FORT SMITH, Ark. – PRADCO Outdoor Brands, a leading manufacturer and marketer of fishing and hunting brands and products, has acquired legendary fishing lure brand Norman Lures, formerly of Greenwood, Arkansas.
Dick and Holly Nethers of Fort Smith have owned Norman for the past 18 years and will remain involved in a consulting capacity. Under the Nethers' leadership, Norman has continued a legacy of innovation and development with fishing lures and colors.
Norman Lures was founded by Bill Norman in the early 1960s. Some of Norman's early creations are still being marketed and used to catch fish today. These include the DD22 and Deep Little N, which continue to be standards in deep-diving crankbaits.
"I guess there comes a day in everyone's life when you look forward to retiring," Dick Nethers said. "That being said, when you are so personally connected to all the people that have been a part of your business it is hard to let go. My wife and I think of Norman like a child, and as its parents we want the best possible home for our family. We truly believe PRADCO will take Norman to the next level of technological advances, product innovation and personal customer service. When Bill Norman started his lure building career over 50 years ago, he began at PRADCO . . . so in a way it's like coming home."
The Norman Lures business will be operated from PRADCO's Fishing Division in Fort Smith. All product development, marketing, accounting, manufacturing and purchasing functions will be managed in Fort Smith. Brand Manager Chad Warner will have responsibility for Norman Lures.
PRADCO will be offering Norman Lures' most popular baits, including the DD22, the "N" Series of Crankbaits (including the Deep Little N, Little N, Deep Baby N, Deep Tiny N, Tiny N, N-XS and Mad N), the Flat Broke, Fat Boy and Speed Clips among others. Norman is also famous for its innovative "Gel Coat" finishes that incorporate heavy glitter and coatings to make an extremely reflective, beautiful and chip-resistant seal that many fishermen consider tackle box essentials.
"We definitely see upside in the Norman Lures brand," said Bruce Stanton, Vice President and General Manager of PRADCO-Fishing. "We feel its strength in deep-diving crankbaits helps complement our existing brand and product portfolio. While the freshwater bass markets in the southeastern and southwestern regions of the U.S. are the focus of Norman's product set, we also see opportunities in key international markets."
Norman Lures will now be sold and represented by the PRADCO Outdoor Brands Sales Group. As part of PRADCO, Norman Lures will be shipped to customers along with POB's entire portfolio of brands from PRADCO's distribution center in Calera, Alabama.
"We are delighted to add Norman Lures to PRADCO Fishing's portfolio of iconic brands, and we look forward to continuing the Norman legacy of producing innovative baits and exciting color combinations," said Robert Schoenvogel, PRADCO Outdoor Brands President. "Our goal at PRADCO Outdoor Brands is to grow aggressively by leveraging our recently enhanced sales, marketing, and distribution capabilities. We continue to invest heavily in new product development and organic growth across all of our brands, but acquisitions are an important part of our growth strategy. Norman Lures is a great fit for PRADCO, and I am confident that our mutual customers will be very pleased with the investment and support we have planned for the future of Norman Lures."
PRADCO Outdoor Brands is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. It operates hunting brands such as Moultrie, Summit, Code Blue and Knight & Hale and fishing brands such as Arbogast, Bandit, Bomber, Booyah, Cotton Cordell, Creek Chub, Heddon, Lindy, Rebel, Smithwick, Thill and Yum.