FLW announced an exclusive licensing agreement with MirooNamoo Media Group from South Korea to begin sanctioning FLW bass-fishing tournaments in the Eastern-Asian country at a contract signing preceding the weigh-in at the Walmart FLW Tour at the Potomac River presented by Ranger Boats.
South Korea will run a series of FLW tournaments that advance anglers, who are citizens of the host country, to a new international division at the Rayovac FLW Series Championship beginning in 2016. Two anglers will compete as pros with FLW providing Ranger boats and two will compete as co-anglers. The top pro award at the Rayovac FLW Series Championship is $95,000, including a Ranger Z518C if the pro is Ranger Cup qualified, and the top co-angler award is a Ranger Z117.
The highest finishing pro from the newly introduced International Division at the Rayovac FLW Series Championship will advance to the following year’s Forrest Wood Cup for the chance to compete on the sport’s biggest stage for $500,000 – the biggest payday in bass fishing. FLW will also provide a Ranger boat for use in the Forrest Wood Cup.
“There are many fishermen in South Korea, but not many opportunities to compete in tournaments,” said Jin-Soo Kang, CEO of MiruNamu, Inc., and Director of OBS broadcasting. “Bringing FLW tournaments to Korea will bring a great boost in popularity and awareness to the sport of tournament bass-fishing.”
Named after the founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW introduced its Fishing League Worldwide tagline last year to better reflect its status as the world’s largest tournament fishing organization. Earlier this year FLW expanded its presence on the world stage with the introduction of a sanctioning program allowing international partners to license the iconic brand and run FLW tournaments abroad.
“We are very excited to announce our partnership with the MirooNamoo Media Group to bring FLW tournaments to South Korea,” said Kathy Fennel, FLW President of Operations. “Our television show has aired in South Korea for many years and there are many anglers there that are very excited at the prospect of advancing to the Rayovac FLW Series Championship and ultimately the Forrest Wood Cup.”
South Korea is the second country to sign on for international sanctioning. Canada has already signed on as FLW’s partner under the new program and is set to host an FLW tournament in 2015 with at least three events slated in Canada for 2016. Additional FLW qualifying tournaments in other countries are forthcoming.