SBD/March 1, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Honda Extends Title Sponsorship Of PGA Tournament Through '16

Honda is longest-running continuous sponsor on PGA Tour, going back to '82
The PGA Tour, American Honda Motor Co. and tournament host organization Children's Healthcare Charity yesterday announced that Honda has extended its title sponsorship of The Honda Classic by four years through '16. Honda, which became title sponsor of the tournament in '82, is the longest-running continuous sponsor on the PGA Tour. The current agreement is through this year's tournament (THE DAILY). GOLF WORLD’s Tim Rosaforte notes Honda has “seen its investment rewarded by gaining a foothold between two World Golf Championships events thanks to the new course and the tournament’s recent connection with the Nicklaus Children’s Heath Care Foundation.” Honda Classic Exec Dir Ken Kennerly said, “They’re happy with the direction of the tournament.” Meanwhile, Tiger Woods playing the Honda Classic this weekend for the first time during his pro career “helps” the PGA Tour (GOLF WORLD, 3/5 issue). Kennerly said, "We were 34 percent ahead of last year's ticket sales prior to Tiger (Woods') announcement he was playing, and it's been growing since. We're projecting a 25-30 increase in revenues for the total event.” He added, "Even through a difficult economy, we've had a nice, steady growth since 2009. Now we're truly marketing more than just a golf tournament. The Honda Classic has become a must-see event" (PALM BEACH POST, 3/1).

THE ROAR OF THE TIGER: In West Palm Beach, Bill Dipaolo noted there are “about 160,000 fans expected" at the Honda Classic this weekend, which will be “up from the 111,000 last year.” Tournament Media Dir Gary Ferman said that media outlets covering the event “are up from 275 last year to 360 this year.” To meet the “expected 35 percent boost in attendance, Honda Classic officials have hired 65 shuttles to bring fans to and from the golf course” (PALM BEACH POST, 2/29). Dipaolo today looks at Woods' business impact on the tournament and writes, “Tiger means dollars.” Florida-based Oceanfront Realty Owner John True said that beyond the “immediate cha-ching to local merchants, long range real estate sales will benefit from the bigger crowds.” PGA National officials “figure attendance this year could increase to 160,000 from last year's 111,000, but that could be less with Wednesday's rain.” Ferman said, "I've worked with Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, Dan Marino. Never have I seen an athlete able to move the needle like Tiger Woods. People want to come and root for him. They want him to succeed" (PALM BEACH POST, 3/1).
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