Kessel Named General Manager of B.A.S.S.

 MONTGOMERY, Ala. - August 16, 2001 - Avid bass angler and sports marketing veteran Dean Kessel has been named General Manager of B.A.S.S., the world's largest fishing organization, it was announced today by Michael Rooney, Senior Vice President and General Manager of ESPN Outdoors.

 "As we continue to grow B.A.S.S., we realized a need for the event and sports marketing expertise that Dean brings to the organization," said Rooney.
"Dean is a customer service driven individual who is dedicated to providing added value to everyone associated with B.A.S.S."

 Kessel will report directly to Rooney, as will Helen Sevier, who will continue to serve as Executive Vice President of B.A.S.S.

 "Earlier this month, B.A.S.S. conducted one of the best BASS Masters Classics ever, so Dean joins us at a time when the future is bright and the possibilities are endless," added Rooney.

Kessel has managed Lowe's sports marketing activities since 1996. His responsibilities as general manager for the entire Lowe's Sports Marketing portfolio included overseeing Lowe's primary sponsorship of its NASCAR Winston Cup team and driver Mike Skinner, and its sponsorships with NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball teams throughout the country.  

"I'm absolutely thrilled by the opportunity to work with two phenomenal brands in B.A.S.S. and ESPN. The combination of these two icons in the outdoor industry will benefit all parties involved - anglers, sponsors, B.A.S.S. members and fans," said Kessel.

In February '99, Kessel and his team made history securing the first-ever naming rights for a NASCAR sanctioned track by renaming one of the premier race tracks in the country from Charlotte Motor Speedway to Lowe's Motor Speedway. In addition, Kessel served as the editor of Track Record, the magazine published especially for members of Team Lowe's Racing, the largest fan club in NASCAR today.

"B.A.S.S. has been an industry leader for many decades and it is my goal to work collectively with the talent already in place at B.A.S.S. in an effort to take the sport to new and exciting levels, " added Kessel. "I've watched the sport of bass fishing grow over the past few years and it reminds me of the early days of NASCAR. I'm hopeful that our team can take some of what I have learned from my sports marketing experiences over the years and apply it to a successful formula at B.A.S.S."

Prior to joining Lowe's, Kessel was an assistant manager with R.J. Reynolds' Sports Marketing Enterprises where he was involved with program management of the Winston Cup Series and new business development teams.

 "This is an exciting time for the sport of bass fishing and the combination of ESPN and BASS will be a powerful partnership to take the sport to new heights," said Kessel.

For more information contact:

B.A.S.S. Communications
(334) 272-9530