SBD/April 26, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Bank Error? Report That RBC Will Title Sponsor PGA Tour's The Heritage Denied

The Heritage Tournament Dir says rumors hurting negotiations with potential sponsors
PGA Tour The Heritage organizers yesterday “denied a report” that RBC “is ‘close’ to signing a four-year deal to sponsor the golf tournament,” according to Josh McCann of the Hilton Head ISLAND PACKET. Tournament Dir Steve Wilmot said that RBC “has been a prospective sponsor, but he urged people not to believe the latest report.” Wilmot: “It's not true. … It's hurting us because we're engaged with so many companies. We're not in negotiations with any of them." He added there will not be an announcement on a new title sponsor "in the near future" (Hilton Head ISLAND PACKET, 4/26). Wilmot: “There’s a lot of rumors out there, and it’s interesting to hear all those and to be honest with you, some of the rumors are even to a point where they’re almost hurting us because of other companies -- and ones that we’re engaged with  -- hearing that something’s been signed, sealed and delivered and that’s not the case. We’re going to regroup this week with the Tour, we’re going to regroup with some of these sponsors that we entertained last week as well as ones that have gotten engaged late in the process that weren’t even here that we ended up having conference calls with last week” (“Morning Drive,” Golf Channel, 4/25). GOLF WORLD’s Dave Shedloski yesterday in the original report noted RBC in the coming days is “expected to ride to the rescue and save the tourney.” Several players and sources said that RBC is “close to signing a four-year sponsorship deal” (GOLF WORLD MONDAY, 4/25 issue). RBC CMO Jim Little said “The rumour that the Tour is leaning on RBC is true, but in fairness they are leaning on a number of companies, all with best intents of saving the Heritage. Given it is such an iconic stop on the TOUR and so popular with players and their families we agreed to evaluate it -- just as we would any new opportunity -- but nothing to report as of yet" (THE DAILY).

PALMETTO STATE PRIDE: South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley appeared in the CBS broadcast booth Saturday during the net's coverage of The Heritage, and she said the tournament is "extremely important" to the state. Haley: "It's so much a part of South Carolina. The people of South Carolina love this. The people across the country love it. It's a great family event. ... It's just a great place. We are extremely proud of it and something we're going to see continue for a long time" ("The Heritage," CBS, 4/23).
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