PGA Tour Players Give Travelers Exec Warm Welcome

Andy Bessette, chief administrative office for Travelers and the lead negotiator on the company’s new 10-year title sponsorship deal with the PGA Tour, told me he was blown away this week by how much appreciation players have showed for the company’s commitment to the June tournament in Hartford.

Bessette, Travelers Championship tournament director Nathan Grube, and Malcolm Turner from Wasserman Media Group visited Doral on Wednesday to recruit players and check out the new Blue course. Wasserman works with Travelers on its golf strategy.
Henrik Stenson, the reigning FedEx Cup champion, was especially gracious, Bessette said.

“Nothing feels better as a sponsor than to have someone show their appreciation,” Bessette said. “Most of the guys on the PGA Tour really get it and that’s one of the reasons we are so committed. A few don’t, but most of them do.”

It’s a common practice for tournament directors like Grube to visit the driving range at other PGA Tour events to recruit players. It’s not all that common to see a high-ranking executive from the title sponsor walking the range as well.

Bessette has a whole slew of responsibilities at Travelers, from internal investigations and corporate real estate to aviation and sports sponsorships. He estimates that the Travelers Championship now occupies about 15 percent of his job.

“Our motto is that every year has to be better than the last,” he said.

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