SBD/Issue 24/Events & Attractions

Missing The Cut: Milwaukee PGA Tour Event Folding After 42 Years

Future Of PGA Tour In Milwaukee Now
Rests In Hands of Jerry Kelly, Steve Stricker
The PGA Tour's "42-year run in Milwaukee is over" after the Milwaukee Golf Charities BOD yesterday voted to "dissolve the organization" that runs the city's tournament, according to Gary D'Amato of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. The event "had been searching for a title sponsor since U.S. Bank announced this year that it would not pick up the three-year option beginning in 2010." Tournament Dir Dan Croak said, "We explored several different avenues and several different companies and it was not the time and place to do anything. With no funds available, we couldn't go any further." D'Amato notes U.S. Bank since '04 "had spent roughly" $1.4M annually as the event's title sponsor. The future of the PGA Tour in Wisconsin "now rests in the hands" of golfers Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly, who are "working on a plan for a new tournament." Stricker and Kelly said that they have a "potential title sponsor and are pressing the Tour for a better date beginning in 2011." It is "highly unlikely a deal could be put together before that" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 10/15).

SUPPORTING ROLE: In Memphis, Marlon Morgan reports Cellular South is "still interested in being a sponsor" of the St. Jude Classic (SJC), but "just not in the title sponsorship slot that PGA Tour and SJC officials are seeking to fill." After months of "exploring which level of sponsorship fits its business model," Cellular South told the Tour that it was "more inclined to do something along the lines of last year's sponsorship" of SJC's Pro-Am. The Tour reiterated that the event is "secure for 2010 even if it doesn't secure a title sponsor." Cellular South Corporate Communications Dir Jim Richmond said, "I really just think that the way we, and most companies now, are approaching sponsorships, it's a lot more than the way we used to approach sponsorships. By that I mean exposure is good, but that's not all of it. ... From a title-sponsorship standpoint, it really just didn't fit the particular business model that we had for this tournament." The tournament will continue its search for a title sponsor, and Tournament Dir Phil Cannon said, "There's still a lot of interest locally, regionally, and nationally" (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 10/15).

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