SBJ/January 2-8, 2012/Research and Ratings

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  • Attendance plateau changes colleges’ view

    Bernie Mullin, whose firm assists universities with ticket sales and marketing, says you don’t build a church for Easter. The sports equivalent is that you don’t build a stadium for your largest crowd.

    But after years of an unabated arms race in college football that has seen stadiums expand to massive sizes, some schools are on the verge of outgrowing their ticket demand.

    The average home crowd for the 120 FBS schools in 2011 was 45,523, the lowest attendance figure since 2004. College football had enjoyed unprecedented attendance growth through the 2000s, peaking at more than 46,000 on average in 2007 and ’08. Those numbers have receded to fewer than 46,000 in the last three years, suggesting that attendance has reached a plateau.

    College football’s momentum has limits, as attendance growth looks to have topped out.
    Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
    The most obvious drops in attendance came at some of college football’s premium brands — Penn State, Tennessee and Southern California. Each of those schools saw their home crowds fall by 3 percent to 6 percent.

    “With the economy down now for an extended period of time and predictions saying that it will continue for another couple of years, this is a serious issue that a lot of schools have to look at,” said Mullin, a veteran sports executive who formerly ran the Atlanta Hawks and founded The Aspire Group, which markets and sells tickets for schools such as Georgia Tech, Maryland and Rutgers. “There’s no doubt that the support will bounce back when the economy comes back, but you have to be careful because empty seats create a perception that your brand isn’t as strong as it used to be. And that becomes problematic.”

    That’s not to say that alarms are going off around the country. In fact, the opposite is true after yet another compelling regular season that produced both drama and controversy. College football has never been hotter, in terms of attracting billions in media dollars and keen interest from marketers.

    Annual average attendance

    FBS/Div. I-A schools

    2001 43,632
    2002 43,808
    2003 44,877
    2004 45,145
    2005 45,628
    2006 45,828
    2007 46,328
    2008 46,456
    2009 45,545
    2010 45,912
    2011 45,523

    Source: NCAA 2001-2010; 2011 average calculated from school attendance figures

    But college football’s momentum isn’t without limits. TV ratings in 2011 were down across all of the major networks, including a 7.6 percent drop on college football’s most prolific platform, ESPN.

    “What we’ve got to understand is that the sky is not the limit,” said Jeff Long, athletic director at the University of Arkansas. “We’re past the point of adding seats and growing just for the sake of growth. I do think you’re seeing some places that have overbuilt their stadiums at the expense of demand.”

    Mississippi State is one of the schools that has enjoyed attendance growth each of the last three seasons, including 16 straight sellouts, increasing the pressure on the school to expand Davis Wade Stadium again.

    “You always try to take a long-term view,” said Mississippi State Athletic Director Scott Stricklin. “What we’ve seen is that demand seems to keep up with enrollment growth. Our enrollment is over 20,000 now, and 20 years ago it was half that. You produce more graduates and that’s more people going into the pool of potential ticket holders. So now, based on demand, you have to look at adding more seats. Will we? I don’t know.”

    Louisville decided to expand Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium two years ago from 42,000 to 54,000 and demand has kept up, with average attendance growing 56 percent in the first year from 32,450 to 50,648. It leveled off a bit in 2011 at 48,538.

    Michigan Stadium, the Big House, put up the biggest average attendance number for 2011.
    Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
    “You really have to look hard at how big is too big,” said Louisville Athletic Director Tom Jurich. “Something at 80,000 scared me to death, but we thought we were well-postured for the expansion we made, with all chairback seating to keep the comfort there.

    “At the time, there was risk associated with it. We were losing, fans were disappointed, but to their credit they’ve come back. I think a lot of that has to do with what we did to improve the experience. We added 33 suites, we added 2,000 club seats. We really tried to turn it into an incredible experience and fans have responded to that.”

    Conference attendance breakdowns by school.

