Oct 09, 2009 at 02:28 PM
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Does FLW's Fate Rest on Wal-Mart Renewal?

Corporate america jumped aboard sport fishing when Wal-Mart agreed to title sponsor FLW in 1996. Now if Wal-Mart does not renew could sponsors, many of which are closely tied in business to the big box retailer, jump ship as quickly as they got involved?

bassfan.com speculates that the delay in FLW's 2010 strategic plans is rooted in negotiations with Wal-Mart.

The article says that two key factors may be playing a role in the negotiations: 1) Wal-Mart has recently pulled much of its fishing merchandise and 2) Walmart CEO Lee Scott, who negotiated the original deal with FLW Outdoors Chairman Irwin Jacobs, retired earlier this year.

BassFan writes:

Concerns thus arise about other FLW sponsors closely tied to Walmart's participation, such as Proctor & Gamble, which fields fishing teams under brands such as Fabreze, Iams and Pringles, or the Kellogg's, MasterFoods and Castrol sponsorships.

BassFan spoke with numerous sources on the condition of anonymity who said those companies are waiting to hear confirmation from FLW about plans for 2010, and whether or not Walmart will remain involved.

With some FLW sponsors reducing their year over year investment, several others involved in bankruptcy proceedings and others like Land O'Lakes and potentially BP dropping out altogether, Wal-Mart's potential departure does not paint a pretty picture.

Could it be the breaking point that sends FLW into a sponsor death spiral?