SBJ/November 3 - 9, 2003/Marketingsponsorship

PGA of America signs Cadillac, MGM Grand for new Ryder events

Editor's note: This story is revised from the print edition.

The PGA of America has signed a presenting sponsor for each of two new golf outings that will take place the week of the 2004 Ryder Cup.

Cadillac is the presenting sponsor of the Ryder Cup Captains Challenge, set for Sept. 15 at The Detroit Golf Club in Detroit. MGM Grand is the presenting sponsor of the Ryder Cup Champions Invitational, slated for Sept. 16 at the Oakland University Golf and Learning Center in Rochester, Mich.

Conducted by the PGA of America, the 2004 Ryder Cup competition itself is scheduled for Sept. 17-19 at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

Industry sources said the asking price for each presenting sponsorship was in the low six figures.

The Ryder Cup Champions Invitational presented by MGM Grand will include 50 athletes and celebrities from the sports and entertainment industries. The Ryder Cup Captains Challenge presented by Cadillac will feature eight former Ryder Cup captains. In addition to the celebrities and former captains, each event is expected to include 200 participants.

The entry fee for each event is $3,950 a person. With that comes a weeklong pass to the Ryder Cup competition and other amenities. Net proceeds from the two events will go to Michigan-area charities, said Earnie Ellison, director of business and community relations for the PGA of America.

Cadillac is a Ryder Cup corporate partner, and the sponsorship of the Captains Challenge extends the automotive brand's tie-in with the cup. Michael Navari, Cadillac's national sales promotions manager, said the sponsorship also will provide "a good showcase opportunity for our brand." Vehicles will be on display, and participants probably will get the chance to test-drive the cars.

For MGM Grand, the presenting sponsorship provides "strong relationship-marketing" opportunities, said Angelo Bianco, vice president of player development for MGM Grand's casino in Detroit. MGM Grand might fill some of the slots available for the Champions Invitational with some of its casino's VIP customers.

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