    2011 college football attendance

    School Average Last
    year’s
    Rank
    +/-2010
    1. Michigan 112,179 1 0.32%
    2. Ohio State 105,231 2 0.05%
    3. Alabama 101,821 4 0%
    4. Penn State 101,427 3 -2.70%
    5. Texas 100,524 5 -0.13%
    6. Tennessee 94,642 6 -5.20%
    7. LSU 92,868 8 0.16%
    8. Georgia 92,613 7 -0.14%
    9. Florida 89,061 9 -1.60%
    10. Texas A&M 87,183 13 5.70%
    11. Auburn 85,792 10 -0.34%
    12. Nebraska 85,267 11 -0.46%
    13. Oklahoma 85,161 12 0.50%
    14. Notre Dame 80,795 14 0%
    15. Wisconsin 79,813 16 0.06%
    16. South Carolina 79,131 18 3.20%
    17. Clemson 78,234 17 0.99%
    18. Florida State 77,842 20 9.20%
    19. Southern Cal 74,806 15 -6.40%
    20. Michigan State 74,078 19 0.71%
    21. Iowa 70,585 21 0%
    22. Arkansas 66,990 22 -2.80%
    23. Virginia Tech 66,233 24 0%
    24. Washington 62,531 23 -5.60%
    25. Missouri 62,095 26 0.90%
    There remain successful expansion stories at schools such as Louisville and Alabama, which filled up all of its 101,821 seats for each game this season, but “I don’t think you’re going to see schools looking to build 100,000-seat stadiums anymore,” said Matt DiFebo, who runs ticketing solutions for IMG College. “What you will see is schools analyzing their capacity and looking at more premium seat options to make the fan experience more inviting.”

    Mike Holleman, vice president and director of sports facilities and design at Atlanta-based Heery International, doesn’t hear administrators pushing to expand their stadiums much anymore. Instead the focus is on installing premium areas that will increase the revenue per fan.

    “Most people are correct to be cautious about adding capacity,” Holleman said. “There’s more of a focus on improving the facility and making the game-day experience better, so that fans come back even when they have a losing season. We’re not seeing a lot of big expansion right now.”

    But, Holleman added, while the focus might have shifted a bit, there’s no shortage of projects that are under way. The arms race, even in difficult economic times, is alive and well.

    “You’re still competing, you’re still recruiting,” Jurich said. “If a school has it and you don’t, that can be a big difference. You can always say you’re not going to be part of the arms race, but it’s easier to talk about than to do it.”

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  • Conference attendance by school

    This chart lists school-by-school average football attendance for the last three seasons.

    ACC

    School 2011 2010 2009
    Clemson 78,234 77,469 75,793
    Florida State 77,842 71,270 74,345
    Virginia Tech 66,233 66,233 66,233
    N.C. State 56,287 56,877 56,422
    North Carolina 56,000 58,250 56,607
    Miami 48,654 52,575 47,551
    Georgia Tech 48,232 46,449 51,584
    Virginia 47,940 45,459 47,986
    Maryland 42,355 39,168 44,452
    Boston College 35,709 38,369 35,716
    Wake Forest 31,967 30,474 31,791
    Duke 24,393 28,750 26,314

    BIG TEN

    School 2011 2010 2009
    Michigan 112,179 111,825 108,933
    Ohio State 105,231 105,278 105,261
    Penn State 101,427 104,234 107,008
    Nebraska 85,267 85,664 85,888
    Wisconsin 79,813 79,862 80,109
    Michigan State 74,078 73,556 74,741
    Iowa 70,585 70,585 70,214
    Illinois 49,548 54,188 59,545
    Minnesota 47,714 49,513 50,805
    Purdue 45,225 48,063 50,457
    Indiana 41,380 41,953 41,833
    Northwestern 33,442 36,449 24,190

    BIG EAST

    School 2011 2010 2009
    Notre Dame* 80,795 80,795 80,795
    West Virginia 56,532 56,325 57,317
    Louisville 48,538 50,648 32,450
    Pittsburgh 46,003 52,165 53,446
    South Florida 44,550 40,849 52,553
    Rutgers 43,761 46,195 49,113
    Syracuse 40,504 40,064 39,043
    Connecticut 36,668 38,248 38,229
    Cincinnati 32,293 35,067 33,957

