Rapala, the world’s most successful fishing lure and Otter Outdoors, ice fishing industry leader and manufacturer of the highest grade portable ice fishing sleds and shelters on the globe, have formed a strategic partnership.

The agreement, which will formally begin April 1, 2013, forms a mutually beneficial sales, marketing and distribution partnership that will augment and empower the newly formed Ice Force™ ice fishing brand, uniting industry powerhouses Rapala, Sufix, StrikeMaster, MarCum Technologies, and Otter Outdoors.

In the partnership, Otter maintains all responsibility for product development, production and customer service. Rapala assumes all sales, marketing and distribution rights of Otter Outdoors products.

“Otter has been a marketing partner with Strikemaster and Marcum for many years,” stated Otter Outdoors CEO and president Brian Evenson. “Continuing and expanding upon these partnerships with a celebrated company like Rapala is a natural. This potent alliance allows us to concentrate on Otter’s strength of superior product development while leveraging Rapala’s renowned talent in sales, marketing and distribution. We’re extremely excited to be able to maintain ‘business as usual’ at Otter, while benefitting from Rapala’s legendary influence in the sportfishing arena.”

“Otter has long been the undisputed leader in the development of the highest quality, innovative portable ice fishing sleds and shelters in the business,” says Tom Mackin, president of Rapala USA. “When we first sought a shelter partner for Ice Force, feedback among our industry insiders was unanimous: Otter simply makes the finest gear in its category. This partnership allows us to provide anglers with an even greater blend of leading-edge products, both for open water and ice fishing.

Evenson adds: “From a consumer perspective, each of our brands will retain their autonomy, while presenting distributors and dealers with a powerhouse purchasing option that can meet most of their key product needs through one simple distribution network.”

Otter Outdoors, manufacturer of the popular Otter Fish House and Otter Sled, remains committed to building the highest quality innovative ice fishing equipment in the industry. Otter’s ultra durable Pro and Wild Sleds are used and abused by more ice anglers than any other brand. A full range of portable shelters, from the toasty warm Xtreme Thermal to the perennially popular Cabin, Cottage and Lodge provide frozen water fishermen with the ultimate in comfort, portability and organization on ice.

Rapala was unofficially founded in 1936 when Lauri Rapala invented the Rapala fishing lure. Rapala has grown from humble beginnings to become a market leader in the fishing tackle industry. The Rapala brand’s functionality and high quality are known by fishermen around the world. Rapala maintains its strict standards of craftsmanship while delivering its fishing products to anglers in more than 130 countries.

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