Bass Pro Shops

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BPS Direct, LLC
Bass Pro Shops
Founded1971; 48 years ago (1971)
FounderJohn Morris
Number of locations
177 (including 82 Cabela's)
Key people
John Morris Founder and CEO
James (Jim) Hagale President & COO
ProductsHunting, fishing, and outdoor merchandise
RevenueDecreaseUS$ 4 billion (2018)[1]
Number of employees

BPS Direct, LLC (doing business as Bass Pro Shops) is an American privately held retailer of hunting, fishing, camping and related outdoor recreation merchandise. Bass Pro Shops supports and sells merchandise for the National Audubon Society.


Bass Pro Shops at the Memphis Pyramid
Bass Pro Shops at Vaughan Mills

The majority owner, John Morris, began his career in sporting goods with a fishing section in the back of a Brown Derby liquor store owned by his father, located in Springfield MO on the road to Table Rock Lake and Branson, Missouri. That small fishing department sold homemade bait and worms, proving popular enough that Bass Pro Shops was incorporated in 1971. These homemade baits were so popular that many people wanted the opportunity to buy these when they had returned home. Thus began the Bass Pro Shops catalog, first mailed in 1974. Soon, it became the world's largest mail order sporting goods store.

In 1975, to meet the burgeoning demand for Bass Pro Shops exclusive products, American Rod and Gun was established. Acting as a separate wholesaling entity ARG serves more than 7,000 independently owned retail stores worldwide. In 1977, Bass Pro Shops introduced the first fish-ready complete boat motor and trailer package with the Bass Tracker. In 1984, construction began on the Outdoor World Catalog Showroom in Springfield, Missouri. Big Cedar Lodge opened in 1988 on Table Rock Lake.

In 1995, Bass Pro Shops Sportsman's Warehouse opened in Atlanta, Georgia, its first store outside the state of Missouri. In November 2001, taking advantage of Outdoor World's popularity as a tourist destination, the Wonders of Wildlife museum was opened next door to the store in Springfield.[2][3] The Wonders of Wildlife Museum & Aquarium closed for renovation in 2007. As of October 2016 it is still closed with an expected reopening by the end of the year. Bass Pro Shops has announced that the grand reopening of the Wonders of Wildlife museum will take place on September 21, 2017.[4]

In 2015, Bass Pro Shops opened a store inside the Memphis Pyramid, a former sports arena and concert venue in Memphis, Tennessee. In addition to the retail store itself, the building houses two restaurants, a bowling alley, a 100-room hotel, an observation deck, and the tallest free-standing elevator in America. At 535,000 sq ft, The Pyramid is Bass Pro's largest store.

In October 2016, Bass Pro Shops announced that they had reached a deal to acquire competitor Cabela's for $5.5 billion. The deal is being financed via preferred equity financing from Goldman Sachs and Pamplona. Goldman Sachs will contribute $1.8 billion towards financing and Pamplona will contribute the remainder for a total commitment of $2.4 billion.[13] The new entity is expected to be formed and in operation in Q1 or Q2 of 2017.[5] The new entity will keep Cabela's base in Sidney and Lincoln, Nebraska. Morris will continue as CEO of the new entity. He will also be the majority shareholder of the new privately held entity. Tommy Milner stressed that the company had reviewed a range of options that would maximize value, with the board choosing to go the route of Bass Pro Shops.

House brands[edit]

Bass Pro Shops carries a number of house brands. Among these are:

  • Archenemy
  • Ascend
  • API
  • Bass Pro Shops
  • Bio-everything
  • Black Out
  • Bob Timberlake
  • Dark Star
  • Johnny Morris Reels
  • Natural Reflections
  • Offshore Angler
  • Occulus
  • ProQualifier
  • RangeMaxx
  • Red Head
  • Uncle Buck's
  • White River Fly Shop
  • Worldwide Sportsman
  • XPSpistols
  • XTS

White River Marine Group[edit]

For the article on the company, see Tracker Marine Group.

In 1978, Bass Pro Shops introduced the Bass Tracker boat, produced by the Tracker Marine Group, renamed the White River Marine Group in 2018. Its brands include Tracker Boats, Nitro, Sun Tracker, Tahoe, Fisher, ProCraft, Kenner, Mako Myacht and SeaCraft.[2]

Retail stores[edit]

