Saturday, March 20, 2010

Hall of Famer and former Chicago Cub Andre Dawson draws crowds at Bass Pro Shops Bolingbook

WFN: World Fishing Network, that nation’s only 24-hour fishing lifestyle TV channel, celebrated the launch of its Web site dedicated to finding Chicago’s Best Angler,, with the help of former Chicago Cub and avid fisherman—and soon to be Hall of Fame inductee—Andre Dawson last night with an autograph signing event at Bass Pro Shops (709 Janes Ave., Bolingbrook; 630-296-2700). More than 200 Chicago area fans and anglers attended the event, where Dawson autographed official WFN photos.

Dawson, an avid fisherman who played six years with the Cubs and won the NL MVP with the club in 1987, will pick the lucky angler for the contest, who will win the “fishing trip of a lifetime” with Dawson to a fishing hole to be determined. The winner and Dawson will have their fishing adventure covered by a WFN crew, and it will air on the network, giving the lucky winner a rare chance to appear on national television. The grand prize also includes $1,000 in cash and WFN merchandise.

Anglers and fans who visited the store during the event met their baseball hero, received a special autographed Dawson photo, and had the opportunity to sign up for the contest, which runs through April 15. Attendees also used laptops at the store to send e-mails to area cable providers Comcast and DirecTV to demand WFN.

Chicago and area fans are encouraged to go to to enter for their chance to win. To bolster their chances of winning, entrants are encouraged to make sure their friends and family “rate” their entry on the site. Entrants are also encouraged to promote their entry on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites, to help garner support. To enter, fans must tell the network and Dawson in 200 words or less what they love about fishing in the Chicago area and why they are Chicago’s best angler. Entrants are also encouraged to include a photo with entry. Dawson will select the winner, to be announced in late April.

The site also includes blogs from local anglers, photos and video content, all relevant to anglers in the area.

“We’d like to thank Bass Pro Shops and of course Andre Dawson for helping WFN celebrate our Chicago Web site launch and our search for Chicago’s Best Angler,” said WFN CEO Mark Rubinstein at the event. “This has been an incredible turnout, and we thank the anglers and fans in the Chicago area for demanding WFN from their providers.”

Fishing in Illinois is big business, and massive participation. More than 873,000 people fish in Illinois each year, spending more than 16 million days fishing total related expenditures at more than $774 million.*

WFN already has become a popular channel in other surrounding fishing markets, launching on Charter in Wisconsin, a popular fishing destination for many Chicagoans, Xfinity (Comcast) has added WFN to its lineup in Michigan markets such as Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing and Flint.

WFN’s high definition channel, WFN HD, is available in the Chicago area on DISH Network (channel 394) and AT&T U-verse (channel 1679).

WFN is also available nationally on satellite TV provider DISH Network, AT&T U-verse, Charter Communications, Verizon Fios among other distributors.

Photo: World Fishing Network CEO Mark Rubinstein, former Chicago Cub Andre Dawson, and Chris Doyle, vice president of WFN marketing. Photos taken at Bass Pro Shops Bolingbrook store March 19 during a promotion to support the launch of WFN in the Chicago market.
Photo credit: Ernest J. Schweit, Kurman Communications, Inc.

Denaer's children from Naperville with baseball great, former Chicago Cub, Hall of Famer and avid angler Andre Dawson at Bass Pro Shops in Bolingbrook for the World Fishing Network.

Photo by: Ernest J. Schweit, Kurman Communications, Inc.

Denaer children of Naperville proudly display their personally signed Andre Dawson photo.
Photo by: Ernest J. Schweit, Kurman Communications, Inc.

WFN: World Fishing Network team with Kurman Communications staff and baseball great Andre Dawson after a full day of media activities and autograph signing at Bass Pro Shops in Bolingbrook, IL yesterday.
Photo by: Ernest J. Schweit, Kurman Communications, Inc.

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