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The EMC Golf Skills Challenge will expand to the international market with the creation of the EMC Golf Skills European Challenge. MA-based Woolf Golf orchestrated the sponsorship association for EMC, which will be the title sponsor of the event when it debuts May 18 at the Wentworth Club outside of London. The announcement was made jointly by NBC Sports Ventures and TX-based Streetball Partners Int'l, which will own and operate the Wentworth event. The event will be sanctioned by the European PGA Tour and U.K.- based NBC Supersports will handle event sponsorship packages and coordinate int'l TV coverage and syndication (Woolf). EMC SQUARED: EMC, which saw revenues of $2.94B in '97, is "embracing golf as a vehicle for delivering its branding message," according to BRANDWEEK's Tobi Elkin, who examines EMC's sponsorship of the Skills Challenge in its "Brand Builders" section. Last year's golf event helped EMC close $25-$30M in business, and gave the company a platform to break a new TV spot that "helped illustrate the connection between information and golf." Phil Sloan, Woolf Associates Managing Director/Marketing, said that in addition to the new European event, plans "are to explore an event in the Far East" in 1999, "at the earliest" (BRANDWEEK, 3/30).
The NCAA Div. I Men's Hockey Championship begins its Final Four weekend today at the FleetCenter in Boston, marking the first major college championship in Boston since '74, according to Gregg Krupa of the BOSTON GLOBE. The Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau (GBCVB) says the event "will generate" $11.6-$13.4M for the local economy. FleetCenter President & CEO Richard Krezwick: "It's been our goal from the start to attract a premier event of national magnitude every year. This is really the first event that tests that ability." About 11,000 people from outside MA and 9,500 from outside New England will attend the event, with one-third of the visitors staying for three or more days. Since hockey is so expensive to play, its demographics "have always been high end." The GBCVB says that more than 25% of fans attending the NCAA games earn more than $85,000 per year (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/2).