CITGO Becomes Title Sponsor of BASSMASTER Tournament Trail

NEW ORLEANS, La. - August 1, 2001 - CITGO Petroleum Corporation and B.A.S.S. announced today that the two have signed a multiyear, advertising and strategic marketing agreement that will significantly increase awareness of and generate a higher degree of national, as well as international, interest in the sport of bass fishing.

For CITGO, the alliance includes title sponsorship of all BASSMASTER Tournament Trail events and extensive advertising in B.A.S.S.'s publications, television programming on ESPN2 and interactive media.

CITGO has committed significant financial and promotional resources to support the highly successful B.A.S.S. Federation, Conservation and CastingKids programs. Additionally, B.A.S.S. and CITGO plan to expand international competitions and incentive programs for anglers competing in both the professional and amateur ranks of B.A.S.S.

"On behalf of CITGO's employees, branded marketers and business associates, we are delighted to have an opportunity to partner with two such distinguished supporters of the sport fishing world-B.A.S.S. and ESPN," said W. A. DeVore, CITGO Senior Vice President, Supply, and Marketing & Lubricants. "This agreement, coupled with the tie-in of our 13,700 CITGO-branded retail outlets," he said, "will enable us to deliver an unprecedented level of support to the sport, one that it richly deserves.

"Our marketing support philosophy is very simple: we support programs that reflect our company and customers' core values. The record will reflect that when we make a commitment, we do it for the long term, as evidenced by our 16-year sponsorship of NASCAR Racing and the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and our ten-year sponsorship of the world famous Boston Marathon."

Beginning with the 2001-2002 season-opening CITGO BASSMASTER Tour event near Detroit, CITGO will assume the role of title sponsor of the BASSMASTER Tournament Trail. Now in its 33rd year, the CITGO BASSMASTER Tournament Trail is the oldest and most prestigious professional fishing circuit in the world.

CITGO will also become the title sponsor of the BASS Masters Classic - recognized around the globe as pro-fishing's premier world championship, as well as the B.A.S.S. Federation Championship, which showcases the world's top amateur anglers.

"CITGO and B.A.S.S. are both leaders in their respective fields. This opportunity is a great fit for our overall plans to grow the sport of bass fishing and the B.A.S.S. property," said Michael Rooney, Senior Vice President and General Manager of ESPN Outdoors. "We are particularly intrigued by the promotional concepts that CITGO plans to implement and are grateful to another Tulsa-based organization, Winnercomm, for helping bring all the parties together."

"We are proud to have played a major role in bringing our longtime friends at CITGO and ESPN together in support of the sport of bass fishing," said Jim Wilburn, President and CEO of Winnercomm. "CITGO is committed and enthusiastic about helping to grow the BASSMASTER Tournament Trail."

"This partnership gives us the potential to take this sport to a significantly higher level, very similar to the Winston title sponsorship of NASCAR Racing," said Don Rucks, CITGO Brand Manager. "We will work hand-in-hand with B.A.S.S. and ESPN to ensure that the sport of fishing is preserved for generations to come," he said.

"We are delighted to welcome CITGO to the B.A.S.S. family and anticipate a long term relationship that will be beneficial to all concerned, especially our more than 600,000 members and the millions of fans worldwide," added Helen Sevier, Executive Vice President and General Manager of B.A.S.S.

About CITGO: CITGO Petroleum Corporation, based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals, refined waxes, asphalt and other industrial products. It is owned by PDV America, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

About B.A.S.S.: By sanctioning over 20,000 tournaments worldwide, B.A.S.S. is the world's largest fishing organization with over 600,000 members and more than 2,800 local clubs merged into 51 federations in the United States and abroad. Through its award-winning publications including BASSMASTER Magazine, "The BASSMASTERS" on ESPN2, conservation efforts, tournaments and the BASS Masters Classic, B.A.S.S. continues to set the standard for serving the needs of anglers as well as the outdoor recreation industry, while protecting our natural resources, as it has since its beginnings in 1968. B.A.S.S. is a wholly owned subsidiary of ESPN.

For more information, see CITGO's website at or

Story Courtesy of B.A.S.S., Inc.