SBD/September 30, 2011/Events and Attractions

Frys.com Open Readies For Tiger's Arrival At Next Week's Tournament

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Woods committed to play in the Frys.com Open six weeks in advance
Tiger Woods’ appearance at next week’s Frys.com Open is pushing corporate and ticket sales to all-time highs. Woods, who has never played the PGA Tour Fall Series event before, committed on Aug. 29, giving organizers close to six weeks to promote his appearance. The Oct. 6-9 tournament has benefited with steep increases in skybox sales, Fairway Club sales and weekly badge sales, said Tournament Dir Ian Knight. All 16 skyboxes, which had price increases from $25,000 to $35,000 year-to-year, have sold out. That’s four more skyboxes than the tournament had last year. The tournament also sold 25 Fairway Club packages, 10 more than last year, again despite price increases. Corporate sales across all hospitality and sponsorship categories will be up about 40%. Daily and weekly tickets stayed the same price, and those sales are projected to be three times higher than last year. “It’s totally changed the trajectory of the tournament and our sales,” Knight said. “We’re really fortunate to have some great names like Ernie Els, Angel Cabrera and Paul Casey to go along with Tiger, but overall there’s been a tremendous impact. With a six-week runway, we had time to change all of our marketing and advertising to reflect Tiger’s presence.” Those price increases were planned before Woods committed to the tournament.

TRUE GAUGE OF IMPACT: The opportunity to track Woods’ impact on a golf tournament is rare because he typically sticks to the same schedule and plays the same 16-17 tournaments year after year. His appearance at the Frys.com Open next week will give the tour more evidence of just how much he moves the needle from a business standpoint. In addition to the increases in corporate sales and ticket sales, the tournament put out a request for 300 volunteers in addition to the 1,100 already signed up. Those 300 spots, Knight said, were filled in a day. “We’re measuring all of those impact points,” Knight said. Frys.com is in its sixth year as a PGA Tour title sponsor and this is the second year the tournament has been played at CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin, Calif., just south of San Jose. It is unusual for Woods to play a Fall Series event, but he added it to his schedule to prepare for the Nov. 17-20 Presidents Cup. Knight described the golf course as very spread out with no homes on it, so there is plenty of room to handle the additional traffic.
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