To boost their public profile and reputation, some logistics services companies seek to associate themselves with the bright lights and excitement of mainstream professional sports by sponsoring pro athletes. Golf is a popular option; examples include Ryder System Inc. launching an ad campaign with the fortuitously named professional golfer Sam Ryder (no relation), and forklift maker Mitsubishi Logisnext Americas Group backing the golfer Ayaka Furue.
But DHL Express set its sights on an unusual sport: The expedited delivery firm recently announced it will sponsor the professional bass fisherman Takumi Ito. Ito will soon wade into competition in the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament and in the Bassmaster Classic, known as the “Super Bowl of Bass Fishing.” As Ito competes against other anglers, he shows the same “passion and can-do spirit” that drive DHL’s winning formula, the company said. And with every lure he casts, Ito will show off DHL Express’s distinctive corporate colors, which appear on his bass boat, fishing gear, and clothing—and even his pickup truck.In return for its backing, DHL hopes to hook new fans in both Japan and the U.S. “We decided to sponsor Ito because he’s a top player, growing beyond Japan to an international stage,” Tony Khan, president and representative director of DHL Express Japan, said in a press release. “We are truly delighted to support such motivated Japanese talent in his quest for the best performance.”
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