Iconic fishing brand is endorsed by Jimmy Houston
Toby Keith has acquired Luck E Strike, a bait and tackle brand name as ingrained with top tier anglers as it is with weekend recreationalists. Endorsed by National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Famer Jimmy Houston and operated by sporting goods industry vets Jeff Williams (General Manager) and Todd Hempen (Operations Manager), the company is relaunching this summer with a new focus on its traditional American made division in Greenwood, AR, while maintaining the current assortments sold nationwide, as well as a new slogan: “An American Original Since 1970.”
For the singer of “Made in America,” Luck E Strike occupies a special place in the world of outdoor sports. “They’ve got a lot of history,” Keith says. “It’s actually one of the earliest fishing brands that is universally stocked in national retailers.”
In the bass fishing world Luck E Strike is well known for tackle kits, hand crafted crank baits, and its Redman Spinner Bait. The latter was designed by Houston who used it successfully for decades and led to his two 1st Place Finishes at the Bassmaster Classic. Trading in its prior yellow and black packaging, the Redman Spinner will be the first lure to lead the company’s new red, white, and blue packaged product line in the coming months. Details and timeline are forthcoming.
The host of the 46-year running Jimmy Houston Outdoors television show is the company’s biggest brand ambassador. “Jimmy is one of about three big legends in the fishing world,” Keith says. “He has been a spokesperson for Luck E Strike for decades, and started building his Redman Spinners out of diaper pins and selling them to Walmart.”
Houston asserts this acquisition will make an impact in the world of fishing. “In addition to being one of the best singers and songwriters, Toby Keith is an incredible patriot,” he says. “Tying those two together in an American lure company known for making outstanding bass and crappie lures at great prices is so exciting. As his friend, I’m happy seeing the fire in his eyes over this company. It’s a big deal for the fishing industry as a whole to have him involved and bringing this brand back to where it ought to be.”
Having fallen on hard times, the company had been in disarray. “They needed a new focus and vision and I happened to be standing at the door ready to pick up the pieces,” Keith says. “I’ve got a house on a lake where they hold a lot of fishing tournaments, and I became friends with Jeff, who has built two big tackle brands,” he continues. “He reached out and told me Luck E Strike was for sale, and he was as interested as I am in rebuilding it.”
Williams is an accomplished angler, bait and tackle developer, and businessman whose brands have included Team Catfish and Fle Fly. “Everyone knows Luck E Strike and its industry-leading lures,” Williams says. “It’s a working folk’s brand and Toby Keith is the right person at the right time to build this thing back up. We’re already hard at work rebuilding wholesale relationships and vetting tackle manufacturer’s domestically and abroad. Luck E Strike will be a global tackle brand, with Toby’s involvement.”
Hempen has more than 30 years of retail and supply chain experience with some of the biggest names in sporting goods, including Bass Pro Shops, Walmart, and Amazon. “I am honored to be working with Toby and this team to revitalize the Luck E Strike brand,” Hempen says. “This is going to be a big deal for Toby’s fans and the faithful Luck E Strike customers.”
Known for his prodigious work ethic, Keith is ready to go. “This team is so good and the brand and product speak for themselves,” he says. “Through the years Luck E Strike has sold hundreds of SKUs nationally at major retailers. Unfortunately, that business has dwindled some but we’re going to build that back up, add some rod-and-reel combos, apparel, fishing tools, and tackle systems. We will put this brand back at the level it deserves.”
“I’m a nostalgic guy and that’s part of it, but this is great stuff,” he continues. “I know a bunch of pro anglers and they’re all telling me if I can get them the stuff, they’ll fish with it.” With the expertise and marketing muscle Toby Keith is investing, it’s a safe bet they won’t be the only ones using and having success with Luck E Strike lures.