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BASS fisherman

Business Administration in the role of aPro angler

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I have been looking into taking a business admin course to get an associates degree. Do you believe a business administration course would give me a "1-up" on the competition when I become a pro angler, in regards to getting sponsers? And in the chance, which isn't an option, that I don't make it pro, I have something to fall back on. ;D

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I have a degree in Business Administration. It's basically the same as Business Management. One of the main reasons for taking BA or BM is the wide range of job options. Just about any job in the business world is open to you. Or if you want to start a small business, you have all the tools for success.

As for a leg up in the pro fishing market...it couldn't hurt i suppose.

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I was thinking the same thing.  Do you think that  the school where you get the degree makes a difference as well?  How long did you go to school for?

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First, a disclaimer: I'm not a pro, I have no sponsors and have never fished a tournament.  :)

I don't know if studying business will give you a "1-up", but you should know business, period. After all, pro fishermen aren't employees, they're independent contractors running their own businesses. So it's obvious that business skills are needed, as are marketing skills. You need to market yourself to potential sponsors, and if you have sponsors, you need those skills to promote your sponsors' products. And communication skills are a must, not just for a fisherman, but for just about anything you do with your life.

This is just speculation, but I would guess that getting sponsors is similar to getting a job. There may be 100s of applicants for one position and everyone wants to be sponsored, but there are a limited number of sponsor dollars available, so you need to demonstrate why you should get those dollars rather than the many people you're competing with. See above for the skills that might help you do that.

Good luck.

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Let's start with spelling: administration

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I have a major and minor in these 2 fields.  I agree with Marty 100%.  BTW almost all tourney fisherman have main jobs not just fishing.  Only a select few make it where they do nothing else.  A degree is a must imo.  Get you a degree then go after your dream.

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Let's start with spelling: administration

so I missed the "r" :P

Also: Business... ;)

so I switched the "i", and the "s" :P

I have a major and minor in these 2 fields. I agree with Marty 100%. BTW almost all tourney fisherman have main jobs not just fishing. Only a select few make it where they do nothing else. A degree is a must imo. Get you a degree then go after your dream.

I co-own an Upholstery shop with my father and brother. Taking off to fish tourneys in the beginning will not be a problem. Those select few who don't do anything else, are usually filthy rich, and from what I've seen they usually don't do very well anyway.

IMO, having the skills to market my sponsers' products, as well as myself as a result of earning the Business Admin degree, would give me the 1-up, since that would be a positive point in a sponser picking me, over the next guy. 1-up to me means 1 step above the rest. ;):)

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I too have never been sponsored by any one for bass fishing, but i'm in college right now.  I'm a junior and in the college of business with a major in Marketing.  I did not choose this major with a dream of one day become a professional angler, but sitting in my marketing classes it is very clear that this could really help get someone to get sponsored.  They go through the different ways on how to market products and ideas.  In your case, the product would be yourself.  You must ask yourself, what can I do to help your sponsors make money.  Find out what it is, and sell (talk about) it to businesses.  Companies main objective is to make a profit.  When you get sponsored, that business is taking a risk.  Will the money that I shell out to put my name on his boat/shirt result in more sales for my company.  If you can convince them that yes it can help them make some serious bank, then I would say that your definately have a "1-up" on your competition.  All you have to do is know how to sell yourself and know how to do it well.

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Let's start with spelling: administration

Details, details.   ;D

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After all, pro fishermen aren't employees, they're independent contractors running their own businesses.

This is just speculation, but I would guess that getting sponsors is similar to getting a job. There may be 100s of applicants for one position and everyone wants to be sponsored,

This is a bit contradicting.

My job wraps up all aspects here as an owner/contractor/employee and there is definitely a huge difference between both/all sides. Any sponsorship regardless of industry is relative to employment. Want to "1 up" everyone? Be a better candidate in all aspects of the position your applying for. This would include education, experience, appearance, and work ethics.

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Let me inject my 2 pennies worth in here.  I have a BA in Communications and I'm currently working towards an MBA with a concentration in Marketing.  I'm the Marketing Director for a large financial services company and I've worked in the media/marketing/advertising industry since I was 17 (I'm 33 now).

