HomeNewsPro Angler Resources Launches When it comes to questions that fans ask of top professional anglers like the Bassmaster Elite Series pros, these two always top the list: “How can I become a pro?” and (for the angler already competing at a high level) “How do I get sponsors?” For decades, the pros who were asked these questions have offered incomplete answers — a concession to the fact that they have neither the time nor the curriculum to answer more fully. But now there’s PAR — Professional Angler Resources and ProAnglerResources.com — a team of standout professional anglers with more than 80 years of experience at the highest level of the sport along with two longtime industry media professionals. Together they’re creating the tools and resources to build careers in the competitive world of outdoor sports. Led by Bassmaster Elite Series pros Kevin VanDam, Shaw Grigsby and Bernie Schultz, and outdoor media leaders Ken Duke and Nathan Benson, PAR can take you to the next step and beyond in your efforts to find a successful career in professional fishing. “Now more than ever, an aspiring angler needs the help we offer with PAR,” says seven-time Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Kevin VanDam. “For decades, anglers have been fighting for a piece of the sponsorship and promotional pie that doesn’t seem to grow very quickly. What is growing, however, is the number of anglers trying to get it. That’s where PAR comes in.” Ultimately, PAR is a website-based network in which members can learn the ropes and ins and outs of a professional career in fishing. The curriculum-based content covers such topics as identifying potential sponsors, creating a résumé, soliciting sponsors, working with media, using social media to build your brand and much, much more. In addition to text and videos, PAR plans a series of in-person workshops in the fall and winter, which members can attend to meet with advisors face-to-face and get a big jump on their competition. “With all of the high school and college bass fishing programs out there today, our sport has never been more competitive,” says Bernie Schultz. “If you’re hoping to break into the sport and make it your career, you’ll need the skills and advantages that we teach at PAR.” Sponsors of VanDam, Grigsby and Schultz obviously agree. Several — including Star brite, Rapala and Zebco/Quantum — are offering incentives to anglers who join PAR, including free and discounted products. Others have indicated they’ll be using PAR as a tool to evaluate future pro staffers. These discounts and incentives already far exceed the cost of PAR membership. For PAR’s launch, Zebco/Quantum is offering PAR members a 40 percent discount on PT series reels and a 50 percent discount on PT series rods. Star brite, an industry leader in boat cleaning and engine treatment products, is offering a free introductory package of their products to anyone who joins PAR. And Rapala is offering VIP pricing to all PAR members on all of its many brands. “As a pro staff manager, I interact with lots of anglers looking for sponsorship. It’s rare to find a guy who makes my decision easy,” says Rapala Field Promotions Manager Dan Quinn. “PAR is going to teach anglers what they need to do to get the attention of a company and be a productive pro staffer. It’s going to benefit anglers, and it’s really going to benefit the companies they represent.” “I really wish that something like PAR had been around when I was getting started,” says Shaw Grigsby, host of television’s “One More Cast.” “It would have saved me a lot of headaches and lean times. That’s why I’m excited to be a part of it. We’re going to be training the next generation of professional anglers — not on how to catch fish, but on how to work with sponsors and the media and on how to create an enduring career in a demanding and competitive industry.” PAR membership costs $99.95 per year. Monthly memberships are also available, but do not include the free product or product discounts from manufacturers. For more information, visit http://www.ProAnglerResources.com.