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EASY RYDER: BIZ IN HUB SHOULD BE BUZZING SURROUNDING EVENT
Published September 22, 1999
The 33rd Ryder Cup begins Friday in Brookline, MA, and the BOSTON HERALD's Michael Lasalandra wrote that the event is "expected to gross" $150M. Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau President Patrick Moscaritolo: "This is the largest sporting event that Boston has seen in terms of spending power." Companies including BankBoston and Wellington Management "snapped up the biggest corporate tents" for $500,000 each, and 57 other firms paid $250,000 each for smaller tents "to reward their top customers." BankBoston rented Newton (MA)-based Charles River Country Club for $500,000, while IMG has "leased" the West Newton Brae Burn Country Club so its clients can "play in a one-day tournament with Arnold Palmer" (BOSTON HERALD, 9/20). In Boston, Greg Gatlin reported that companies are "expected to spend" $35M on entertainment during the Ryder Cup (BOSTON HERALD, 9/20). The GLOBE's Syre & Stein reported that other companies at the Ryder Cup include Gillette, Fidelity Investments, John Hancock Mutual Life, New England Financial, State Street and MA Financial Services. Companies going for the Ryder Cup's "international reach" include IBM, Pepsi and Johnnie Walker (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/21). MERCHANDISE SALES: PGA Dir of Merchandising Susan Hickman "estimated" that sales at the Ryder Cup Golf Shop could be in the "multimillions." Vendors "suggested sales" could be between $10-15M (BOSTON HERALD, 9/22). CUP OVERFLOWS: PGA Tour telecom sponsor Sprint will provide telephone and communications service during the Ryder Cup. Each business center will have three IBM computers with "high-speed Internet access" (Andrea Stape, METROWEST DAILY NEWS, 9/21)....In Boston, McLaughlin & Gatlin report that the PGA was hoping to ban small aircraft flights over the event, but the FAA "wasn't going along with the PGA's request." Monster.com said that it "plans to fly its blimp." Metropolitan Life's blimp, with the Snoopy logo and NBC camera, is allowed to fly (BOSTON HERALD, 9/22). THE DEBATE RAGES ON: U.S. team member Justin Leonard said the team would answer no more questions about the play- for-pay issue. Leonard: "No more questions" (CNN/SI, 9/21). FROM THE MEDIA'S VIEWPOINT: In Boston, Jim Baker wrote that with the "international media crunch," only Boston TV stations "were credentialed among local TV outlets" around the U.S. which "frustrates" nearby affiliates such as Providence. WCVB Sports Dir Mike Fernandez: "The control over this event is as tight as any I've ever seen. We can't use highlights except inside sportscasts." Baker reported that NBC is "projecting" 40 million people will "watch all or part" of the Ryder Cup (BOSTON HERALD, 9/21). Also in Boston, Howard Manly reported that NBC will use 35 cameras at the event, which is "more than" the net used to televise Super Bowl XXXII (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/21). NBC "will not have a permanent on-screen box" for viewers (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/19). ...Ben Wright "will do commentary" on the Ryder Cup for The Golf Channel (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 9/20). ON THE WEB: The Ryder Cup's official Web site is live at www.rydercup.com, and IBM, PGA.com and Ryder Cup Limited are producing the site jointly. Rydercup.com allows users to follow either the U.S. or European team (PGA). THE KID IS MORE THAN ALRIGHT: Sergio Garcia was profiled by Brad Townsend of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS, who wrote that despite Garcia's long-term deals with adidas and Titleist, he "could hardly be accused of cashing on his early success, at least not yet." Garcia has "yet to even play a corporate outing," with his first coming next month in Germany for adidas (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/20). When Garcia signed his five-year deal with adidas, his "first question wasn't about the size of the deal, but when he'd get to meet" Anna Kournikova, who also endorses adidas (Starr & Gordon, NEWSWEEK, 9/27 issue). TIME's Robert Sullivan writes that Garcia is a "Tiger use-ta-be, a charismatic 19-year-old with a fast grin, faster club-head speed and a palpable love of the game" (TIME, 9/27 issue). NOTES: In Boston, Kevin Paul Dupont reports that the "biggest buzz" of the event could come when Michael Jordan "hits the grounds." Jordan is "believed to have rented a home bordering" the course (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/22)....Tickets for "weekly passes" with a $275-375 face value are now "fetching" as much as $1,800 (BOSTON HERALD, 9/21).