SBD/Issue 172/Leagues & Governing Bodies

IMG, LPGA Drop Purse, TV Plans For Tour Championship Sans Sponsor

IMG and the LPGA have dropped the purse and network television coverage for the season-ending Tour Championship in Houston after being unable to find a title sponsor. The purse was originally announced last November as $2M with plans for weekend coverage on NBC, but the purse was decreased to $1.5M and network coverage was abandoned after IMG was unable to replace Stanford Financial as title sponsor. The Houston-based institution would have footed both costs but was taken over by the U.S. government in February amid a fraud investigation, just months after agreeing to title sponsor the tournament. As the tournament owner, IMG is responsible for television and purse costs and has been pitching a $3-3.5M annual sponsorship to replace Stanford’s estimated $4-5M annual spend, said sources. The LPGA and IMG last week announced a multi-year deal for The Houstonian Golf & Country Club to host the tournament.

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