The SFC Was Launched In An Effort to Showcase the Sport of Saltwater Fishing
The Sport Fishing Championship was launched in an effort to showcase the sport of saltwater fishing, positively impact the local economies of our championship towns and continuously improve our championship tournaments around a championship competition. Each of our proud SFC events is sewn into the fabric of incredible fishing towns, rich with history and championship pedigree. It is our mission to use our tournaments and our platforms to create a world-class experience for our anglers, corporate partners, fans, families, volunteers, and staff.
- Championship towns
- Championship Experience
- Championship Competition
The SFC's "championship formula" is simple: we produce events in "championship towns," to deliver a "championship experience" around a "championship competition." Our team works with the relentless pursuit of delivering greatness across these three areas while creating an international competition that will award "one champion" across our four competitive divisions.
Educating the "next generation" of anglers in the areas of marine sciences and responsible angling are two of the fundamental principles of the Sport Fishing Championship. Each of our tournaments works alongside their local, state, and federal environmental protection and gaming agencies to uphold the highest standards in sport fishing.
We hope to see you at your nearest Championship Tournament, or at one of the Championship Towns that make the Sport Fishing Championship the most prestigious event in sport fishing.
The Sport Fishing Championship is managed annually by the volunteer contributions of our outstanding SFC Board Members and championship staff. The following individuals have contributed their time to the betterment of the sport of offshore fishing and to further the mission of the Sport Fishing Championship:
Sport fishing championship staff
Mark Neifeld is the President, CEO and Commissioner of the Sport Fishing Championship. In 2021, he founded the world's largest saltwater fishing championship series with a goal to "bring people together through world-class competition." As a native of Sarasota, Florida, Neifeld was driven by his passion for saltwater angling and his professional experience working on some of the country's most notable championship events. Neifeld's career includes front office executive roles with the Dallas Cowboys, Tampa Bay Lightning, Georgia Dome and as a Vice President with the Texas Rangers. While CEO of Complex Sports & Entertainment, Neifeld created and launched multiple touring sports properties including Topgolf LIVE! and the Monster Energy Stadium Blitz with co-founder, Rob Gronkowski. Throughout his professional career, Neifeld has worked on championship events including the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship, the Academy of Country Music Awards, Super Bowl, multiple WWE Wrestlemanias, CONCACAF Gold Cups, championship boxing bouts, college football bowl games and many more.
Lance Gerlach joined the Sport Fishing Championship executive team in the Fall of 2021 as the Chief Revenue Officer, with the primary responsibilities of helping to build out the sales team, manage all corporate partnerships, building out all new revenue verticals that include licensing, merchandising, and NFT's. Gerlach's professional career has largely been in the world of collegiate athletics around revenue generation, both corporately and private. He had two stops as the General Manager for Learfield, managing the multi media rights business and corporate partnerships program, at both Fresno State and the University of Colorado. After 15 years in working on the external revenue side of the collegiate business, he transitioned to the internal side as the Chief Revenue Officer for the University of Colorado Athletic Department having responsibility for selling premium area naming rights, venue naming rights and building out new revenue streams centered around non-athletic events. His most recent position before joining the SFC was at the Senior Associate Athletic Director, Assistant Vice Chancellor for the University of Colorado Athletic Department overseeing the private and philanthropic fundraising unit, Buff Club.
David has spent 25+ years turning his entrepreneurial energy into successful business partnerships for some of the biggest properties and brands in sports and entertainment. He has launched and developed numerous media driven franchises, including several in the outdoor sports industry, utilizing traditional and new media to deliver first-of-its-kind programming and content to fans and partners. He began his career with outdoor television powerhouse JM Associates, where he produced ESPN Outdoors and helped launch properties including The Redfish Cup, The Madfin Shark Series and College Bass. David was also instrumental in establishing outdoor content on ESPN.com, including some of the earliest branded content on the platform. He then spent more than 10 years with sports and entertainment marketing agency You Are Here (formerly CSE). where his purview included social and digital media, public relations, experiential marketing, diversity and inclusion and a technology lab.
Kali Williams is an energetic, client-focused leader at Sport Fishing Championship, whose priority is to deliver world-class experiences for her customers. She models her craft based on her years of experience working in the National Football League with the Miami Dolphins, and in various roles at major events including the Miami Open, Super Bowl LIV, College Football Playoff National Championship Game, NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship and NFL Draft. Kali is does not shy away from opportunities to challenge herself personally - she earned her MBA from Florida Atlantic University while working simultaneously for the Dolphins. She enjoys working in sports and entertainment because it is an opportunity to unite diverse people from different places and different cultures.
Sport Fishing Championship Tournament Directors
Robert Carter IV
Louisiana Gulf Coast Billfish ClassicGrand Isle, Louisiana
Club Nautico de Santo Domingo White Marlin TournamentPunta Cana, Dominican Republic
NEFMA Bluewater TournamentSt. Augustine, Florida
Gulf Coast MastersOrange Beach, Alabama
Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish ClassicBiloxi, Mississipp
Emerald Coast Blue Marlin ClassicDestin, Florida
Oak Bluffs Bluewater ClassicMartha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Texas International Fishing TournamentSouth Padre Island, Texas
International Billfish TournamentSan Juan, Puerto Rico