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Major League Fishing’s Kathy Fennel Named 2023 Game Changer by Sports Business Journal

MLF Executive Vice President and General Manager Recognized in SBJ’s 13thAnnual Class of Game Changers: Women in Sports Business

BENTON, Ky. (July 26, 2023) – Kathy Fennel, Major League Fishing’s Executive Vice President and General Manager, has been named to Sports Business Journal’s 2023 class of SBJ Game Changers: Women in Sports Business.

SBJ first launched Game Changers: Women in Sports Business in 2011, with a focus on telling the stories of successful women who have played key roles in their respective fields in the sports industry. Fennel and fellow honorees are acknowledged for their contributions as executives, for introducing innovative approaches and ideas to sports business, for leading significant projects and programs and serving as mentors and leaders to other women in the industry.

For more than 40 years, Fennel has been a leading voice in the world of competitive bass fishing, steadily rising through the ranks to become one of the most influential people in the fishing industry. She has broken new ground for recreational and professional anglers alike and helped build the sport of bass fishing from a fragmented collection of regional tournaments into a multi-billion-dollar industry. Her efforts have had a positive impact on anglers across all skill levels, spanning from high school and college students to weekend enthusiasts, and most notably professional anglers competing for millions of dollars in prize money each year.

Fennel oversees day-to-day operations for the entire Major League Fishing (MLF) organization, which includes seven MLF circuits, headlined by the Bass Pro Tour. Under her leadership, MLF produces more than 250 events annually, resulting in televised events that reach more than 20 million viewers with programming across five major television networks. In 2022, Fennel was inducted into the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame.

“I’m excited to join the 2023 SBJ Game Changers class and feel honored that my passion and efforts in a sport that I love have been recognized,” said Fennel. “I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to work alongside other powerful women through the years and to have worked for organizations that are supportive of women in our industry. Congratulations to my fellow honorees and the entire SBJ Game Changers class of 2023.”

Fennel was one of 50 women selected, joining leaders from organizations including the NFL, NBA, NHL, WWE, PGA, professional teams, media companies, marketing agencies and more.

“We are incredibly proud of Kathy and the legacy she continues to create for women in our sport,” said Boyd Duckett, MLF President and CEO. “Her selfless service through the years and ability to lead by example have paved the way for future generations of women and there is no one more deserving of this honor. We are thrilled to be able to celebrate with her.”

SBJ will profile members of the 2023 class of Game Changers in the upcoming Sept. 25 issue. Honorees will also be recognized at the SBJ Game Changers Conference, Oct. 24, at the Marriott Marquis Times Square in New York City.

For more details and updated information on Major League Fishing, its tournaments, and sponsors, visit For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF’s social media outlets at Facebook, TwitterInstagram and YouTube.

About Major League Fishing
Major League Fishing (MLF) is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, producing more than 250 events annually at some of the most prestigious fisheries in the world, while broadcasting to America’s living rooms on CBS, the Discovery Channel, the Outdoor Channel, CBS Sports Network, the World Fishing Network and on-demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV). Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, the MLF roster of bass anglers includes the world’s top pros and more than 30,000 competitors in all 50 states and 13 countries. Since its founding in 2011, MLF has advanced the sport of competitive fishing through its premier television broadcasts and livestreams and is dedicated to improving the quality of life for bass through research, education, fisheries enhancement and fish care.