MINNEAPOLIS (Jan. 8, 2004) — BFGoodrich® Tires, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of tires for passenger cars and light trucks, announced Thursday that it will sponsor a professional angling team in 2004. The members of its team include Scott Martin of Clewiston, Fla., and Chad Grigsby of Colon, Mich., who will compete in FLW Outdoors tournaments.

In late 2003, BFGoodrich Tires announced it would continue its long-standing partnership with FLW Outdoors, the world’s leading marketer of competitive fishing, and enhance its sponsorship with the addition of a professional team. Through the FLW Outdoors partnership, team members will compete from BFGoodrich Tires-branded Ranger boats that are transported by branded Chevrolet Trailblazer sport-utility vehicles.

“We are extremely excited about increasing our involvement with FLW Outdoors fishing tournaments as they reach a key demographic for BFGoodrich Tires,” said Thom Peebles, brand director for BFGoodrich Tires. “No pressure on our new team, but we are looking forward to following its many successes during the 2004 season, and it is always great to sponsor a sport where consumers support the product.”

The sponsorship provides BFGoodrich Tires with the opportunity for increased exposure across numerous FLW Outdoors properties including the “FLW Outdoors” television show, FLW Outdoors Magazine, and FLW Outdoors radio programming, along with multiple angler visits to schools and community organizations.

“This sponsorship is part of our strategy to continue to increase brand awareness and promote BFGoodrich Tires as the brand of choice with this very important demographic throughout the United States,” Peebles said.

Martin, a five-year FLW Outdoors tournament veteran, was the pro winner of the 2000 Wal-Mart FLW Tour event on the Pascagoula River. He broke out on the FLW Tour as a co-angler in 1999 by finishing his rookie season ranked No. 1. Martin went on to win more than $300,000 as a pro angler, and the Florida native will compete on two tournament trails during the 2004 season: the FLW Tour and the EverStart Series Eastern Division.

“I am really excited that BFGoodrich decided to expand its sponsorship and broaden its involvement in bass fishing,” Martin said. “BFGoodrich Tires is a longtime sponsor of bass fishing, and I am honored to be a part of its next step in continuing its support of the sport.”

Grigsby, a four-year veteran of FLW Outdoors tournaments, began fishing the EverStart Series Northern Division in 2001. In 2003 he competed in the EverStart Eastern Division, finishing the season in the top 10. Grigsby made his professional debut on the FLW Tour in 2002.

“I am thrilled to be a part of the BFGoodrich Tires team and to be given this great opportunity,” Grigsby said. “BFGoodrich Tires has been a well-respected sponsor of professional fishing for several years, and I’m looking forward to helping them win in 2004.”

FLW Outdoors’ fishing tournaments constitute the only sport that Wal-Mart currently sponsors. FLW Outdoors markets to the more than 50 million people (one in five Americans) who fish each year and administers six premier fishing circuits comprising more than 170 tournaments. With demographics similar to many major motorsports series, the bass-fishing industry topped $40 billion in 2003 with nearly 80 percent of all anglers under the age of 45.

Other major FLW Outdoors tournament sponsors include Chevy Trucks, Stanley, Frito Lay, Kellogg’s, Castrol, Snickers, Yamaha, Evinrude and Rubbermaid, to name a few.

FLW Outdoors is the world’s leading marketer of competitive fishing. It administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, the world’s most lucrative bass-tournament series; the EverStart Series, the pathway to the Wal-Mart FLW Tour; and the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League for weekend anglers. FLW Outdoors also operates the Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail; the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour, the world’s most lucrative walleye-tournament series; and the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye League for weekend anglers.

Wal-Mart and many of America’s most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart has been the title sponsor of FLW Outdoors since 1997. For a complete list of FLW Outdoors sponsors and for more information about the premier products and services they offer, please visit or call (270) 252-1000.

BFGoodrich Tires combines technological expertise with vast motorsports experience, delivering high-performance tires for every type of vehicle from ultrahigh-performance tuner vehicles, sports cars and SUVs to the hottest sport trucks, pickups and rock-crawling rigs in the world.

For more than 30 years, BFGoodrich has used motorsports as a proving ground. Success on the street begins with winning on the track, and BFGoodrich is involved in every type of racing, including oval, road, drag, desert and extreme rock-crawling. With 18 consecutive Baja 1,000 wins, the most rock-crawling wins in history, and an unmatched record on pavement, BFGoodrich Tires has proven the only records it breaks are its own. Visit BFGoodrich Tires online at