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Bill Jordan: The Real(tree) Outdoors

1/4/2006

CELEBRATION, Fla. — Few people have as much on their plate as Bill Jordan, but the avid hunter and host of ESPN2 Hunt Sunday's "Realtree Outdoors" is now preparing for one of the most time-consuming and rewarding projects of his career: Filming the third season of the top-rated series.

The originator of the immensely popular Realtree and Advantage camouflage brands, Jordan and his team are hard at work filming, editing and producing the next 13 episodes of the show — and they only have a little more than four months to do it.

"Realtree Outdoors" features hunting expeditions, product information, and tips from the pros. The second season is now airing Sundays at 10 a.m. ET on ESPN2. Those episodes include a hunting trip in western Kansas and south Texas. They also will re-air Saturdays at 7 a.m. on ESPN2 from January through June 2006.

"I and everyone on my staff dedicate an incredible amount of time to these shows," Jordan said. "We are passionate about being successful."

Jordan says the next season of "Realtree Outdoors" promises to be filled with exciting new adventures and stories for viewers.

"The new season will continue to have the 'ESPN flair', with an emphasis placed on storytelling rather than product demonstration," says Jordan.

"We're going to some great areas of the country, including Arizona, Texas, Colorado, and several states in the Midwest and I think the viewers appreciate the fact that these aren't 'premium trips' that the average person can't afford. If a person wants to go on the same hunt, they can."

Additionally, Jordan hosts the "Monster Bucks" hunting video series, and he oversees the creation and launch of every new camouflage pattern produced by Realtree.

Being active in so many business ventures is nothing new for this outdoorsman.

Growing up in Columbus, Ga., Jordan played football, baseball, and basketball, and also hunted and fished. A three-sport star in high school (football, basketball, and track), he accepted a scholarship to play football for University of Mississippi, receiving passes from legendary Ole Miss quarterback Archie Manning.

But Jordan's greatest accomplishment came in the early 1980s.

"I was working at my father's boat dealership, running a small business offering archery products and apparel from the back office," explains Jordan.

"I've always been an avid hunter and fisherman, with a passion for bow hunting. At the time, everyone was offering military-style camouflage, which didn't work very well in tree stands."

So Jordan set out to create a new camouflage that would emulate what's found in the wild. Jordan sat for hours one afternoon, sketching a picture of an oak tree in front of his parent's house that he used as the backdrop for his camouflage pattern.

During what has been referred to as the "camouflage revolution," Realtree was born.

After receiving favorable reviews at a hunting trade show, Realtree (originally named Spartan Archery Products) quickly grew into a giant apparel manufacturer synonymous with the outdoors.

Realtree has more than 800 licensees, including Bass Pro Shops. The company also co-sponsors Nextel Cup's No. 29 car, driven by Kevin Harvick and owned by Richard Childress Racing.

"I've always been a competitor, and I knew that if I worked hard and put my heart and soul into the company, I could be the best," Jordan says.

"I believed in myself, and because I was stubborn and would accept nothing short of perfection, Realtree became a success."

Though involved in many successful ventures, Jordan has remained dedicated to his family.

His 13-year-old son Tyler often appears on the "Realtree Outdoors" television show, as well as the "Monster Bucks" video series.

Still living in Georgia, Bill and his wife, Shannon, also spend their spring and summers watching their son play baseball. And in February, the Jordan family is expecting a new addition: a baby girl.

"I try to spend to spend as much time as I can with my family. They have always understood that I was working so hard to provide a better life for all of us. But I've dedicated myself to my family, and there is no doubt that we all love each other."