    *Notre Dame is a football independent

    BIG 12

    School 2011 2010 2009
    Texas 100,524 100,654 101,175
    Texas A&M 87,183 82,477 76,800
    Oklahoma 85,161 84,738 84,778
    Missouri 62,095 61,540 64,120
    Oklahoma State 57,229 50,812 53,719
    Texas Tech 55,347 57,108 50,249
    Iowa State 53,647 45,395 46,242
    Kansas State 49,030 49,816 46,763
    Kansas 42,283 44,851 50,581
    Baylor 41,368 40,043 36,306

    PAC-12

    School 2011 2010 2009
    Southern Cal 74,806 79,907 84,799
    Washington 62,531 66,264 64,356
    Oregon 59,344 59,398 58,544
    Arizona State 59,007 47,943 48,556
    UCLA 56,644 60,376 64,547
    Colorado 50,355 46,864 50,088
    Stanford 49,997 40,042 41,436
    Arizona 48,953 55,408 52,555
    Utah 45,149 45,459 45,155
    Oregon State 42,420 45,509 42,328
    California 37,657* 57,873 59,472
    Washington State 28,791 24,532 25,909

    *Cal played this season’s home games in AT&T Park.

    SEC

    School 2011 2010 2009
    Alabama 101,821 101,821 92,012
    Tennessee 94,642 99,781 99,220
    LSU 92,868 92,718 92,489
    Georgia 92,613 92,746 92,746
    Florida 89,061 90,511 90,635
    Auburn 85,792 86,087 84,614
    South Carolina 79,131 76,668 75,369
    Arkansas 66,990 68,932 65,112
    Kentucky 60,007 66,070 69,594
    Mississippi 56,488 55,898 55,767
    Mississippi State 55,949 54,999 53,792
    Vanderbilt 32,873 33,269 35,015

    Source: Schools, NCAA

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  • New sponsors register quickly with golf fans

    The PGA Tour’s newest corporate partners have quickly become embedded in the minds of the sport’s fans, according to the results of a Turnkey Intelligence sponsor-awareness study conducted exclusively for SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily.

    As for the companies that those sponsors replaced, they’ve seen dramatic declines in recognition by fans.

    In the five years that SportsBusiness Journal/Daily and Turnkey have been fielding fan loyalty studies about leagues and their sponsors, the data has showed that when a brand steps in to replace a league’s longtime partner in a category, the tenured brand tends to benefit from a “comet tail” effect: Fans still associate that brand’s name with the sport even after it’s departed.

    United Airlines and InterContinental Hotels Group, home to the Crowne Plaza brand, became PGA Tour sponsors and  jumped atop recognition surveys in their categories.
    Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
    Not so with the PGA Tour.

    In October 2010, United Airlines completed its acquisition of Continental Airlines, creating United Continental Holdings. Two months later, the company signed a five-year deal for United to replace Delta as the official airline of the PGA Tour, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour, a designation Delta had held for the previous quarter of a century.

    In our sponsor loyalty study of the PGA Tour for 2011, 16.6 percent of the 400 PGA Tour fans surveyed identified United as the tour’s official airline. That marked a year-over-year increase of 8.2 percentage points, trailing only FedEx (up 8.4 points) for biggest improvement among the 84 brands measured in the survey. Conversely, Delta saw its numbers plummet by 11.5 percentage points compared with 2010, the biggest such drop of any brand in the study.

    United in 2011 sponsored the Top Holes of the PGA Tour Getaway, a fan sweepstakes in which the grand prize was five separate three-day/two-night trips for two to the winner’s choice of five of the courses that contain the top 25 holes on the tour, the opportunity to play up to two rounds of golf at those courses and one full set of custom-fit Callaway golf clubs. Each of the five trips included round-trip air transportation via United, accommodations and use of rental car — for an estimated value of $15,000.

    United also sponsored men’s professional golf events in markets where the merged airline has hubs: Houston (Shell Houston Open), Chicago (BMW Championship), Cleveland (World Golf Championships: Bridgestone Invitational), Newark (The Barclays), Los Angeles (Northern Trust Open) and San Francisco (Charles Schwab Cup Championship).

