Angling suffers greatly from a lack of sponsorship. There are only a few teams who attract a suitable income, enabling them to mount a serious challenge for honours each year. Many teams actually are supported by the anglers themselves, at great personal cost. Sponsorship for them can be as rare as hen's teeth!

It may be that globally, there is a greater need for the media to adopt a more forward stance. Take England for example. In both our national angling newspapers, did we see a picture of the gold medal winning team on the front cover... most definitely not, it was tucked away inside. WHY? If England won the World Cup pictures of them would be plastered on the front cover of EVERY newspaper in the land... they can even manage to do it when they lose!!! England has the real 'Three Lions' in our angling team (FIVE team golds in TEN years) but it seems that our press don't fully acknowledge it. It's not about placing a picture of a big carp or pike on the front page, it's about telling everyone out there that we have winners... not losers, and that it's something to aspire to, so lets see them FULL-ON. With greater exposure comes greater sales. Leisure activities have grown in the last two decades with fringe sports encroaching into our more traditional ones and we constantly need to keep reassess our values.

Angling manufacturers take in millions of pounds each year from sales, yet hand out minimal amounts to individuals to gain just some national exposure. Drennan are one of the few company's to support their national senior side and must be applauded for it. They gain massive INTERNATIONAL recognition for this. But how long will their involvement last, and who will take over when they do eventually pull-out? We all know about the usual reasons (or excuses) as to why money is tight, no doubt it's the same ones told the masses in Outer Mongolia! Sensas (a French company if you hadn't noticed) sponsor our national Youth teams, thankfully... but what's the problem with English sponsoring the English then?

Bill Gates of Microsoft clearly understands what's required, when he states that if he had ONE dollar left in his pocket, he would spend it on marketing! England has one of the greatest marketing tools known to the sporting man... A WINNING TEAM! So lets start using it properly.
Wouldn't this be a much better way to present our achievements to the outside world?Wouldn't this be a much better way to present our achievements to the outside world?Our media is a shop window, responsible for how our sport is perceived and should at all times remember that. While angling in certain countries may be viewed as a type of 'bloodsport', that doesn't alter it's appeal to millions across the globe. The media tend to be wrapped up with advertising budgets and cramming stories into minimal space, rather then promoting and instilling pride into the masses by showing off their champions to the full. I'm aware that we have all gone 'carp-mad' in this country, but that's no excuse for not blowing the trumpet as loud as possible when the occasion demands it! Match fishing may be a small niche in the overall marketplace of angling, but it's the blue riband and pinnacle of excellence in our sport which it represents.

Dave Johnson