Franklin Templeton Signs Two-Year Deal To Return As Shark Shootout Title Sponsor
Franklin Templeton Investments “has a two-year agreement as title sponsor” of the Shark Shootout, which puts the tourney “in line with the remainder of the PGA Tour's television contract,” according to Greg Hardwig of the NAPLES NEWS. Franklin Templeton was the title sponsor of the event hosted by Greg Norman from ‘92-‘05. Great White Shark Enterprises President Bart Collins said that “even though the event and Franklin Templeton have had a long relationship, this wasn't a case of the company coming in to save the event.” Collins added that the agreement “wouldn't have happened if everything didn't make sense.” Norman in January said that if there "was not a new title sponsor by June, chances were not good the 2011 event would be played.” Collins said that Franklin Templeton was “one of the companies that they started working with back in January.” Norman, Collins and Shark Shootout Tournament Dir Taylor Ives all indicated that they “never thought of putting the event on hiatus or attempting to move it as the process continued to wear on.” Meanwhile, Norman on Thursday said that PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley “has already committed” to play in the Dec. 7-11 tournament. Norman: "The quality of the field this year is not going to be any different" (NAPLES NEWS, 8/19). In Florida, Seth Soffian notes the title sponsor agreement “will maintain the tournament purse at $3 million.” Franklin Templeton “remained involved with the event as a secondary sponsor the past five years while Merrill Lynch and parent company Bank of America sponsored the event” (FT. MYERS NEWS-PRESS, 8/19).