    The tour also had a sponsor change in its hospitality category in 2011, as InterContinental Hotels Group ended Starwood Hotels and Resorts’ 10-year run as the official hotel of the PGA Tour, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour. IHG signed on to promote its Crowne Plaza brand, which already had been the title sponsor of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, since 2007.

    Before the 2010 season, the company reportedly had been considering opting out of the final two years of its deal, an agreement that called for Crowne Plaza to spend roughly $7 million a year on sponsorship and media commitments for its title sponsorship of the tournament. Instead, IHG has increased its golf commitment by signing a tour-level deal and renewing its Colonial sponsorship, each through 2015.

    Crowne Plaza in 2011 saw its overall recognition rate improve by 6.7 percentage points, trailing only FedEx and United among PGA Tour sponsors. Starwood’s fan recognition rate, on the other hand, dropped 5.9 percentage points among all brands measured, the second-largest decline among all brands measured in the study.

    Nearly 60 percent of PGA Tour fans correctly identified FedEx as the tour’s official shipping company, making it one of the most recognized corporate partnerships in sports. Among the similar fan studies conducted since 2007 of other sports properties, only Gatorade’s partnership with the NFL has a higher recognition rate (61.8 percent in our 2011 NFL study). FedEx has title sponsored the tour’s seasonlong playoff points system for the past five seasons; Gatorade has been an NFL partner since 1983.

    Methodology

    For this project, Turnkey Sports & Entertainment, through its Turnkey Intelligence operation, conducted national consumer research surveys among a sample of more than 400 members of the Toluna Online panel who were at least 18 years old.

    The 2011 survey was conducted Sept. 26-30, a five-day period immediately following the last FedEx Cup playoff event, the Tour Championship by Coca-Cola. The 2010 survey was fielded Sept. 7-24.

    Respondents were screened and analyzed based on their general avidity levels. Fans categorized as “avid” were those who responded “4” or “5” to the question “How big a fan are you of the PGA Tour?”, claimed to “look up scores several times a week or more often,” “watch/listen/attend at least 11 tournaments per season” and “have a favorite player.” Fans categorized as “casual” responded “3” to the same initial question, then claimed to “look up scores several times a month or more often,” “watch/listen/attend at least 3 tournaments per season” and “have a favorite player.”

    When asked to identify official sponsors, respondents selected from a field of companies and brands that was provided to them for each business sector. Only the top-scoring companies and brands are listed in the results published here.

    The percentage responses listed have been rounded. The margin of error for each survey is +/- 4.9 percentage points.

    Are you more or less likely to consider trying a product/service if that product/service is an official sponsor of the PGA Tour?
      AVID   CASUAL
      2011 2010 2009   2011 2010 2009
    More likely 66.7% 57.1% 59.9%   43.5% 35.7% 39.8%
    Unaffected or less likely 33.3% 42.9% 40.1%   56.5% 64.3% 60.2%
     
    Are you more or less likely to regularly consume a product/service if that product/ service is an official sponsor of the PGA Tour?
      AVID   CASUAL
      2011 2010 2009   2011 2010 2009
    More likely 65.7% 55.6% 49.6%   43.5% 34.7% 34.6%
    Unaffected or less likely 34.3% 44.4% 50.4%   56.5% 65.3% 65.4%
     
     
    Are you more or less likely to recommend a product/service to a friend or family member if that product/service is an official sponsor of the PGA Tour?
      AVID   CASUAL
      2011 2010 2009   2011 2010 2009
    More likely 66.2% 55.6% 54.5%   44.5% 37.7% 34.0%
    Unaffected or less likely 33.8% 44.4% 45.5%   55.5% 62.3% 66.0%
     
    Are you more or less likely to consciously support a company by purchasing its products/ services if the company is an official sponsor of the PGA Tour?
      AVID   CASUAL
      2011 2010 2009   2011 2010 2009
    More likely 67.7% 61.0% NA   46.5% 36.7% NA
    Unaffected or less likely 32.3% 39.0% NA   53.5% 63.3% NA

    NA: Not applicable; question was not asked in the survey for 2008.

    The survey was not conducted in 2009.

