For Immediate Release

Friday, June 13, 2003


Chicago, IL

Thousands of representatives of the sportfishing industry are preparing to showcase the latest in sportfishing equipment and accessories at the Las Vegas Convention Center July 9-11 during the 46th annual International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, or ICAST, the American Sportfishing Association's premier trade event.

The world's largest sportfishing expo, encompassing a 209,000-square-foot show floor, will especially feature new products making their marketplace debut.  Half the 320 exhibiting companies have entered hundreds of their latest product innovations in ICAST's Best of Show competition as part of the New Product Showcase, the flagship feature of ICAST.  In addition, nearly 150 companies are offering ICAST-only show specials, providing industry buyers the best discounts on product orders for the new season.

"We're confident that ICAST will be a strong catalyst for sportfishing companies this year because the latest trends in the industry show that sales are especially good for new fishing gear and creative innovations to already popular products," said Mike Nussman, President and CEO of the American Sportfishing Association.  "In the bigger picture, organizations such as the National Association for Manufacturers are predicting a positive surge in the economy later this year, which can only reinforce the advantages of coming together for ICAST."

Exhibitor sign-up and registration for ICAST 2003 outpaced previous year's, with the show selling out in April, four weeks earlier than last year.  About a quarter of those attending ICAST typically register on-site, but already nearly 1,000 buyers are registered, in addition to 250 representatives of the outdoor media and another 1,500 representing exhibiting companies and the conservation and outdoor recreation community.

Highlights of this year's show include:

Receptions:  New Product Showcase Preview Reception, co-sponsored by eAngler, on Tuesday evening, July 8, and a reception hosted by ASA Chairman of the Board Jerry Calengor of Normark/Rapala Corporation and co-sponsored by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation on Wednesday evening, July 9.  Both receptions are by invitation only.

Best of Show Awards: New products in 11 categories will be judged for coveted Best of Show honors and announced just prior to the show floor opening on Thursday morning, July 10, at the show entrance.

Industry Breakfast: A "State of the Industry" message from ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman and keynote address from Basketball Pro Brian Shaw from the L.A. Lakers on Wednesday morning, July 9.

Press Conferences: Companies with scheduled press conferences include Coast Cutlery Co., Falcon Graphite Rods, FoodSource Lure Corp., Hart Tackle Co., McGuinness Fishing Products, Mojo Lure Co., Okuma Fishing Tackle Corp., Pro-Techt, Quarrow, Tactical Tackle, U.S. Reel, and Xtools.

Buyer Incentives:  Cash prizes and exotic fishing getaway raffles for buyers will be held at various times throughout the show.

New Partnership Opportunities: eBay is hosting a cyber-lounge and seminars on opportunities for sales of over-stock, demo, or collectible fishing equipment on-line.  In addition, eBay and several sportfishing companies are sponsoring a special on-line auction of fishing equipment, fishing trips, and collectibles with proceeds benefiting ASA's non-profit foundations dedicated to fisheries conservation and fishing education.

Water Works Wonders Awards: ASA and the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation will honor two sportfishing companies for their leadership and innovation in using Water Works Wonders marketing materials to promote fishing and boating.  Awards will be given during the Chairman's Reception, Wednesday evening, July 9.

Seminars:  Educational seminars cover topics such as business solutions for small company owners, keys to hot zone marketing, partnership opportunities with eBay, paying the Wallop-Breaux excise tax, and advocacy to protect angler access.

More information on ICAST is available on under "Shows and Events."  Credentialed media and others can register on-line through June 27, although those registering after the June 9 pre-registration deadline will need to pick up show badges on-site (those registering before June 9 should receive show badges in the mail prior to the show).  Registration at the Las Vegas Convention Center is open from 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm July 7, from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm July 8-10, and from 8:00 am - 4:00 pm on July 11.  ICAST is a trade-only event and is not open to the public.

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