsorship of Bassmaster Opens
January 23, 2024
St. Croix renews title sponsorship of Bassmaster Opens
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — St. Croix Rods has renewed its title sponsorship of the wildly popular Bassmaster Opens series for 2024, B.A.S.S. announced today. The organizations have partnered to enhance this series since 2022, and the upcoming St. Croix Bassmaster Opens will feature higher payouts and more coverage than ever before.
For 2024, live coverage from every Open will be streamed on Bassmaster.com, with expanded coverage on FS1. Also new, EQ anglers will now be competing for an Angler of the Year purse of $110,000, which includes an increased first-place cash prize of $45,000. The prize payouts for every event have also increased, as one in five competitors (the top 45) will receive a check. All in all, more than $3.1 million will be paid to competitors throughout the Opens season.
“After more than 50 years, B.A.S.S. continues to be the dominant voice in the bass-fishing world,” says St. Croix Vice President of Marketing, Jesse Simpkins, “and 2024 marks the third consecutive year St. Croix has extended the title sponsorship to the Bassmaster Opens Series. We’re on-site at every Opens event because each one is a unique, grass-roots opportunity to connect with passionate bass anglers at every level.”
Perhaps the biggest draw of the St. Croix Bassmaster Opens is that it remains the only path to Elite Series qualification and the simplest avenue to qualify for the biggest bass tournament on the planet, the Bassmaster Classic. Anglers who are looking to qualify for the Elite Series must fish all nine events (called the Elite Qualifiers division) and land in the top nine in points. For those anglers looking for a Classic berth, they must win an Opens event and compete in all three events in one of the three available Opens divisions.
“Just as the Opens are a critical pathway and proving ground for some of the world’s top bass anglers, this series is an essential component in our mission of staying connected to anglers as a whole,” says St. Croix Brand Manager, Ryan Teach. “We’re committed to innovating, designing and crafting rods that give Opens anglers the upper hand in the diverse and emerging presentations necessary to win on tour. When we do that, we know we can make bass anglers at every level happy. And that’s exactly what we’re doing with series like Bass X, Mojo Bass TRIGON, Victory, Legend Tournament Bass, Legend Xtreme and others under development. Elite anglers like Trey McKinney, Pat Schlapper, Bob Downey and Caleb Kuphall proved that they can consistently compete and win at the highest level by coming through the Opens, and we’re proud that our rods have been on their decks and in their hands every step of the way.”
Alongside the increased coverage and payouts, St. Croix will continue its contingency program, the St. Croix Rewards Program. Anglers who meet the contingency requirements (fishing St. Croix rods during competition days) and register at the tournament meeting prior to the start of the event will be eligible for even more money. If the winner of the event was registered for the contingency, St. Croix will pay them an additional $1,000. If the winner was not registered for the contingency prize, the next-highest-placing registered angler (in the Top 10) will receive $500. Through the same process, the winning co-angler will receive $500. If the winner wasn’t registered, the next-highest-placing co-angler (in the Top 10) will receive $250.
“We are so excited to continue our partnership with St. Croix through the Opens,” said Chase Anderson, CEO of B.A.S.S. “The popularity of this series has only been matched by the excitement of these events. Now, with increased coverage, fans will be able to watch even more dreams come true, whether it’s qualifying for the Elite Series or punching a ticket to the Bassmaster Classic. St. Croix has a passion for creating products that help anglers achieve these dreams, and B.A.S.S. has a passion to build the best possible platforms to make this possible.”
The St. Croix Bassmaster Opens will kick off Feb. 1-3 (Division 1) in Clewiston, Fla., on historic Lake Okeechobee. Division 2 launches Feb. 15-17 on Lake Ouachita out of Hot Springs, Ark. Division 3 will start with Lake St. Clair fishing out of Macomb County, Mich., July 11-13. For a complete schedule of the St. Croix Bassmaster Opens, visit Bassmaster.com.
B.A.S.S., which encompasses the Bassmaster tournament leagues, events and media platforms, is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting-edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), TV show, radio show, social media programs and events. For more than 50 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.
The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, St. Croix Bassmaster Opens Series, Mercury B.A.S.S. Nation Qualifier Series presented by Lowrance, Strike King Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Strike King Bassmaster High School Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Team Championship, Yamaha Rightwaters Bassmaster Kayak Series scored by TourneyX, Yamaha Bassmaster Redfish Cup Championship presented by Skeeter and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Bassmaster Classic.
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