It’s been over three months since wunderkind Brandon Palaniuk claimed the Elite Series Angler of the Year title. He certainly deserves some downtime after an incredible season, and I’m sure he’s been the opposite of idle, but nevertheless he’s been an incredibly quiet AOY.
If certain of his Elite counterparts didn’t make the most of a title campaign, it wouldn’t necessarily be a surprise. We’ve seen it with some past Classic winners and AOYs, who have done little to make hay while the sun shined, either because they didn’t know how, or because they just didn’t care. But BP clearly does not fall into either of those two categories. From the very beginning, his career has been a model of how to turn every instance, every handicap, and every success into a media-friendly moment, without seeming insincere or like he’s trying too hard. From the “Tundra Suites” to having his own camera crew on tour, he’s committed to getting every bit of personal and promotional value out of his success.
The only inkling I’ve gotten that something might be in the works was a recent – and typically classy – post on social media that Rigid Industries will not be his title sponsor in 2018 (although they will still support him), but there has been no further indication that he’s replaced them in the money position. There have been plenty of posts referencing his partnership with Cabela’s, and normally they’d seem like a logical title sponsor for him, but in the post-BPS-merger era, I have no idea if that’s feasible for them. Nevertheless, I suspect that he’s going to break out some big news sometime shortly after the New Year. He’s too savvy, too marketable, and too right now for that not to happen.
Unlike some other pros’ deals, about which I’ve been sworn to secrecy, I don’t have any insider knowledge of what BP is going to do, but I’m confident that he’s not one who’s going to let this opportunity go to waste, even though his trophy case seems likely to continue to fill up in the years to come.