Coulterville, Ill. – When the second event of the 2009 Carrot Stix Professional Anglers Association (PAA) Tournament Series blasts off next week on Alabama’s Lake Neely Henry, Chad Morgenthaler will make history as the first tour-level pro to run a Phoenix Bass Boat in competition. He recently aligned with the Tullahoma, Tennessee boat manufacturer and his 21-foot 721 ProXP will sport the familiar Jasper Engines emblems on the front panels and a Phoenix Logo on the rear quarter-panel.

Phoenix Boats signed on as the official boat sponsor of the PAA tournament trail in early January, 2009.

“My efforts for the PAA have taken a lot of blood, sweat and tears and a tremendous number of hours,” said Morgenthaler, the PAA Vice President. “I believe in the cause and once we established our plans for 2010 and beyond, it was important for me personally to do business with the companies who believed in our dream. I need to do my part to support the people who support us. I have to lead by example.”

Morgenthaler cited the positive values of Phoenix President Gary Clouse, a 30 year veteran of the bass boat industry and one of the segment’s most consistent innovators, as a driving force behind his decision to sign with the relatively new company: “He’s an outstanding person with a unique business plan to deal with these difficult economic times. He has great values and I’m honored that he has allowed me to get in on the ground floor level.”

Of the company’s decision to sign Morgenthaler, Clouse said “Chad is a quality individual and will be a great asset in our marketing efforts. The exposure that he brings to the table for Phoenix in a year’s time as he travels and promotes will be huge. And in addition to being a great promoter, Chad is always near the top of the leader board and that certainly helps the total exposure package.”

But personalities alone were not enough for Morgenthaler to agree to make the switch from his prior boat company, about whom he has nothing but positive things to say. It was the opportunity to run a top-flight product with some elements of his personal stamp that convinced him that now was the right time to move.

“Any time you make a major change, it’s a difficult decision,” Morgenthaler said. “I left a lot of FLW contingency money on the table, but as Jasper drove home to me three years ago, branding yourself with the right match of partners is critical. When Gary shared with me his experience and all of the thought that went into the development of Phoenix boats, that’s what sold me. The new features, like the rotating tackle storage, livewells with backup systems and a dash that will accommodate the largest electronics are all innovative, but he also gave me the opportunity for a lot of input. The President of the company was asking me for my thoughts and that’s an opportunity I’d never had before.”

Both men encouraged any bass anglers who spot Morgenthaler at the lake to ask him to demonstrate the boat’s unique fishing features and total performance.

“I would encourage all PAA members as well as weekend anglers who are in the market for a new boat to give us a look before you make your decision,” Clouse stated. “We are producing a boat that stacks up with those made by anyone in the industry, and at an affordable price.”