A Creative Approach to Quarterly Report Writing

Here is an adage from the world of professional fishing: "Getting a sponsor is easy, keeping a sponsor is hard."

In the business world, anglers seeking sponsorship have a difficult challenge: they must prove to companies that their presence in the marketplace has value.

The initial sell is the easy part. Anglers go before companies asking for money with promises of product promotion, exposure, and market impact. Thoughts of increased market share excite companies, so they sign the angler on.

But unfortunately for anglers, companies have profit and loss statements. After paying an angler for some period of time, a successful business entity wants to see exactly how expenditures on the pro staff helped market share. Pro staff programs that show no added value go to the chopping block. Which is exactly why keeping a sponsor is the hard part.

The specific problem in proving added value is measuring, in a quantifiable way, the influence a promotional angler has on the public's purchasing decisions. Since such a complex task requires the help of a qualified marketing firm, the next best effort an angler can make is to document his or her promotional work and forward it to a sponsoring company.

In fact, many fishing related companies require pro staffers to submit reports about their fishing and promotion activities at least once a year, if not quarterly.

Curt Lytle, an innovative professional angler from Suffolk, Virginia, has developed a unique approach to quarterly report writing for his sponsors. Lytle, and his wife Brandy, produce Curt's Current, a quarterly newsletter about Lytle's fishing and promotion activities.

"It started just as a way to keep family and friends updated on all my fishing activities," says Lytle. "Then I noticed that some of the information that I include in the newsletter is the same information sponsors wanted on quarterly reports. So I decided to consolidate the processes."

Lytle says that he had to check with each of his sponsors to make sure they would accept his newsletter in lieu of form reports and each company supported the newsletter.

In each issue of Curt's Current, Lytle carefully documents his media coverage, personal appearances, seminars, and tournaments, for the quarter. He also gives readers notice of his future activities in the upcoming quarter with a printed calendar of his tournaments and seminars.

For each tournament event fished, Lytle provides a brief synopsis of the fishing conditions and his over all performance. Whether he wins or brings up the back of the pack, he relates the important lessons he learned at each event.

Curt's Current is four pages and folds neatly for easy mailing. The newsletter is highlighted with color pictures and informative snippets from the bass fishing world.

While Lytle is a bit guarded about the specifics of producing and formatting his unique newsletter, he reveals that it can be done on most home computer systems and that desktop publishing software is readily available.

"It takes a while to get the first issue laid out, after that it is easier," he says. "It is a great tool for sponsor updates, soliciting potential sponsors, media contacts, friends, family, and even fans," he says.

Lytle is also quick to admit that he is not the only source of ingenuity behind Curt's Current. "My wife, Brandy, does a lot of the newsletter work. I have her to thank for each issue that goes out."

Curt Lytle may not be able to double a company's profit margin as a promotional angler; however, each issue of Curt's Current proves he is doing his part to represent his sponsors to the best of his ability. And that makes the hardest part of sponsorship a little easier.

Tags: business-of-fishing  rob-newell 

/news/2015-05-26-top-10-patterns-from-lake-seminole

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Seminole

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Reneau Grabs Lead On Seminole

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/news/2015-05-22-top-5-patterns-from-seminole-day-2

Top 5 Patterns From Seminole Day 2

A shake-up occurred on day two of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Evinrude on Lake Seminole. Day one was all about slow, summertime fishing in the lake’s deep timber. Overnight a frontal passage dropped water and air temperatures and left a north wind howling down the lake. As a result, the timber bite cooled off and those fishing shallower waters climbed up the leaderboard. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-22-lake-seminole-day-2-midday-update

Lake Seminole Day 2 Midday Update

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/news/2015-05-21-enfinger-leads-on-seminole

Enfinger Leads On Seminole

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/news/2015-05-21-top-5-patterns-from-seminole-day-1

Top 5 Patterns From Seminole Day 1

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/news/2015-05-21-lake-seminole-midday-update

Lake Seminole Midday Update

Lake Seminole is known to be more of a quality lake than a quantity lake and that trait showed on the morning of day one as anglers who were catching fish were not necessarily getting many bites, but 3-pound pluses seemed to be the norm for the ones hauled in over the gunnel. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-21-seminole-summer

Seminole Summer

Last week, the Walmart FLW Tour plied the waters of the Chattahoochee River on Lake Eufaula. This week, the Rayovac FLW Series moves 60 miles south on the “Hooch” to Lake Seminole for the final event of the Southeast Division. Running offshore brush piles was the dominant theme on Eufaula last week, leaving some to wonder if a similar pattern could work on Seminole, since the two legendary lakes are connected by the same river. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-18-top-10-patterns-from-lake-eufaula

