SBJ/November 17 - 23, 2003/Marketingsponsorship

Bank behind Golf Channel forum

Royal Bank of Scotland has struck a partnership with The Golf Channel to be presenting sponsor of a prime-time special called "RBS Presents the State of the Game," set to air Dec. 5 on the cable network from 8 to 9:30 p.m. ET.

The show, to be taped Dec. 4, will feature six to 10 panelists who are influential voices in the game, said David Manougian, The Golf Channel's president.

The panel is still being formulated, but it's slated to include Jack Nicklaus, who is a spokesman for RBS, LPGA Commissioner Ty Votaw and golf course architect Tom Fazio. Invitations have gone out to some other tour commissioners, a few players and to the top executives at several golf manufacturing companies.

The idea behind the show — the first of its type for The Golf Channel — is to create a forum to discuss some key issues in the game today.

"We have had a long association with golf," said Howard Moody, group director of communications at RBS, the world's fifth-largest bank. "We're trying to do things that are different and trying to do things that would add something to the game — more than just simply lending your name to some championship.

The United States is a key market for RBS, which this year signed Nicklaus, Charles Howell III and Luke Donald as spokesmen.

As part of the deal, whose financial terms have not been disclosed, RBS secured category exclusivity on the special.

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