SBD/Issue 112/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Wachovia Name Will Not Appear On PGA Tour's Charlotte Stop

Wachovia's name will not appear in the name of the '09 PGA Tour tournament it sponsors in Charlotte, according to multiple sources close to the tournament. Wells Fargo bought the Charlotte-based bank last fall and intended to call the event the Wachovia Championship in '09, but recent public backlash against marketing expenditures of financial firms resulted in the bank pulling all non-contractual spending as well as its name from the tournament. Sources said the name of the tournament will include the host course, Quail Hollow. The future involvement of Wells Fargo in the tournament is undecided, said sources, but by acquiring Wachovia, Wells is under contract to title sponsor the tournament through 2014. The fate of the on-course branding could not be determined (THE DAILY).

TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING? In Charlotte, Peter St. Onge writes under the header, "Is Golf A Splurge Or Local Surge?" Wells Fargo Senior VP & Corporate Communications Manager Mary Beth Navarro said that the company is "reducing costs of the tournament, including some related to client entertainment," but the "specifics haven't been determined." St. Onge notes the tournament has "cultivated a reputation on the Tour as a top-notch tournament, from the cars the players drive in Charlotte to the perks their wives get to the swankiness of the corporate parties." The PGA Tour's "elite don't come to Charlotte merely for the pricey perks," but the tournament's "glossy feel certainly contributes to the lure." Even if those perks "stay intact, cutting some non-player luxuries means cutting back on things local businesses provide." St. Onge: "Excess helps stir commerce -- in this case, our commerce" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 2/27).

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