SBD/April 5, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Chips & Putts: Four Sponsors Form Alliance To Save Mississippi PGA Tour Event

Tournament will provide platform to tout Mississippi's health care environment
In Jackson, Gary Pettus reported a “sponsorship alliance of four specialty medical practices has resuscitated the Mississippi PGA Tour event formerly known as the Viking Classic.” Mississippi-based NewSouth NeuroSpine, the Mississippi Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center in Jackson, the Jackson Heart Clinic and the GI Associates & Endoscopy Center in Jackson will serve as the sponsors for the event. True South Classic Exec Dir John Marovich said, "These four medical clinics will keep this tournament alive." GI Associates Dr. Paul Milner said that the tournament “will provide a platform to tout the state's ‘state-of-the-art’ health care environment as well.” Pettus noted the tournament had “tried to find financial backers since Greenwood-based Viking Range Corp. ended its title sponsorship after last year's event.” Trustmark National Bank “returns as the title sponsor of the event's annual pro-am tournament” (Jackson CLARION-LEDGER, 4/4).

CHANGING HANDS: Callaway Golf yesterday announced that Dick’s Sporting Goods has bought the company’s Top-Flite brand (Callaway). In California, Pat Maio noted Callaway earlier this year “completed the sale of the Ben Hogan brand, which the company acquired along with Top-Flite in 2003.” Both divestitures “followed a global restructuring at Callaway Golf that streamlined the organization and aimed to reduce costs and increase the focus placed on the company's core business units.” Gilford Securities analyst Casey Alexander “viewed Callaway's jettison of Top-Flite as a positive move.” Alexander: "Dick's has become sort of the trash heap for brand-ishment of golf brands that have gone on the rocks, so this is a fitting end to this chapter" (NCTIMES.com, 4/4).

I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY: GOLFWEEK’s Forecaddie notes 17-year-old LPGAer Lexi Thompson plans to attend the her prom next month at Coral Gables High School, and she “even has secured the assistance of her corporate sponsors to find her a date.” Details “remain sparse on how, exactly, Puma and Red Bull will help Thompson find her escort, but Thompson did note that the final decision is hers.” Thompson said of the contest, “I know the fans are going to have something to do with picking my date” (GOLFWEEK, 4/6 issue).
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