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New Rapala man completes ‘full circle’


Following its recent acquisition of 13 Fishing and last year’s launch of the Crush City lure brand, Rapala VMC has appointed Mike Baumgartner as Regional Sales Manager for the western US.

“With the addition of 13 Fishing and Crush City, we are looking forward to growing our strong portfolio of brands with Mike’s expertise,” said Travis Tuma, VP of Sales for Rapala VMC.

“He brings a deep grassroots understanding of what customers want and expect from manufacturers.”

Baumgartner will work with retail partners to market all Rapala VMC brands sold in the US, including Storm, Blue Fox, Luhr-Jensen and Williamson lures, StrikeMaster ice fishing augers and apparel, VMC hooks and terminal tackle, Sufix line and leaders, Crush City softbaits, and 13 Fishing rods and reels.

During his time at St. Cloud State University, Baumgartner worked at Scheels as a fishing and hunting sales associate. He later joined Pure Fishing as a Key Account Manager, working with dealers and national accounts to grow sales in all fishing categories.

“I’ve been using Rapala lures since I was a kid, so this feels like coming full circle,” added Baumgartner, who grew up in Minnesota fishing for bass, walleyes and muskie.

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