SBD/Issue 56/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Sony's Extension Of PGA Tour Event In Hawaii Will Feature 3D

Sony Open Will Become First Regular PGA
Tour Event With Weekend 3D Coverage

Sony yesterday announced a three-year extension of its title sponsorship of the PGA Tour Sony Open in Hawaii, making it the tournament’s “longest-running title sponsor at 16 years,” according to Ferd Lewis of the Honolulu STAR-ADVERTISER. The Sony Open will be the “first PGA Tour co-sponsored event to feature live weekend coverage in 3-D, a development that parallels the sharper picture of the tournament's sponsorship future.” The sponsorship is estimated to be between $8-10M annually. Sony replaced United Airlines as the title sponsor in ’99. The company last year “announced just a one-year renewal of its sponsorship of the event to take it through 2011 and there was concern locally that Sony might step away after that” (Honolulu STAR-ADVERTISER, 12/1). In Hawaii, James George reported the 3D coverage will be broadcast by Golf Channel and Comcast "to approximately 83 million homes in the United States, and to about 560 million households in more than 220 countries and territories worldwide.” That is “an enormous potential market for Sony, which is investing heavily in 3-D technology.” The company “tested the technology at the Sony Open last January and at the World Cup in South Africa earlier this year, and concluded that it’s ready for prime time” (BIZJOURNALS.com, 11/30).

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