SBD/February 28, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Quicken Loans Could Make First Golf Foray With Sponsorship Of DC PGA Tour Event

Quicken could begin its sponsorship of Woods' event before the next tournament
The PGA Tour is reportedly "closing on a deal" for Quicken Loans to become title sponsor of Tiger Woods’ event at Congressional Country Club in DC, according to Doug Ferguson of the AP. Sources said that Quicken "could begin its sponsorship before the next tournament, to be played June 26-29." AT&T is "in the final year of its contract" and "was not planning to renew." Former Tiger Woods Foundation President & CEO Greg McLaughlin "did well to keep AT&T on as title sponsor through 2014 after the upheaval in Woods' personal life." Quicken currently sponsors NASCAR driver Ryan Newman, "along with involvement in the IndyCar Series and with Team Penske." The company also is title sponsor of Sprint Cup races at Michigan Int'l Speedway and Phoenix Int'l Raceway (AP, 2/27). In DC, Barry Svrluga noted a deal with Quicken "would shore up one piece of the tournament’s fluid future." But there still is the "matter of finding a host venue for the tournament beyond this year." Congressional’s deal "expires after June’s event, and while negotiations are ongoing with the club over several options -- including hosting it every other year -- nothing has been finalized." This would mark Quicken's "first foray into golf" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 2/27).

SEEING THE BENEFITS: In Hartford, Tom Yantz notes the extension of Travelers' PGA Tour sponsorship "brings unprecedented security to an event that almost met its demise less than 10 years ago." Buick "departed as the title sponsor after 2006 and the tour had demoted the tournament to its weaker fall schedule for 2007 until Travelers stepped in to save it." Travelers Chair & CEO Jay Fishman said, "When we took over as title sponsor in 2007 we were a little unsure. The tournament, especially in the last two or three years, in terms of attendance, sponsorship and charity dollars, has exceeded our expectations. To make such an investment for 10 years ... it puts us on a runway so that we can plan and improve, to make it a better first-class event in the future." PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said that one of the Tour's goals is to "schedule a tournament that suits each of its title sponsors the best." Travelers Championship officials "like the late June date" (HARTFORD COURANT, 2/28).
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