SBD/Issue 156/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Smith & Nephew Presenting Sponsor For PGA Tour St. Jude Classic

Event Will Be Called The St. Jude Classic
Presented By Smith & Nephew This Year

London-based medical device company Smith & Nephew "will become the presenting sponsor" for this year's PGA Tour St. Jude Classic, according to Phil Stukenborg of the Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL. Smith & Nephew's deal "will be for one year," and the June 10-13 event "will be called the St. Jude Classic Presented by Smith & Nephew." Financial terms "were not disclosed, but it's generally regarded on the PGA Tour that presenting sponsorships bring in about 25 percent of a title sponsorship." The tournament "has been searching to find a title sponsor to replace Stanford Financial, which exited after being accused of massive fraud" by the SEC in '09. Stanford Financial's title sponsorship was reportedly in the $8M range (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 4/27).

SPRING FEVER: In Las Vegas, Ron Kantowski notes "at last count there were nine tournaments" on the PGA Tour, that do not have title sponsorship deals in place for '11. Thirteen additional title sponsorships "will expire after 2012." Each time a sponsor "bails out, the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open gets a wee bit closer to attaining the spring date it might need to survive in the long run." The Las Vegas event is currently "part of the PGA's Fall Series, which means it is played during football season and the baseball playoffs by guys not named Tiger or Phil." Tournament Dir Adam Sperling said that the tournament "already has notified the Tour, in writing, that it wants to move to spring." He said that it "could happen as early as next year ... or the year after that although 2013, after all these current title sponsorships expire, is the most likely scenario." Sperling estimated that the '09 event "attracted between 15,000 and 20,000 spectators over its five-day run." The goal this year is to "double attendance, to 40,000." He said that the event is offering $15 vouchers, the "cheapest ticket on Tour," to "local businesses and organizations, who get to keep 50[%] from every voucher sold" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 4/27).

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