OFF THE LINKS: OFFICE DEPOT TO SPONSOR LPGA PRO-AM EVENT
FL-based Executive Sports Int'l (ESI) introduced Office
Depot as the new title sponsor of its LPGA pro-am event,
January 21-24, in West Palm Beach, FL. ESI, which owns the
tournament, has signed Office Depot to a five-year deal
(ESI). Office Depot will replace Diet Dr Pepper, which
chose not renew its one-year deal after the tournament's
inaugural year (Randall Mell, SUN-SENTINEL, 10/15).
HOLIDAY RATE: In MEDIAWEEK, Langdon Brockinton reports
that the "asking price" for sponsorship of CBS' proposed
Christmas Day special, "Tiger and Friends," is "between"
$700,000 and $800,000....In other news, sources tell
Brockinton that MasterCard will advertise on CBS' coverage
of the '98 and '99 PGA Championship (MEDIAWEEK, 10/13).
NOTES: GOLFWEEK's Lynn Henning writes that with Phil
Mickelson's endorsement contracts with Yonex and Titleist
set to expire, the "Mickelson Sweepstakes" have become
"something less than the megabucks event anticipated even
six months ago." Henning notes that Mickelson and his
agency, Cornerstone Sports, "have dropped their earlier
goals of seeking money in the [Tiger] Woods range -- $25
million-plus for five years, clubs and balls -- and are now
facing a deal that may be as low as half that" (GOLFWEEK,
10/11 issue)....In Hawaii, the Waialae Country Club will
host a PGA Tour tournament starting in '99 with Sony Corp.
of Hawaii as the title sponsor. United Airlines decided not
to continue as the title sponsor when the PGA Tour sought a
$2M tournament purse (GOLFWEEK, 10/11)....Tiger Woods is the
latest Nike athlete to have his image painted on the side of
a building in downtown Portland, OR (N.Y. TIMES, 10/15).