OCEAN CITY – A new short film featuring the 49th annual White Marlin Open can now be found on social media accounts as part of a national sports apparel brand campaign.
As hundreds of anglers descended on Ocean City this summer to participate in the White Marlin Open, a film crew representing Under Armour Fish climbed aboard two participating boats to gather footage for the company’s new short film, “Wide Open.”
While Under Armour Fish has been a corporate sponsor of the tournament in recent years, Zac Fox, marketing manager for the outdoor brand at Under Armour, said the Baltimore-based company was looking for more ways to get involved with the sportfishing community.
“A lot of what we’ve been working on as part of the outdoor brand is trying to integrate ourselves within the culture of sportfishing,” he said. “A lot of that entails getting a lot more up close and personal with the actual captains, mates and anglers on each boat. That’s sort of where the idea for the film came about.”
Working with Idea Ranch, the marketing agency for Under Armour Fish, a film crew followed two teams, PYY Fishing and Payload Sportfishing, as they battled it out for a chance to win big at this year’s White Marlin Open.
“For people that are at the tournament, watching at the scales, or for people who have no idea what the tournament is or live halfway across the country, it’s almost like a first-person view into what it’s like and what goes into a tournament,” said Jake Poplin, social/PR account manager for Idea Ranch.
The 13-minute film, Poplin said, not only features the fishing action offshore, but the preparation that goes into the tournament.
“Overall, I think it’s a different viewpoint into what it’s like,” he said. “Everyone else knows it as just them bringing fish back to the scale. But there’s a lot of hard work, grit and determination that goes into actually being able to catch a fish.”
Fox said the goal of the film is not just to promote the Under Armour Fish brand, but to highlight the high-stakes environment of the White Marlin Open and the 400-plus boats, big and small, that enter the tournament.
“I think this past year was the highest purse that the White Marlin Open has seen, something like $9 million,” he said. “I don’t think I can visualize what $9 million looks like, but I’m sure a lot of these anglers can.”
He continued, “They see it in the fish they are able to pull up, or the lack of fish they are able to pull up. It’s such a gamble that these guys will hang out five days on the water … It’s heightened tension, it’s heightened excitement. There’s a lot more thrill to it than we actually see.”
“This is the pinnacle of sportfishing, to say you won the White Marlin Open,” he said. “I think for a lot of these anglers, captains and mates, there’s nothing better. It’s like winning the Super Bowl.”
Last Friday, Under Armour Fish shared “Wide Open” to its social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. The film has also been shared by the Maryland Food Bank – which receives thousands of pounds of fresh fish through the annual tournament – and sponsored athletes.