Bass Parade blog put out a post entitled Something's Brewing at B.A.S.S., which is a jump head long into speculation about what might be coming from the new ownership at B.A.S.S.
Here is an excerpt:
At this point I think it’s safe to say that Jerry and Co. have something cooking that’s either going to impact how anglers qualify for and/or maintain their Elite Series status. Lane says he knows “how good it’s going to be”. So there’s already some hype attached to it as far as the anglers go.
Are we about to see the end of the Elites as we know it? Based on B.A.S.S.’ timeline of scrapping one format in favor of another, we’re about due for a repackaging. Maybe it’s some kind of new TV deal? It’s all speculation at this stage of the game, but I definitely smell smoke.
Anybody out there have any thoughts as to what all this means? What would you like to see happen? Is the Elite Series fine as is or does it need some tweaking?
In the comments some of the speculation centers around B.A.S.S. making it so the Elite anglers don't have to pony up entry fees and get a guaranteed payback.
In regards to this speculation I have some questions and thoughts.
How will anglers "not having to pay to compete" (these were the words used by a commenter) differ from the current system where the idea is for anglers to get sponsors who will pay the anglers entry fees?
Obviously the anglers and organization need sponsors to put up the money. That doesn't change. So what changes and how?
Maybe all anglers get a guaranteed minimum payback from B.A.S.S. and the anglers can make sponsor deals on top of that???
How do you get there other than with a basic redistribution of the total purse with a lot less going to the top finishers?
The way I see it you have risk and reward. The higher the reward means higher risk for individual fishermen. I don't see how you lower the risk without reducing the reward at the top. It's a zero sum game.
For it not to be a zero sum game, somehow you have to create more value for the sponsors than what already exists. It will be interesting to see if the new ownership can figure out a way to accomplish that. Maybe skillful leveraging of new media is the answer. (But then again maybe not, there are a lot of children at that table already and those hi-tech secret formula's are notoriously fickle.)
Some suggest shrinking the field is a way to increase value and that no doubt is probably true, but it seems you will still have the same basic problem where a few at the top reap great rewards while it just becomes more difficult for everybody else to reach that level. If this is the case it might prove a disincentive for people to try to "live the dream" and you end up going backwards. Then again if done right maybe the incentive to try is actually increased and everybody is happy.
And then of coarse the really big question is, what are the implications for Fantasy Bass Fishing?
Go read the Bass Parade article and throw your thoughts in the ring.