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Eufaula

Bryan Thrift won the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Quaker State on Lake Eufaula by keying on isolated pieces of cover – brush piles, stumps, logs, rocks, etc. – for four days and hitting as many spots as possible during competition hours. Others in the top 10 fished a very similar program, but there were a few wild cards. Here’s the rundown of Eufaula’s top finishers. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-17-thrift-by-3

Thrift by 3

The “numbers game.” It’s a term that Bryan Thrift used to describe his fishing on Lake Eufaula back in 2013 when he finished runner-up to Randy Haynes in a Walmart FLW Tour event. The method to his numbers madness was to hit as many solitary objects – stumps, brush piles, rocks, logs – on the bottom of Lake Eufaula as humanly possible in an eight-hour tournament day. When Thrift saw that Lake Eufaula was back on the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour schedule for May of this year, he grinned that patented Bryan Thrift grin because he already knew how to crunch the numbers at Eufaula. And Thrift is still grinning. After sacking up a final-day catch of 15 pounds, 5 ounces to top off 69-14 for the week, Thrift made the numbers work for his fourth FLW Tour win. He added another $125,000 to his bank account. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-15-morrow-marches-ahead

Morrow Marches Ahead

Day two at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Quaker State at Lake Eufaula challenged anglers with tougher conditions as clouds and wind hindered much of the offshore bite. But while some of the top 10 struggled to duplicate their success from day one, Troy Morrow moved from second up into the driver's seat with a day-two catch of 18 pounds, 1 ounce. His total for the event stands at 39-09, giving him a 1-04 lead over day-one leader Clent Davis. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-15-top-5-patterns-from-lake-eufaula-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Eufaula Day 2

Troy Morrow took over the lead on the second day of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Quaker State on Lake Eufaula. Morrow did most of his damage late in the day once other pros in earlier flights had checked in. He’s working a milk run of brush piles, as are many of the top pros, but the continued fishing pressure is starting to really affect the bite. Here’s how the rest of the top five is dealing with the pressure. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-14-top-5-patterns-from-lake-eufaula-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Eufaula Day 1

Clent Davis, the day-one leader of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Quaker State on Lake Eufaula, described his fishing methodology as being a “numbers game.” He’s hitting as many isolated pieces of offshore cover as possible in a single day. Some of the other leaders behind him used similar terminology to describe their fishing. Here’s how the rest of the top five got it done today. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-14-davis-leads-stacked-top-10

Davis Leads Stacked Top 10

Ordinarily, when four professional bass anglers catch more than 20 pounds on the first day of a major tournament on Lake Eufaula in early summer, no one is surprised. This week, however, Eufaula is a bit off its game due to a cocktail of challenging conditions. Pros expected this to be a low-weight event. It won’t be, if the day-one weights are any indication. Clent Davis of Montevallo, Ala., weighed in a five-bass limit that registered 22 pounds, 9 ounces to take the lead by 1-01 over Georgia pro Troy Morrow. Adrian Avena and Ramie Colson Jr. are tied for third with 20-10, while the next five in the standings all topped 18 pounds. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-28-top-10-patterns-from-beaver-lake

Top 10 Patterns from Beaver Lake

No matter what the conditions are at Beaver Lake, Matt Arey has an uncanny ability to dial up the right baits to match the appetite of the lake’s fickle bass. This year the Quaker State pro relied primarily on two baits for his win. The first was a 5-inch hand-poured swimbait teamed with a 7/0 Gamakatsu EWG Monster Worm Hook tied to 20-pound-test P-Line fluorocarbon. The second was a wacky-rigged Lunkerhunt Lunker Stick impaled on a Gamakatsu 1/0 split-shot/drop-shot hook. The power/finesse combination provided Arey with a search-and-destroy program. He would use the swimbait as a “search bait” to find fish and then follow up with the finesse of the wacky rig for bedders that would not commit to the swimbait. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-26-arey-does-it-again

Arey Does it Again

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/news/2015-04-25-top-5-patterns-from-beaver-lake-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Beaver Lake Day 3

Andy Morgan didn’t light up the world on day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake, but he caught what he needed to maintain the lead and put a 1-pound, 9-ounce cushion between he and Matt Arey. Most of the rest of the top 20 scrambled today, abandoning their patterns and trying new options to try and make the final-day cut. Here’s how the top five got it done. READ MORE »