SBD/May 20, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

AT&T Title Sponsorship Could Help Give Byron Nelson Championship More Clout On PGA Tour

A move to the fall would make the tourney a deciding event in the FedExCup standings
The PGA Tour Byron Nelson Championship, which was played last week, has been "dogged by poor placement" on the Tour's schedule, and now "needs the clout" of new title sponsor AT&T to find a better spot, according to Rick Gosselin of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. AT&T "spends lavishly on golf -- and Dallas is banking on the PGA Tour one day showing AT&T its gratitude." The tournament "annually follows the Players Championship, which is regarded as the fifth major," and the Tour's "biggest stars always play" in the Wells Fargo Championship the week before that. So the Byron Nelson has "become too easy an event for the sport's biggest names to skip." But the event has "historically offered among the best purses on Tour and has always been very player-friendly." Golfer Dustin Johnson said, "They take very good care of us." Gosselin notes AT&T prior to last week's tournament "placed another rather large thumbprint" on the Tour by "signing a sponsorship deal" with Jordan Spieth. The company also has "long been all in" on the Tour, and AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson "sits on the Tour policy board." The tournament "needs to become, preferably, a fall event so it can carry a higher profile as one of the deciding events" in the FedExCup standings, and the event's move "deeper into the schedule may already be in the works." It has "tentatively been targeted for May 21-24 in 2015 -- two weeks after" The Players. Salesmanship Club of Dallas President Bill Wilshusen said, "AT&T is probably the best golf sponsor on the tour. They know golf. They believe golf is a good venue to promote their product. We're blessed to have AT&T" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 5/20).
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