Classic Headed Back to Oklahoma

TULSA, Okla. — B.A.S.S. and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa have signed a “Local Partnership Agreement” to present the 2016 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro March 4-6, 2016, in Tulsa and on Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees out of Grove, Okla.

Under terms of the agreement, which was announced today during a press conference revealing Tulsa as the host city for the Classic world championship, the Cherokee Nation resort complex will be the exclusive casino for the Bassmaster Classic and will host private, invitation-only events for Classic anglers, sponsors and special guests.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa will exhibit at the Classic Outdoors Expo to be held March 4-6, 2016, at the Cox Business Center, and will partner with B.A.S.S. in promoting the event.

Hard Rock is also sponsoring a portion of the popular takeoff ceremonies each competition day from Wolf Creek Ramp on Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees. The dock will be designated the “Hard Rock Dock.”

“We are extremely pleased to be working with the Cherokee Nation and the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa again this year,” said Bruce Akin, CEO of B.A.S.S., which conducts the annual “Super Bowl of Bass Fishing.” “As part of their presenting sponsorship in 2013, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino hosted some of our most enjoyable events, and I’m told that fishing fans on hand for the Classic packed their facilities during fan appreciation night.”

“We’re proud to once again partner with B.A.S.S. to bring the Bassmaster Classic back to northeast Oklahoma, and showcase Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa to the thousands of visitors to our region,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “The Cherokee Nation is known for being a strong ally in building the regional economy, and this partnership is just one more example of our commitment to that mission.”

“We couldn’t be more excited to sponsor the Bassmaster Classic for the second time, and also serve as the official casino resort complex for the event,” said Shawn Slaton, CEO of Cherokee Nation Businesses. “Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa is the premier entertainment destination in this region, with facilities rivaling those of Las Vegas. With a casino, resort, golf course, dining and concert venue, we’re sure to provide our out of town guests a world class entertainment experience.” 

The agreement also provides for advertising and promotion of Hard Rock in the industry leading fishing magazines, Bassmaster and B.A.S.S Times, as well as on the website,

Hosts of the 2016 Classic will be Tulsa Metro Chamber, VisitTulsa, Grand Lake Association and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.

The annual Bassmaster Classic tournament is considered the world’s premier fishing event, attracting an average attendance of more than 100,000 each year for the past five years. The Classic champion earns $300,000, and the 54 other competitors will divide the remainder of the $1 million payout.

About B.A.S.S.
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (, television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2), social media programs and events. For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.
The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series presented by Allstate, Old Milwaukee B.A.S.S. Nation events, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Costa Bassmaster High School Series, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro.

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