Whether in business or in life, the chance for a new beginning is very rare. It’s even more uncommon that you get that chance with a group you already know and trust. For the greatest tournament angler in the history of our sport, that unique position is a reality. When the 2020 Bass Pro Tour kicks off, the deck of angling legend Kevin Van Dam’s Nitro will be fully rigged up with Lew’s rods and reels.
Ken Eubanks, CEO of Lew’s Holdings Corp. stated, “We could not be more honored to have Kevin joining the Lew’s team. The impact that Kevin has had on the Strike King brand cannot be overstated and we feel that the knowledge, expertise and respect he brings to the table will be transformational for our entire organization.”
KVD’s accomplishments as a competitive angler are unmatched, but what also separates Kevin from many pro anglers is that he has never been one to change sponsors without a very compelling reason.
“Strike King has always been like family to me, so when I heard about the acquisition of Strike King by Lew’s, I was a little apprehensive. Once I got to know the Lew’s group and realized that the culture and team was so aligned with the folks I have been working with for years, I couldn’t help but be excited by the prospect of working with the entire group. Sometimes in relationships it takes a long time to develop trust and rapport, but sometimes, it just feels right.”
Historically, when a high-profile athlete leaves a long-time sponsor for a new opportunity, the situation is often accompanied by hard feelings. Again, this is a very unique situation. KVD worked with the team at Quantum for many years and there will be always be a great deal of mutual respect and appreciation for what they accomplished together.
“Fishing our gear, Kevin became the most decorated angler of all time, and we have really enjoyed our mutually beneficial relationship. Kevin has been a great partner and friend and we thank him for his professionalism all these many years. We wish him the best as he moves on in his new relationship with Lew’s.” Said Steve Smits, President and COO of Zebco Brands.
Every once in a while, there is an event in our industry that can change the face of an organization. The addition of Kevin Van Dam to the Lew’s pro staff is one of those events. The impact and unique perspective KVD will bring to the Lew’s product development team, just as he has done for Strike King will definitely change the landscape. The sky is the limit for both Lew’s and KVD with this partnership and the future will be very fun to watch.