By Deb Johnson
TULSA, Okla. — A premier entertainment destination in northeastern Oklahoma has become the newest sponsor of the 2013 Bassmaster Classic.
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa has signed on to be the Presenting Sponsor for the Feb. 22-24 world championship of bass fishing in Tulsa. The resort’s brand will be prominent throughout the event and in the subsequent television broadcast of Classic competition scheduled to begin March 2 on ESPN2.
“We are proud to continue the Cherokee Nation’s legacy of being a good community partner by helping bring large events like the 2013 Bassmaster Classic to northeast Oklahoma,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “This event will be an economic boost for the entire region, especially our Cherokee communities. We are pleased to partner with B.A.S.S. and the Tulsa Regional Chamber’s Tulsa Sports Commission to make this wonderful event possible.”
The deal was announced today in Tulsa by officials of B.A.S.S., LLC, the Cherokee Nation’s Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa, and Classic hosts the Tulsa Sports Commission, VisitTulsa and the Tulsa Regional Chamber. The Tulsa Sports Commission initiated the deal, coordinating its partner organizations to offer the most enhanced attendee experience for the world championship of bass fishing.
“The Tulsa Sports Commission worked with many people, local organizations and businesses to bring the Bassmaster Classic to northeast Oklahoma,” said Ray Hoyt, senior vice president of VisitTulsa and the Tulsa Sports Commission. “We’re excited to announce today that Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa, owned by the Cherokee Nation, has elected to join that group and will act as local Presenting Sponsor for the prestigious event. Their support is sure to amplify the Classic, and we’re excited to have them on board.”
The sponsorship will support both the B.A.S.S. organization and the Tulsa Sports Commission in execution of the three-day competition predicted to bring roughly 100,000 attendees and an economic impact of $26 million to the region.
Added Jeff Stava, chair of the Tulsa Sports Commission’s local organizing committee for the Bassmaster Classic and chief operating officer of Tulsa Community Foundation: “As the Presenting Sponsor of the Bassmaster Classic, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa will bring a new dimension to the world championship of bass fishing with exciting entertainment and world class gaming. We appreciate their support and are excited for Feb. 22-24 in Tulsa.”
The 2013 Bassmaster Classic Presented by Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa will pit 53 of the world’s best bass anglers against each other for a piece of a $1.2 million purse. Competition will be on Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees, which is new competition water for the Classic. The anglers will weigh their daily catches at the BOK Center in downtown Tulsa, another new Classic venue, as is the Tulsa Convention Center, where the concurrent Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo Presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods will take place.
“This newest Classic partnership is very fitting because we’re planning to rock Tulsa with the Classic,” said Bruce Akin, CEO of B.A.S.S. “We couldn’t do that without the help of the many partners we have from the Tulsa area. The instantly recognizable Hard Rock name is a great addition to what is quickly coming together to be one of our best Classic events ever.”
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa is a gaming resort with a musical flair. Its largest music venue is The Joint, a 45,000-square-foot theater with 2,700 amphitheater seats and a state-of-the-art sound and light system. Concert offerings run from jazz to hard rock, Vegas shows to country stars. In early December, for example, superstar and Oklahoma native Reba McEntire performed at The Joint.
Visitors have several other choices of clubs with top music acts, as well as nine restaurants. One can’t-miss dining experience — McGill’s on 19 — is on the 19th floor of the hotel tower. Diners enjoy a panoramic view and an enticing menu of steaks and seafood.
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa also offers meeting and event hosting, a golf course, and accommodations complete with amenities such as a fitness center, pool and shopping — including, of course, a shop stocked with Hard Rock-branded goods.
B.A.S.S., headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., operates four tournament circuits, including the professional Bassmaster Elite Series from which most of the 53 qualifiers for the 2013 Classic emerged. Berths also were awarded through other Bassmaster circuits: the 2012 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Series, the B.A.S.S. Nation circuit, and the growing collegiate level of competition, the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series. In addition, the 2012 champ of the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series operated by American Bass Anglers was awarded a Classic berth.
The full field will compete the first two days. On the final day, the Top 25 anglers will return to Grand Lake to vie for a $500,000 first prize and the most coveted trophy in the sport. Click here for more information about the Classic.