      AVID   CASUAL
    SOFT DRINK 2011 2010 2008   2011 2010 2008
    Coca-Cola* 37.9% 41.0% 41.0% 33.0% 28.6% 35.4%
    Pepsi 18.2% 16.6% 18.0%   18.5% 11.1% 16.0%
    Dr Pepper 4.0% 3.9% 4.1%   4.0% 5.5% 4.4%
    I’m not sure 27.3% 29.8% 28.8%   37.0% 46.7% 36.4%

    Coca-Cola, a tour sponsor since 2002, completed the first year of a six-year renewal that runs through 2016. The beverage company and the tour in June unveiled a new name and logo for the final FedEx Cup playoffs event: the Tour Championship by Coca-Cola. NBC’s coverage of the event’s final round in 2011 drew 1.97 million viewers, up 37 percent over 2010. Pepsi, a PGA of America sponsor, ran the Refresh Your Summer sweepstakes that offered a chance to win one of 14 grand prizes, including a trip to the PGA Championship.

      AVID   CASUAL
    SPORTS/ENERGY DRINK 2011 2010 2008   2011 2010 2008
    Gatorade 38.9% 36.6% 44.1% 32.5% 27.6% 35.0%
    Powerade* 8.6% 6.8% 8.1%   9.0% 6.0% 10.7%
    Red Bull 7.6% 9.8% 6.3%   6.5% 7.0% 2.9%
    I’m not sure 31.8% 33.7% 29.3%   39.5% 48.7% 37.9%

    Coca-Cola’s Powerade brand has the official rights in this category but has seen little activation in pro golf. Competitor Gatorade, meanwhile, is the official sports drink of the PGA of America, the organization that operates the PGA Championship and the Ryder Cup. It also featured Tiger Woods as an endorser until December 2009.

      AVID   CASUAL
    BEER 2011 2010 2008   2011 2010 2008
    Anheuser-Busch (Michelob Ultra, O’Doul’s)* 28.3% 24.9% 30.9%   27.5% 25.1% 33.7%
    Miller 10.6% 15.1% 12.5%   12.5% 10.1% 13.3%
    Coors 14.1% 9.3% 12.2%   7.5% 5.5% 8.0%
    Heineken 7.6% 8.3% 9.8%   5.0% 6.5% 8.4%
    I’m not sure 26.3% 36.1% 21.4%   40.5% 46.2% 27.7%

    An official marketing partner of the PGA Tour since 1994, Anheuser-Busch renewed its deal in 2010 for three years. A-B’s Michelob Ultra brand teamed with another tour sponsor, Bridgestone, for a Father’s Day promotion called The Golfer’s Ultimate 6-Pack. The package featured five Michelob Ultra Slimline cans and a three-ball sleeve of Bridgestone e6 golf balls. Both sponsors promoted the deal on their websites and through social media, including Facebook and Twitter. In addition, Michelob Ultra’s Ultra Foursome Sweepstakes gave the grand-prize winner a trip for four to four golf courses in the United States along with a kickoff party, $25,000 cash and other benefits worth a total prize value of $125,000. Contestants could enter the sweepstakes through Michelob Ultra’s Facebook page or by text message.

      AVID   CASUAL
    CREDIT CARD 2011 2010 2008   2011 2010 2008
    American Express 20.7% 24.4% 36.0% 30.5% 26.1% 31.6%
    MasterCard* 30.3% 27.3% 17.1%   20.5% 21.6% 20.9%
    Visa 21.7% 24.4% 13.5%   14.0% 16.6% 9.2%
    I’m not sure 20.2% 18.5% 17.1%   27.0% 33.2% 25.7%

    MasterCard last year added the British Open to its portfolio of golf sponsorships, which includes the PGA Tour and European Tour. The company launched new ads around its presenting sponsorship of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando in March, featuring Tom Watson, Camilo Villegas, Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell promoting its PGA Tour Player Experience packages. Those offerings give MasterCard cardholders a chance to play rounds of golf at the private courses in the tour’s TPC network. American Express, however, scored the most recognition among all fans in this category again last year. Its recognition score among avid fans remained below MasterCard’s mark, but its margin ahead of MasterCard among casual fans increased. AmEx is the official credit card of the PGA of America as well as the U.S. Golf Association.

