Major League Fishing (MLF), the world’s premier tournament-fishing organization, announced today Academy Sports + Outdoors as the latest sponsor of the 2021 MLF Cup events, including title sponsorship of the 2021 Heritage Cup. As the No. 1 rated television program on the Outdoor Channel for the last five years, the MLF Cups offer Academy an extensive reach to an invested fishing audience. With 259 stores across the south and southeast United States, Academy’s retail footprint aligns with some of the top fisheries in the nation, making its investment with Major League Fishing a natural fit.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Academy to the MLF family of sponsors,” said Jim Wilburn, MLF President and CEO. “Sponsorship of the MLF Cups aligns the Academy brand with the strongest fishing audience in television, including logo placement on boats and angler jerseys throughout the season.”
“Academy Sports + Outdoors takes pride in finding new ways to increase participation in fishing and connecting anglers of all experience levels to our wide assortment of on-the-water products,” said Larry Roberts, Academy Sports + Outdoor senior vice president and general merchandising manager of outdoor. “By teaming up with MLF, we will be able to reach core customers across the country and help people make fun memories together.”
Academy has sponsored MLF pro Jacob Wheeler since 2015. Wheeler, the number one angler in the world as ranked by industry publication BassFan, will compete in three 2021 Cup events – the Lucas Oil Challenge Cup, the Academy Sports + Outdoors Heritage Cup, and the Patriot Cup.
“Academy has been a big supporter of mine for several years and they continue to invest in the outdoors, especially bass fishing,” said Wheeler. “Having them support the league that I fish means a lot; knowing how invested they are in the sport right now is a big deal.”
About Academy Sports + Outdoors
Academy is a leading full-line sporting goods and outdoor recreation retailer in the United States. Originally founded in 1938 as a family business in Texas, Academy has grown to 259 stores across 16 contiguous states. Academy’s mission is to provide “Fun for All” and Academy fulfills this mission with a localized merchandising strategy and value proposition that strongly connects with a broad range of consumers. Academy’s product assortment focuses on key categories of outdoor, apparel, footwear and sports & recreation through both leading national brands and a portfolio of 17 private label brands, which go well beyond traditional sporting goods and apparel offerings. For more information, visit academy.com.
About Major League Fishing
Founded in 2011, Major League Fishing (MLF) brings the high-intensity sport of competitive bass fishing into America’s living rooms on Outdoor Channel, Discovery, CBS, CBS Sports Network, World Fishing Network, Sportsman Channel, and on-demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV). According to Nielsen ratings, Major League Fishing remains the number one series on Outdoor Channel for five years and MLF premiered as the number one outdoor show in their time slot on Discovery in 2019.
In 2019 MLF acquired FLW, which expands their portfolio to include the world’s largest grassroots-fishing organization, including the strongest five-biggest-fish format professional bass fishing tour, the MLF Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit, as well as the MLF Toyota Series, MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine, MLF Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI, and MLF High School Fishing presented by Favorite Fishing.