Would a business degree help you as a professional angler?  Yes, as others have said fishing would become your business and you would have to treat it as such.  When searching for people to endorse your product, I think someone educated and well spoken would have an edge over some one who isn't, if everything else is equal.

Would it give you something to fall back on?  Yes it would.  Although I would encourage you not to limit your sights to just an Associates degree.  When interviewing people for even entry level positions with our company, I don't even call those with Associates degrees.  You need a BA or a BS as a minimum.  That's why I'm back in school more than a decade after graduating the first time to try and get an MBA.  Even with a ton of experience I'm finding that a lot of doors are closed for me professionally because i don't have an MBA.

As far as the University goes, I don't think that it matters.  When interviewing possible employees I'm not so concerned with where you went to school.  I'm more concerned with the fact that you finished and what relavent work experience that you have.  So don't get too caught up in the fact that your not going to Harvard or Yale.  Start at a local community college, get those General Education courses out of the way and then look to attend a nearby four year school.  You could also look for established four year universities with a quality online program.  I would avoid the "online only" colleges.  A lot of those have come under fire in the press recently and I'd hate to spend the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ and be left with a worthless piece of paper.

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If you do take the business classes, but sure to take some marketing classes and at least one speech class.  It weill help you to market yourself and will help you to gain confidence.

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Well, I agree that more education can't hurt in any endeavor, but I also think the knowledge gained from some degrees is exaggerated.  I have a Bachelors in Business Admin with majors in management and marketing.  I worked 13 years in management for Roadway Express (now merged with Yellow) before I changed careers for computer networking six years ago.  Marketing oneself is a matter of common sense and smoozing at the appropriate times.  Some people have a gift for the smoozing and some don't.  I don't have this gift.     I think the gifted smoozer with common sense would have a leg up on the angler with an associates degree in business, regarding value to potential sponsors.  However, some businesses do not look at this objectively.  These businesses will see the degree as a required criterion for specific positions, and they won't even consider someone who doesn't have it, no matter how skilled the applicant.  For these businesses, or sponsors if you will, the degree would absolutely help.  

I kind of doubt if these sponsors are looking for this in a pro angler.  I think they want someone who is fairly successful and who has the charisma and personality to draw people in.  You can't learn charisma in a classroom.  It is inherent in your personality.  You might want to take a business law course to at least aquire some basic knowledge about contracts, so you will know if your sponsor is giving you a fair deal.  

If you want to handle the money you make in the most lucrative manner, that's where the business courses can help.  

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Getting a degree is always a good idea but if you are only getting it to help your career in pro fishing, I would spend my time doing somthing much more pertinent to your goal,...............winning tournaments.  Not just fishing in them, winning them.  Without a record (a good one,no less), some history on the circuit, the need to market or promote anything won't exist.

Worry about getting a boat first.  This would be my main goal if I were you.  All the talk of tournament angling, promotions, sponsorships,the  etc, is just a pipedream until you can start spending real time on the water till you're good enough to start making the state team with consistency.

At this point, I would start mixing school into the program as you start to build a package to deliver to potential sponsors.

IMHO, if you're still fishing primarily from shore, this could be a few years away still.  You need to start learning the full range of what's out there and this can't be done from the bank.

Good Luck!!

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I figure around 10 years before I start getting the good $$'s in tourneys. The course I am planning on taking focuses on business fundamentals, marketing, and communication. The degree is a bachelors, not an associates degree.

I do fish out of a boat alot of the time, but I usually rent them where ever I am fishing at.  

I appreciate everyone's input, and anyone else who puts in their 2 cents.

Here's my basic plan:

1.  Get a 2nd job

2. Start business admin course while saving down payment for boat

3. buy a cheaper used bass boat

4. Practice winning tournaments

5. enter BFL, or some espn tourneys, or  I can make state team through the club Im in.

6. continue winning tourneys with some pigs, start looking for appropriate sponsers

7. yet to be determined.......

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BASS Fisherman,

I don't want to sound mean or uppity but I would highly recommend some courses in English as part of your business courses. Your written word does not convey your ability on this forum in regards to your aspirations.

