SBD/July 18, 2013/Events and Attractions

PGA Tour Wyndham Championship Has Transformed Into A Regional Party

Wyndham Championship sponsorship opportunities this year are all but sold out
The Wyndham Championship, having "embraced its date on the PGA Tour calendar and locked up major corporate sponsors" through '16, is a "more solid regional event with a bright future," according to Owen Covington of the BUSINESS JOURNAL OF THE GREATER TRIAD AREA. The event is the final stop in the PGA Tour's regular season and "increasingly draws top players, along with more -- and more supportive -- sponsors." There was a time before the tournament moved to Sedgefield Country Club and landed Wyndham as a title sponsor that former PGA Tour golfer and current SiriusXM Radio host John Maginnes "wasn't sure if the tournament was going to make it." He said, "The golf tournament was a charitable organization masquerading as a golf tournament. Now it's a business masquerading as a golf tournament, and a charitable entity." Tournament Dir Mark Brazil: "When I got here, we were doing a lot of arm-twisting. Now we see our sponsors coming to us because of the value proposition we give them. Covington reported the course's boardwalk area will become "Margaritaville at the Wyndham" this year with a sponsorship by Margaritaville Holdings. Brazil said that the last tournament slot also "garners the tournament increased mentions during other broadcasts." He added that beyond the "very top tournaments ... the Wyndham ranked second for broadcast mentions" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 7/16). In Greensboro, Ed Hardin noted Margaritaville at the Wyndham will include "island-inspired music on Radio Margaritaville with cold beer and food and live music and, well, noise that sponsors hope will give the tournament a more lively feel and festive sound." The live show will "start Tuesday through Sunday afternoons as soon as play has cleared from the first hole." Brazil said that the tournament has "all but sold out of sponsorship opportunities for this year," adding that both pro-ams are filled (Greensboro NEWS & RECORD, 7/17).

SENIOR MOMENT: GOLF WORLD's Bill Fields notes the total attendance for the U.S. Senior Open at Omaha Country Club last week "wasn't quite the equal of Des Moines -- 157,126 for three practice rounds and four days of competition -- but more than 30,000 people were on hand each of the final two rounds and 8,000 showed up on Monday." Moreover, thanks in part to the "presence of five Fortune 500 companies in Nebraska's largest city, the USGA set a Senior Open record for corporate hospitality with sales of" $5.6M. There were "more than 3,000 volunteers, the list to help having been closed nine months prior to the event" (GOLF WORLD, 7/22 issue).
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