(Jun 28, 2017 - TulsA, OK)
Noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris' name appears on numerous prestigious awards, many bestowed for his conservation efforts including the Teddy Roosevelt Conservationist Award. However, the Johnny Morris Award, to be presented to the winner of the inaugural Major League Fishing General Tire World Championship 2017, is the first time a bass trophy has been named in his honor.
The unique Johnny Morris Award, constructed from machined aluminum and exotic and cherry woods, stands more than 2-feet tall and weighs 63 pounds.
The Johnny Morris Award goes to the MLF world champion, determined when 12 of the world's top professional bass anglers compete against one another in televised matches on CBS and CBS Sports Network that began June 24. The program will be the largest and first progressive six-week bass fishing series to run on national broadcast television.
"It was Johnny Morris who challenged us to come up with a way to bring the sport of bass fishing to a broader audience and we're proud to have accomplished that with our championship series on CBS, so we're delighted to name this trophy after him," said MLF General Manager Jim Wilburn. "Of course as a result, we wanted this trophy to truly be something special and it definitely is."
The Johnny Morris Award is more than 2-feet tall and weighs 63 pounds. The CNC-tooled aluminum shield bearing the General Tire and MLF logos is engraved in relief to give it a dimensional perspective and allow for color filling to the brands' black and red distinctions.
An exotic dark wood known for its rich grain and handcraftsmanship properties was selected to house the shield, while natural-colored cherry wood was chosen to frame the exterior to add dimension, styling and color contrast.
"The purpose of the design is to capture the uniqueness, quality and craftsmanship that a competition of this stature requires and deserves, as well as to incorporate the General Tire and MLF branding and commemorate the event's year and location," said Evan McKee, its designer with Trophies Unlimited of Fort Smith, Ark.
Professional angler Edwin Evers is one of 12 anglers who has qualified to compete in the inaugural MLF General Tire World Championship schedule to air on CBS and CBS Sports in a 6-week series that began June 24.
"I've been in the award industry for 22 years and this trophy is without a doubt at the top of the list of everything I've seen and been involved in for quality and design. It was my pleasure and a privilege to have designed it in collaboration with noted wood craftsman Sam Dodd II and the team at Major League Fishing."
Competing in the first MLF General Tire World Championship and vying for the Johnny Morris Award are Mark Davis, Boyd Duckett, Edwin Evers, Greg Hackney, Tim Horton, Mike Iaconelli, Gary Klein, Jeff Kriet, Bobby Lane, Aaron Martens, Mike McClelland and Kevin VanDam. They were the 12 anglers with the most points accumulated from participation in 2016 and 2017 MLF Cup events.
Bass Pro Shops has been a part of MLF since the inception of the innovative made-for-television bass fishing competitions originated in 2011 through a partnership between Outdoor Channel and a select group of professional anglers. The MLF television show has been Outdoor Channel's top-rated overall program in first quarters 2016 and 2017.
About Major League Fishing
Developed through a joint effort between Outdoor Channel and two dozen premier bass fishing anglers in 2011, Major League Fishing brings the high-intensity sport of competitive bass fishing into America's living rooms in the form of riveting two-hour TV episodes. Twenty-four world-class anglers are filmed over the course of a six-day event. The show captures their efforts as they utilize a demanding format that allows them to weigh all the "scorable bass" they catch. Unlike other competitive fishing events, live leaderboards in the boats allow anglers to know their standings at all times. For more information about the game, visit www.majorleaguefishing.com and follow Major League Fishing on Twitter, Instagram and on Facebook.
About General Tire
For over 100 years General Tire has offered a complete quality line of ultra-high performance, passenger, light truck, off-road and commercial tires to meet all your needs. General Tire is a proud supporter of ARCA; Best in the Desert Racing Series; Major League Fishing; FLW Fishing; King of the Cage; Lucas Oil - Off Road Racing Series, Late Model Dirt Series, Pro Pulling League, Modified Series, Drag Boat Racing Series and ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series; Expedition Overland; FreestyleMx.com Tour; Zero One Odyssey; and Spec Tire of JeepSpeed. Team GT supports athletes: CJ Hutchins, Jim Beaver, Jeff Proctor, Chase Motorsports, Doug Fortin, Eric Fitch, Jim Riley, Camburg Racing, Lee Banning Sr., Bryan Folks, Jerett Brooks, Stan Shelton, Skeet Reese, Edwin Evers, John Crews, Britt Myers and Bill McDonald.
About Continental AG
Continental develops intelligent technologies for transporting people and their goods. As a reliable partner, the international automotive supplier, tire manufacturer, and industrial partner provides sustainable, safe, comfortable, individual, and affordable solutions. In 2015, the corporation generated sales of €39.2 billion with its five divisions, Chassis & Safety, Interior, Powertrain, Tires, and ContiTech. Continental currently employs more than 218,000 people in 55 countries.
About Bass Pro Shops®
Bass Pro Shops is a leading destination retailer offering outdoor gear and apparel in an immersive setting. Founded in 1972 when avid young angler Johnny Morris began selling tackle out of his father's liquor store in Springfield, Missouri, today 100 retail and marine centers host 120 million people annually. Bass Pro Shops also operates White River Marine Group, offering an unsurpassed collection of industry-leading boat brands, and Big Cedar Lodge, America's Premier Wilderness Resort. Under the visionary conservation leadership of Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops is known as a national leader in protecting habitat and introducing families to the outdoors and has been named by Forbes as "one of America's Best Employers."