Study hard and Fish hard. Good luck to you. :D

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BASS Fisherman,

I don't want to sound mean or uppity but I would highly recommend some courses in English as part of your business courses. Your written word does not convey your ability on this forum in regards to your aspirations.

Study hard and Fish hard. Good luck to you. :D

Hey thanks Tom Bass, I appreciate your input.   ::)

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English Compisition I, II and III are electives you must take for most fields of study. Including Business Administration. Also, public speaking is a class that I believe is also a prerequisit. This isn't an english paper. It's a thread on a internet forum. I never understood why some people bash other's spelling and grammar on boards. I'm sure that if you cared enough to make sure your post was perfect you would have spell checked and took more time when you typed it. But you can here for advice, and didn't expect for everyone to rip your post to pieces.

By the way, to the person that recommended you take some English classes as part of your Business classes. If he had went to college he would know that you MUST take English classes for ANY of the major field of study. Especially Business. I would be willing to bet that most of the people on here that have given you a hard time have yet to grace the campus of any University.

I'm not an expert, but I doubt that the majority of Pro Bass fishermen have college degrees. Would be very interested to see a poll. I'm not saying you shouldn't thrive to obtain one, just I doubt most pro's have.

From someone who went straight into the work force out of high school, then later returned to school to finish college, my advice is concentrate on school first. Once you graduate, if you still want to go pro. Have at it.

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Back to the original question...

anything you do or learn that helps you to better understand and potential sponsor's business, and helps you to better understand how you can help them...  will work in your favor.

Being a great fisherman and having a track record of tourney wins is great but as fish chris and mattlures will tell you, tourney fishing isn't the only way to get sponsored.  Both of those guys understand what they can do for a company, and with such info, have gotten sponsored.  The point to that is that the education and business insight you have can only serve to increase your chances if coupled with a successful fishing background.

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English Compisition I, II and III are electives you must take for most fields of study. Including Business Administration. Also, public speaking is a class that I believe is also a prerequisit. This isn't an english paper. It's a thread on a internet forum. I never understood why some people bash other's spelling and grammar on boards. I'm sure that if you cared enough to make sure your post was perfect you would have spell checked and took more time when you typed it. But you can here for advice, and didn't expect for everyone to rip your post to pieces.

By the way, to the person that recommended you take some English classes as part of your Business classes. If he had went to college he would know that you MUST take English classes for ANY of the major field of study. Especially Business. I would be willing to bet that most of the people on here that have given you a hard time have yet to grace the campus of any University.

I'm not an expert, but I doubt that the majority of Pro Bass fishermen have college degrees. Would be very interested to see a poll. I'm not saying you shouldn't thrive to obtain one, just I doubt most pro's have.

From someone who went straight into the work force out of high school, then later returned to school to finish college, my advice is concentrate on school first. Once you graduate, if you still want to go pro. Have at it.

Thank you Bassmaster Flash.  Its nice to know someone have my back.

Added to what BMF said, when I post during the day, I am always in a hurry due to the fact that I am at work, and don't have much time to post new threads, or answer posts.  At least you guys knew what I meant, and I don't spell that bad, come on now.

I thank the more "seasoned" anglers for responding to this post.  Your input means alot.

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I figure around 10 years before I start getting the good $$'s in tourneys.

You need to make friends with someone on the Elite tour and let them explain what good money is. There is a LOT of pros who make a run on the big tour for just a year or two before dropping out. If you dont win, your loosing money. The out of pocket expenses alone runs the average pro 20-25k a year. Of course this is on top of your household expenses that continue on while your gone. Dont make the cut a couple of times and not win a tourney that business degree will be needed.

With the exception of some big names like KVD, these guys are not getting rich and making big money (even with sponsors). Preston Clark has done very well for himself lately (won tournaments, corporate sponsors, etc). And yet he still has a 'blue collar' job to make ends meet.

Most anyone of them will tell you they do it because its their dream and the money and personal sacrifices wouldnt be worth it otherwise.

And as LBH mentioned you getting a boat should be priority one; you have to ask yourself if the chicken came before the egg: You need a dependable truck. Without that, your landlocked with a pretty yard ornament.

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