Included in O’Shea’s contract are a six-figure deal, boat wrap and appearances in Bass & Birdie events, which are two-day schools and tournaments held at world-famous courses including Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., and PGA National in Orlando, Fla.
“I’m very excited,” said O’Shea, 44. “This year will be a lot of hard work, but a lot of enjoyment at the same time. I love teaching fishing and I love playing golf. It’s going to be a great marriage.”
When not competing for nearly $11 million in the Elite Series and Bassmaster Majors, O’Shea will attend Bass & Birdie events and be matched with a professional golfer. Both O’Shea and the pro golfer will offer their expertise, teaching the fundamentals of each sport and engaging its participants in an opportunity of a lifetime.
Gigi Rock, Golf Digest Schools director of corporate/group and celebrity events, said the connection between fishing and golf is undeniable. “After looking at the demographics of anglers and golfers, we found they are very parallel to each other,” said Rock. “We’ve had great feedback so far in the information sent out. This is going to create a huge buzz and we’re very excited about it.”
O’Shea’s boat wrap will include the Golf Digest School logo and Web site, www.golfdigestschool.com. Bass & Birdie events are open to the public and available on a first come, first serve basis.
An accomplished angler from Westlake Village, Calif., O’Shea has competed on the BASS tournament trail since 1997, earning 24 top 50 finishes and a trip to the sport’s premier event, the CITGO Bassmaster Classic, in 2002 where he placed 38th.
“I’m excited about the payout and the opportunity for an angler to make some good money in the Elite Series,” said O’Shea. “I’m going to seven new bodies of water that I’ve never been to before … but I’m doing a lot of research and I’ve already got my lake maps. I’ve also been watching the Internet on basic tournament weights and what it takes to win, so I feel good.”
Peaking O’Shea’s interest is the increased TV exposure and opportunity to fish from his own boat on nearly all competition days.
“The increased exposure absolutely makes a difference when approaching sponsors – that was the key thing,” said O’Shea.
Rock agrees. “It’s great that we are wrapping Mike’s boat with the potential to be seen on ESPN. But what’s really attractive is capturing the attention of the corporate folks and having the opportunity to bring together golf and fishing and show them what Golf Digest Schools are all about.”
In addition to Golf Digest Schools, O’Shea’s sponsors include Mercury Marine, Motorguide, Ranger Boats, Pinpoint Electronics, Maxima Line, Owner Hooks and Chuck Woolery’s Motolure.
BASS is the worldwide authority on bass fishing, sanctioning more than 20,000 events through the BASS Federation annually. Guided by its mission to serve all fishing fans, BASS sets the standard for credibility, professionalism, sportsmanship and conservation, as it has for nearly 40 years.
BASS stages bass fishing tournaments for every skill level and culminates with the CITGO Bassmaster Classic. Through its clubs, youth programs, aquatic resource advocacy, magazine publishing and multimedia platforms, BASS offers the industry’s widest array of services and support to its nearly 550,000 members. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.
For more information, call BASS Communications at 407-566-2208. To join BASS, visit www.bassmaster.com or call 1-877-BASS-USA.