Malcolm Stewart keeps luring in the good news to start the Supercross season, snagging sponsorship from a company that aligns with a personal passion.
On the heels of a fifth place in his debut Saturday with Star Racing Yamaha factory team, the 450 AMA Monster Energy Supercross rider announced on Instagram that he had signed a personal services deal with Abu Garcia, which has been making high-quality fishing rods and reels for nearly 80 years.
Stewart, who loves fishing nearly as much as dirt bikes, said he had been working for about two months on the deal, which was signed through the rest of the year and will renew annually “as long as I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.”
It’s unusual for riders to attract companies outside of the Supercross community, and the sponsorship enhances Stewart’s mainstream appeal as the only active Black athlete in the 450 division.
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“I’m so pumped; this is probably one of the coolest sponsorships I’ve ever done,” Stewart said during a Zoom news conference Monday. “Especially something that’s outside moto, for one, and two, everybody knows, if you know who Malcolm Stewart is, you know me growing up fishing, the fact that I actually sealed the deal is cool.
“I told all my buddies and some of the guys at Star, they’re like, ‘No way, Abu Garcia! I got a bunch of rods and reels with them.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’m pumped.’”
Stewart said he was approached by Abu Garcia, which naturally noticed the preponderance of largemouth bass in his IG feed.
“With me posting a lot of pictures on Instagram with big fish, it just caught their eye, and they reached out to me,” he said. “And we just kind of sealed the deal and just made it happen. It’s just cool to have a different sponsorship that’s outside of moto, especially with something I’m involved in. I’m more than happy about it.”