LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Alltel announced today it will sponsor professional fisherman Scott Rook on the national 2006 CITGO Bassmaster Tournament Trail, which begins with the world championship CITGO Bassmaster Classic at Lake Tohopekaliga in Kissimmee, Fla., Feb. 25-26.
The sponsorship features a custom Alltel branded 2006 Ranger Z20 Comanche bass boat, built at Ranger Boats in Flippin, Ark., along with a branded truck, tournament attire and Alltel wireless voice and data services for Rook. Terms of the one-year agreement were not disclosed.
Rook, of Little Rock, will also represent Alltel in the CITGO Bassmaster Elite Series and Bassmaster Majors, including the final major - the Bassmaster Legends Tournament on the Arkansas River at Little Rock Aug. 21-23.
"Alltel sponsors major university athletic programs around the country and several professional teams in the NFL and NASCAR driver Ryan Newman, so this is a natural extension for us," said Randy Wilbourn, senior vice president of corporate communications for Alltel. "Professional bass fishing is a wholesome family-oriented sport that is growing rapidly. Scott and professional bass fishing are a nice fit to showcase our current and future wireless products and services."
Rook, who turned professional in 1999, placed second in the 2001 Bassmaster Classic and is a five-time Classic qualifier. He also has 12 top-10 and 48 top-50 tour finishes in his career.
"It's an honor to represent Alltel wherever I compete," said Rook. "I'm looking forward to meeting Alltel customers on the circuit and being an ambassador for the company, its employees, products and services."
The ESPN Network-owned CITGO Bassmaster Tournament Trail also will generate exposure for Alltel and Rook, said Jerry McKinnis, host of the The Fishin' Hole, the nation's longest running outdoor TV show and anchor to ESPN's Saturday lineup of outdoor programs.
"This is a great opportunity for both Scott and Alltel," McKinnis said. "ESPN and ESPN2 are adding more tournament coverage this year and Alltel's sponsorship validates the popularity and credibility of the sport."
Alltel is a customer-focused communications company with more than 15 million customers in 36 states and nearly $10 billion in annual revenues.