      AVID   CASUAL
    AIRLINE 2011 2010 2008   2011 2010 2008
    United* 17.7% 8.8% 6.8% 15.5% 8.0% 6.3%
    Southwest 16.2% 4.9% 8.1%   10.5% 8.0% 4.9%
    American 10.6% 12.2% 17.1%   13.0% 13.6% 16.0%
    Delta 9.1% 21.5% 17.1%   6.5% 17.1% 14.6%
    I’m not sure 31.8% 38.1% 38.3%   43.5% 44.2% 48.5%

    United Continental Holdings, the merged company of the former United and Continental airlines, agreed to a five-year deal in December 2010 for United to replace Delta as the official airline of the PGA Tour, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour. Delta had served in the official sponsor capacity for the tours for the previous 25 years. With the new deal in place, PGA, Nationwide and Champions tour players have free access to United’s Red Carpet Clubs and Continental’s Presidents Clubs, and they receive elite status in frequent-flier programs for both airlines. Also, frequent fliers of the airlines can earn special access at select tour events to players and hospitality areas.

      AVID   CASUAL
    SHIPPING 2011 2010 2008   2011 2010 2008
    FedEx* 62.6% 58.1% NA 56.5% 44.2% NA
    UPS 11.6% 13.2% NA   9.5% 15.1% NA
    DHL 5.6% 4.4% NA   3.5% 1.5% NA
    U.S. Postal Service 4.0% 5.9% NA   2.0% 2.5% NA
    I’m not sure 15.2% 18.5% NA   28.5% 33.7% NA

    In its fifth season as sponsor of the seasonlong playoff points system, FedEx scored the highest recognition marks from fans of any sponsor in the survey. Its scores for 2011 were higher than 2010, as well. FedEx last year produced TV, print and online ads promoting a better golfing experience to PGA fans with its pack-and-ship service for golf clubs. The company also wrapped delivery trucks with the images of PGA Tour players in the four FedEx Cup playoffs markets, and it returned as title sponsor of the tour’s St. Jude Classic event in Memphis, the company’s home base. European Tour sponsor UPS, meanwhile, launched a golf-related website and features Lee Westwood, Louis Oosthuizen and Jeev Milka Singh as ambassadors.

      AVID   CASUAL
    INSURANCE 2011 2010 2008   2011 2010 2008
    Travelers* 18.2% 15.6% NA 12.5% 9.1% NA
    Nationwide* 16.2% 16.1% NA   12.5% 11.1% NA
    State Farm 12.6% 11.2% NA   8.5% 5.0% NA
    Geico 10.1% 9.8% NA   9.0% 10.6% NA
    Allstate 8.1% 9.3% NA   8.0% 9.1% NA
    I’m not sure 25.3% 31.2% NA   39.5% 47.7% NA

    Travelers, the official property casualty insurance provider of the PGA Tour, became title sponsor of the tour’s Travelers Championship event in 2007 and has been a sponsor of that Connecticut-based event each year since its inception in 1952. The tourney was named the PGA Tour’s Most Fan-Friendly Event in 2010 and was recognized as having the tour’s Best Title Sponsor Integration in 2009 and 2010. As for Nationwide, it will end its title sponsorship of the PGA Tour’s developmental tour at the conclusion of the 2012 season. It’s had that role since 2003.

      AVID   CASUAL
    HOTEL 2011 2010 2008   2011 2010 2008
    Crowne Plaza* 15.2% 11.2% NA 17.5% 8.0% NA
    Hilton 13.6% 11.7% NA   9.0% 10.6% NA
    Wyndham 12.1% 9.8% NA   6.5% 5.5% NA
    Holiday Inn* 9.1% 6.3% NA   6.5% 4.5% NA
    Best Western 5.6% 4.9% NA   4.5% 4.0% NA
      I’m not sure 35.9% 42.9% NA   50.5% 53.3% NA

    InterContinental Hotels Group signed on starting in 2011 as the tour’s official hotel and resort partner. IHG brand Crowne Plaza, title sponsor of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial in Texas since 2007, renewed that deal through 2015. For the year, Crowne Plaza and sister brand Holiday Inn both received gains in recognition from avid and casual fans in the survey.