Bass Pro Shops has 94 existing stores in the United States as well as Canada (specifically the western provinces and southern Ontario). The store sizes range from 20,000 square feet (1,900 m2) up to 535,000 square feet (49,700 m2). The largest flagship stores are known as Outdoor World stores. The decor of the stores includes taxidermy mounts native to the local area. All stores have an indoor water feature that showcases fish species that are indigenous to the area. The fish in their tanks are game fish of great size. In some of these aquariums, professional anglers and store pro-staff hold demonstrations showing the use of an artificial bait. They catch the fish in these tanks to show how well the bait works. Bass Pro Shops is also known for its Outdoor Skills Workshops, teaching skills as varied as fly fishing, Dutch oven cooking, archery hunting with an archery range in the store, and GPS navigation. They hold many skills workshops with the top names in the outdoor world.[2]

The Rancho Cucamonga, California Outdoor World store is used for the exterior shots of the fictional "Outdoor Man" store in the ABC sitcom Last Man Standing, starring Tim Allen, that premiered in 2011. Camera crews have also visited the store several times to film interior shots.[6]

NRA National Sporting Arms Museum[edit]

After nearly a decade of work by the NRA and Bass Pro Shops, the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum opened in the flagship store in Springfield, Missouri on August 2, 2013. It showcases almost 1,000 sporting artifacts from the 1600s to today, including some historically significant firearms from the NRA Museum Collection. The museum will host firearms and artwork from the Remington Arms Company factory collection, a multimillion-dollar collection of U.S. military sidearms, engraved Colt revolvers of the American frontier, the guns of Annie Oakley and firearms of U.S. Presidents like Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower.[7]

Affiliation with NASCAR[edit]

Bass Pro Shops and its owner, John Morris, have had a longtime interest in NASCAR racing. The company has sponsored such racers as Dale Earnhardt, Kerry Earnhardt, and Martin Truex Jr. Truex won the 2004 and 2005 Busch Series championships in the No. 8 Bass Pro Shops-sponsored Chevy, and drove the No. 1 Chevy for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing in the Sprint Cup series from 2005 to 2009. He got his first win at Dover International Speedway and finished 11th in the Chase for the Nextel Cup in 2007. While Truex, Jr. renewed with Bass Pro Shops as his main sponsor for three years in 2007. In 2009, he announced he would be leaving Earnhardt Ganassi Racing for Michael Waltrip Racing in 2010. Jamie McMurray, former driver of the Roush Fenway Racing Crown Royal Ford Fusion and who is from Joplin, MO (approx. 60 miles away from the national headquarters in Springfield), replaced Truex, Jr. for the 2010 season.

McMurray won the 2010 Daytona 500 in his first race driving in the Bass Pro Shops-sponsored Chevrolet. He followed that up by winning the 2010 Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis, making him the 3rd driver to win both races in the same season. He also won the 2010 Bank of America 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

In the Xfinity Series, Bass Pro Shops was the main sponsor for the No. 3 car driven by Ty Dillon. Also in the Truck Series, Bass Pro Shops sponsors the No. 32 truck driven by Ryan Truex.[8]

Beginning with the 2013 season, Bass Pro Shops signed a multi-year agreement to be the primary sponsor for the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet SS driven by three-time Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart.

Bass Pro Shops reunited with Martin Truex Jr. in 2016 to be the primary sponsor of the No. 78 Furniture Row Sprint Cup car at the Daytona 500 and eight more races during the 2016 season. In 2017, Truex won his first Cup championship, with Bass Pro Shops as his sponsor.

Also in 2016, Bass Pro Shops became the primary sponsor of the August race at Bristol Motor Speedway, one of the most iconic events in NASCAR. The event is now known as the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race.

In the 2005 Disney film Herbie: Fully Loaded, Bass Pro Shops is one of two main sponsors of Ray Peyton Jr. (the other being Tracker Boats which Bass Pro Shops owns) Herbie also later receives a Bass Pro Shops sticker on his left rear fender.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "#45 Bass Pro Shops". Forbes. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "About Us - The story of Bass Pro Shops". 2012-10-25. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
  3. ^ Bear, David (June 12, 2011). "When flooding washes out an Ozark fishing trip, we tackle Big Cedar Resort and the Bass Pro Shops". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved June 12, 2011.
  4. ^ "Home - Wonders of Wildlife - Springfield, Missouri". Wonders of Wildlife. Retrieved 2015-06-23.
  5. ^ "Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's To Merge in $5.5 Billion Deal - CoStar Group". Retrieved 2016-10-08.
  6. ^ "Outdoor view of Outdoor Man looks familiar". Archived from the original on 2013-07-28. Retrieved 2014-02-23.
  7. ^ "NRA opens Midwest museum showing nearly 1,000 firearms". Reuters. Archived from the original on 3 August 2013. Retrieved 3 August 2013.
  8. ^ "Ryan Truex Returns to Turner Scott Motorsports for NCWTS Race at Daytona". SpeedwayMedia. Turner Scott Motorsports. February 10, 2014. Retrieved February 10, 2014.

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