Memphis Beat: FedEx Extending Entitlement Of PGA Tour's St. Jude Classic
FedEx today announced that it extended its title sponsorship of the PGA Tour's St. Jude Classic through the '14 tournament. The June tournament in Memphis had brought on FedEx as part of a one-year deal for this year's event, and today's extension will be for three more years. FedEx had been the title sponsor of its hometown event from '86-'06 before moving over to title sponsor the FedExCup in '07. The tournament benefits the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and has raised nearly $25M for the facility since '70. Financial specifics were not available, but title sponsorships on the PGA Tour range from $6-8M a year. The completion of this deal comes on the heels of Northern Trust last Friday renewing its entitlement of the annual Tour event at Riviera Country Club through '16. The Tour has one title sponsorship left to sell for The Heritage to fill all of its title sponsorships for the '12 season (Michael Smith, SportsBusiness Journal). THEGOLFCHANNEL.com's Rex Hoggard writes the announcement could be an "encouraging sign for the Tour as they head into negotiations with FedEx to continue [to be a] sponsor of the circuit's season-long points race." PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem Sunday indicated that he was "optimistic FedEx would remain the umbrella sponsorship of the points race beyond 2013" (THEGOLFCHANNEL.com, 5/17).
ON THE MEMORIAL'S SIDE: In Columbus, Jeff Bell reports Nationwide Insurance is "making its debut as presenting sponsor" of the PGA Tour Memorial Tournament next month, and company marketing execs Matthew Jauchius and John Aman are "beaming about the sponsorship and the promise of its marketing reach." When the Memorial tees off June 2, it will mark the "first time a Columbus-based company is the top sponsor for the tournament," held at Murfield Village Golf Club in the Columbus suburb of Dublin. Nationwide replaces Morgan Stanley, whose eight-year presenting sponsorship ended last year. Jauchius said that Nationwide has created an ad featuring golfer Stewart Cink and highlighting the tournament, the insurance company and the Nationwide Children's Hospital, a TV version of which "will begin running on CBS golf telecasts" this weekend. In addition, Nationwide "will activate its sponsorship with several new twists for the Memorial." At the course, the company "will give away mini radios that fans can clip to their ears to hear an XM Satellite Radio broadcast of the tournament." Also, Nationwide "will set up golf simulators and videos at tournament entrances for fans." The company's logo will be "on tournament scoreboards, pairing sheets and The Memorial magazine, but the tourney will continue its ban on advertising on the course" (BUSINESS FIRST OF COLUMBUS, 5/13 issue).