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JPMorgan Chase To Cut Back Corporate Hospitality For U.S. Open
Published August 17, 2009
|JPMorgan Chase Will Operate Its Corporate
Hospitality For Only Six Days Of '09 U.S. Open
SIGN OF THE TIMES: In N.Y., Ken Belson noted JPMorgan Asset Management in an internal memo in July "told employees in its Institutional Americas division that 'in light of the current regulatory environment,' they would not be allowed to entertain clients" at the U.S. Open. Meanwhile, a JPMorgan spokesperson said that employees are "permitted to accept tickets" to sporting events "on a case-by-case basis." However, "legitimate business" has to occur. Belson wrote not only are companies "cutting their entertainment budgets" due to the downturn, they also are "facing increased scrutiny from regulators, shareholders and politicians -- pressures that have forced workers even at healthy firms to avoid being seen at sporting events." Corporate compliance departments and the IRS are "doing more to ensure that the business entertainment taking place at games is tangible, not tangential." Former New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants entertainment and sports committee Chair John Lieberman: "The seats behind home plate, no one wants to be seen there. There's a perception that you're throwing your money away. Politically, it's like car company executives taking private jets from Michigan to Washington." An exec at one firm said, "A lot of people have gotten hurt by this stuff, so it's easier to just not do it. More than the price, it's just the nature of the environment out there, so it's not worth the risk" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/16).
PGA HOSPITALITY DOWN: PGA of America CEO Joe Steranka said that corporate hospitality at last week's PGA Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club was down 20-25% compared to '02, when the PGA Championship was last held at Hazeltine. In Milwaukee, Gary D'Amato notes AmEx and Mercedes-Benz USA "were visible partners, but there appeared to be fewer corporate structures and less signage than in recent years." Kohler Co. CEO Herb Kohler, who owns '10 PGA Championship site Whistling Straits, said, "You don't see an overwhelming number of corporations out there with their names on their foreheads, but there are a lot of people here, and a lot of those are probably corporate guests that are in disguise." D'Amato reports the economy "has forced the Kohler Co. to temper expectations for 2010 but only to a point" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 8/17).
Corporate Hospitality Sales At Weekly PGA
Tour Events Down By As Much As 20% In '09