March 5, 2002 by Rob Newell
Resume services can help take anglers to the next level of professional career development
In several editions of The Bottom Line, there has been much written about the importance of resumes, portfolios and quarterly reports within the business side of fishing. But compiling an entire fishing career into a concise portfolio is a challenging task. Consequently, a few readers of The Bottom Line have inquired about resume services that are tailored specifically for tournament bass anglers.
Enter Joe Balog and Millennium Promotions Limited.
If the name Joe Balog sounds familiar, there is a reason: he won the 2001
Everstart Championship on Lake Pickwick. Also, Balog is a familiar face at sports shows working seminars on the famous Hawg Trough mobile fish tank. A 10-year veteran of the outdoor sports show circuit, Balog now travels the country, Hawg Trough in tow, working 15 to 20 shows per year.
In 2000, Balog combined his knowledge of tournament bass fishing and his experience in outdoor sports marketing to create Millennium Promotions. The primary focus of his business is to help individuals who are trying to further their exposure in the outdoor sports market.
Most of Balog's clientele are professional bass anglers. Balog essentially "packages" anglers for a target audience. What makes his services appealing to bass anglers is that he customizes each resume package to fit the angler. He identifies each angler's unique promotional capacities and then he condenses and quantifies those abilities into a package that is designed for a specific audience.
"For example, I have an angler in the Northeast who fishes 20-plus tournaments a year on the Great Lakes. He wins about 80 percent of them," says Balog. "His fishing techniques involve drifting deep, open water - techniques that require particular rods, fluorocarbon line, rough water boat handling skills, and oxygen injected livewells - all of which are unique promotional opportunities for products.
"Some anglers are professional guides," continues Balog. "Their unique promotional capacity lies in being able to put products in the hands of consumers on a daily basis. I have one angler who is neither a guide nor a tournament angler, but he works dozens of sports shows in a season and he can sell products."
Once Balog identifies an angler's promotional value, he then considers the audience of the resume package. Due to Balog's extensive experience in the fishing industry, he knows what companies are looking for in anglers.
"Tailoring a package for the intended audience is just as important as defining the promotional characteristics of an angler," says Balog. "A resume package going to a non-endemic (outside the industry) company would be much different than a package for a company that makes fishing-related products. A package going to the media is much different than a package going to a company.
As an example of tailoring packages for specific audiences, Balog points to his own portfolios. His own resume package includes his background, promotional show experience, major media coverage, and his tournament performance. But his Media Support Package focuses on fishing article ideas for writers, useable quotes for the press as well as a selection of color photos which can be removed from the package and used by the media at anytime.
Balog also provides a quarterly report service for anglers. He realizes that tournament anglers do not have the time to keep up with their own "paper trail" of media exposure. Anglers who use Balog's quarterly report service simply phone Balog to tell him when and where an exposure occurred.
"We get every known fishing publication at the office," says Balog. "And I can pull news and photos off the Internet. The only things I cannot cover are daily newspapers. If an angler is featured in a newspaper, he is responsible for sending me the clipping. From there, I can scan it and incorporate it into his update."
Whether it is a 10-page resume package, or a single page progress report, Balog's final product is top notch. He maintains a battalion of cutting edge graphic design technology that allows him to create impressive portfolios. Every package is spiral bound with color photos and dynamic page layouts.
Balog offers some resume tips for anglers who are interested in compiling a resume package.
* Use plenty of photos in a variety of settings. "Photos are great, but do not overuse tournament stage photos or `grip n' grin' photos. Some of the most effective photos for industry companies are ones that show the angler actually working a show or demonstrating a product to a consumer."
*The fishing industry does not revolve around tournament performances. "In many of my resume packages I do not lead off with tournament performances and I rarely go back more than the last three years in tournament records. I often start packages with contact/biographical information, promotional experience and media coverage, followed by tournament records."
*Use sponsors' logos instead of a black and white sponsor list. "If an angler already has sponsors, I always list those sponsors with the companies' color logos."
*When showing media coverage, focus on the headlines and product mentions. "Sometimes I use newspaper and magazine articles as page backgrounds. I will lay it out so that only the headlines and pertinent product mentions are highlighted."
*Include quotes from radio shows and videos. "Always get tapes of radio or video coverage and then list product quotes in your package. This demonstrates an ability to get a product mentioned in the media."
Anglers who are serious about preparing a resume package, media kit, or quarterly reports can contact Joe Balog at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rob Newell is a freelance outdoor writer from Tallahassee, Fla. He has been actively involved in tournament bass fishing and the professional bass-fishing industry, both as participant and a writer, for more than 10 years. He currently fishes as a co-angler on the Wal-Mart FLW Tour and contributes to FLWOutdoors.com, FLW Outdoors magazine and other fishing publications.