MINNEAPOLIS (Sept. 2, 2004) — FLW Outdoors, the world’s leading marketer of competitive fishing, and Solar Bat, maker of polarized sunglasses designed specifically for anglers, announced today a long-term renewal of Solar Bat’s sponsorship of FLW Outdoors’ six bass and walleye tournament trails. Solar Bat’s polarized sunglasses, the official polarized sunglasses of the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, have the toughest, lightest and clearest lenses on the water and are worn by many professional anglers, including Dion and Guido Hibdon and Clark Wendlandt.

The company’s target audience is the more than 52 million anglers in America who head to the water each year. Solar Bat sunglasses – designed by optometrist Dr. Gary Nesty, who also competes as a co-angler on the FLW Tour – were created with the competitive angler in mind. Outdoor enthusiasts benefit from the lighter weight and comfort of Solar Bat sunglasses as well as the polarized lenses that protect them from harmful ultraviolet rays that are reflected off the water.

“Our partnership with FLW Outdoors is a natural fit and has enabled us to reach our target audience,” Nesty said. “With our product, anglers are able to maximize their performance while blocking out all harmful UV wavelengths and eliminating eye strain.”

In 2005, Solar Bat’s high-performance lens system will be seen along the $7.6 million Wal-Mart FLW Tour, the world’s most lucrative bass-tournament series; the $6.24 million EverStart Series, the pathway to the FLW Tour; the $8.4 million Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League for weekend anglers; the $1 million Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail; the $3.19 million Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour, the world’s most lucrative walleye-tournament series; and the $440,000 Wal-Mart RCL Walleye League for weekend walleye anglers.

Through its sponsorship, Solar Bat also participates in a contingency-award program for all FLW Tour events. The champion of the event who meets the program requirements – wearing Solar Bat sunglasses and the Solar Bat logo patch – will receive a $1,000 bonus. Solar Bat’s sponsorship allows the company to have a presence at the Family Fun Zone, a free event open to the public that is held at a Wal-Mart parking lot during each FLW Tour event. The Family Fun Zone features interactive games and product displays for family members of all ages to enjoy. As a sponsor, Solar Bat will also have the opportunity to use the “Proud Sponsor of FLW Outdoors” logo on its products.

“Many anglers on our tours, including Guido and Dion Hibdon, use Solar Bat’s products on a daily basis, which is the perfect testimonial to the quality and effectiveness of their products,” said Bill Petrowiak, vice president of marketing and communications for FLW Outdoors. “FLW Outdoors is proud to be associated with Solar Bat.”

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

For more information about Solar Bat, visit or call (800) 761-8228. For more information about FLW Outdoors tournaments, visit or call (270) 252-1000.