SBD/Issue 152/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

PGA Tour Considering Allowing Liquor Company Sponsorships

Liquor Sponsorships Could Be Worth
Up To $50M A Year For PGA Tour
PGA Tour officials are "taking their most serious look yet at loosening rules that prevent spirit companies from buying tournament title sponsorships or traditional endorsements with players," according to sources cited by Jon Show of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Industry sources estimated that the category "could be worth up to $50[M] a year in new sponsorship dollars," though the PGA Tour BOD "would have to approve any change in the rules, and there is no firm timetable for a decision." Under current rules, distilled spirit companies are "not allowed to title sponsor events on the PGA Tour, sign traditional shirt sponsorships with golfers or become an official sponsor of the PGA Tour." The companies "can title sponsor one event on each of the Champions and Nationwide tours, though neither tour has a distilled spirits title sponsor." If new rules are passed, spirits "would probably be limited to title sponsorships of the dozen or so events with four-round coverage on Golf Channel because sponsorships include ad inventory in tournament telecasts." Show notes the PGA Tour also is "looking at easing rules on endorsements" by spirits companies for players (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 4/27 issue).

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