The "dots" are returning to the name and products of the organization that's been serving bass anglers worldwide for more than 40 years.
The subtle name change from BASS to B.A.S.S. is an affirmation of the company's grass roots, said Jerry McKinnis, who with Don Logan and Jim Copeland acquired B.A.S.S. from ESPN on Nov. 1. "We want to get this back to being a friendlier organization, a we're-here-to-do-whatever-we-need-to-do-to-make-you-happy organization," McKinnis said. "To me, that's what those dots mean. It means we're back to where we used to be a long time ago … to where we make everybody feel like this is a very warm and fuzzy group of new owners who want to know about the members."
Originally the company was the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society, the name founder Ray Scott created for his fledgling startup in 1968. As the company grew, the abbreviation B.A.S.S., spelled with periods and all capital letters, was adopted. After ESPN bought the company in 2001, the periods were removed during a broad-based rebranding campaign
Many Federation Nation clubs and state organizations, however, retained the periods in their official names and on patches. "The Federation Nation is a big part of what I'm talking about," McKinnis said. "They kind of feel like they've been forsaken — and by that, I don't mean to be disparaging about ESPN, because ESPN was wonderful, but they were awfully big folks to be getting down with the Federation Nation and making them feel important."
The name change will be reflected in all B.A.S.S. products.
"We're not going to go chucking all of our letterheads and so on, but over time we'll have everything changed back to B.A.S.S. — with dots," he said.