SBD/March 19, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Chips & Putts: Fry's Expresses Concern Over Sponsorship Due To Tournament Status

Frys.com concerned about proposal to only award half-FedEx Cup points for fall events
GOLF WORLD MONDAY's Geoff Shackelford reports Fry's Electronics CEO John Fry and Frys.com Open Tournament Chair Kathy Kolder wrote a letter to PGA Commissioner Tim Finchem in which they explain their "'concern about continuing our sponsorship' if a proposal to only award half-FedEx Cup points for fall events is given approval." A proposal currently before the PGA Tour's Player Advisory Council "calls for the schedule to begin just weeks after the Tour Championship and a newly proposed playoff between top Nationwide Tour members and non-top 125 PGA Tour players." The 16-member PAC "recently endorsed the schedule revamp in large part because of suggestions by tour brass that events" such as the Frys.com "might go away if those tournaments were not added" to the FedEx Cup schedule. However, with one of those sponsors "balking at half the points available compared to most other tour stops, it would appear the Policy Board has much more to consider before casting its vote for a major change to the PGA Tour as we know it" (GOLF WORLD MONDAY, 3/19).

WITHOUT A SPONSOR: ESPN.com's Farrell Evans noted Transitions Optical "ended its four-year sponsorship of the Transitions Championship" on Sunday. The Copperheads, the organization that runs the tournament, "hosted potential title sponsors at the event this week." Right now, the event at Innisbrook Resort outside of Tampa is the "only tournament on the PGA Tour schedule without a title sponsor" for '13. If the tournament "can't find a sponsor, the PGA Tour could underwrite it in the near future or it could go away all together." Evans wrote it would be a "shame to lose such a popular event in this golf-rich part of southern Florida" (ESPN.com, 3/18).

CONFIDENT IN AN EXTENSION: In San Diego, Tod Leonard notes Kia’s agreement to sponsor this week's LPGA Kia Classic at La Costa Resort & Spa "ends with this year’s tournament, but the Korean auto maker has upped its support of the LPGA, becoming the tour’s official car." Tournament Dir Dennis Baggett is "confident an extension can be accomplished" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 3/19).
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