      AVID   CASUAL
    AUTOMOTIVE 2011 2010 2008   2011 2010 2008
    General Motors 28.3% 31.7% 35.0% 27.0% 29.7% 41.7%
    Chrysler 11.6% 7.3% 13.2%   11.0% 8.0% 14.5%
    Toyota 12.6% 9.8% 5.6%   8.0% 4.5% 4.7%
    Ford 8.6% 9.8% 12.5%   7.0% 5.5% 6.8%
    I’m not sure 26.3% 34.6% 13.2%   41.0% 45.2% 24.3%

    The automotive category has been vacant since the end of the 2009 season, when GM-brand Buick terminated its tour business — including its league-level deal, multiple event title sponsorships and its partnership with Tiger Woods. Buick had been the longest-running PGA Tour sponsor before that, dating to 1958. Beginning in 2011, Hyundai agreed to a three-year deal to title sponsor the tour’s season-opening tournament in Hawaii, and GM’s Cadillac signed a six-year deal to title-sponsor the World Golf Championships event in Florida in March. Lexus, a division of Toyota, added Jason Day, No. 8 in the world golf rankings in mid-December, to its stable of endorsers beginning at the 2011 U.S. Open.

      AVID   CASUAL
    TELECOMMUNICATIONS 2011 2010 2008   2011 2010 2008
    AT&T 28.8% 26.8% 35.1% 17.0% 14.6% 27.7%
    Verizon 17.7% 14.2% 8.6%   20.0% 15.1% 13.1%
    Sprint 10.1% 10.7% 14.0%   11.0% 9.6% 9.7%
    T-Mobile 9.1% 5.4% 5.0%   5.0% 8.0% 6.3%

    This category is open at the tour level, but the AT&T National, hosted by Tiger Woods, participated in the PGA Tour’s mobile-device testing effort in 2011. That initiative allowed fans to carry mobile devices and use them in select areas on the golf course, including two AT&T Calling Zones.

      AVID   CASUAL
    QUICK-SERVICE RESTAURANT 2011 2010 2008   2011 2010 2008
    Subway 21.2% 14.2% 11.4% 21.0% 13.1% 8.0%
    McDonald’s 13.1% 13.2% 10.3%   5.5% 4.5% 6.5%
    Wendy’s 7.1% 4.4% 5.5%   5.5% 3.5% 5.4%
    Chick-fil-A 5.6% 5.4% 6.1%   6.5% 6.0% 4.0%
    Burger King 4.0% 6.3% 10.8%   1.5% 2.5% 8.3%
    I’m not sure 42.9% 49.3% 21.5%   56.0% 64.8% 45.7%

    Subway continues to gain in recognition among PGA Tour fans in the quick-service restaurant category, where the tour doesn’t have an official sponsor. Wendy’s has sponsored the Wendy’s 3-Tour Challenge, which benefits adoption efforts, since 1992. In February, Morton’s signed its first official leaguewide sports partnership, becoming the official steakhouse of the PGA Tour, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour.

      AVID   CASUAL
    BANK 2011 2010 2008   2011 2010 2008
    Bank of America 18.2% 20.0% NA 17.0% 20.1% NA
    Wells Fargo 11.6% 3.4% NA   10.5% 4.0% NA
    JPMorgan Chase 9.1% 8.8% NA   6.5% 7.0% NA
    Citibank 5.6% 9.8% NA   9.5% 6.0% NA
    HSBC 8.1% 7.3% NA   2.5% 1.0% NA
    I’m not sure 35.4% 41.5% NA   47.5% 54.8% NA

    In an open category for the tour, Bank of America has nearly twice the recognition among fans of any of its competitors. Wells Fargo in 2011 put its name back on the Charlotte event after a two-year hiatus, rebranding the Quail Hollow Championship as the Wells Fargo Championship. Wells Fargo originally changed the tournament’s name after buying rival Wachovia in 2008. Financial institutions Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Northern Trust and RBC are all title sponsors of individual PGA Tour events.

    * Official PGA Tour sponsor
    NA: Not applicable; fans were not asked about their awareness of sponsors in this category for the 2008 survey.

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