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Volume 24 No. 112

Events and Attractions

PGA Tour FedEx St. Jude Classic organizers “have taken a new tack toward marketing their event” as they have “doubled their marketing budget and are actively searching for a younger crowd," according to Kyle Veazey of the Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL. The average age of a fan at the tournament five years ago was 42 years old, while last year it was 50, representing "an eight-year jump in age over the course of just half a decade.” Veazey noted the tournament’s future “has been questioned in recent years.” In ‘09 and ‘10, the event “went without an all-important title sponsor, lending considerable fear that it would disappear.” Also, in a PGA Tour era that “defined your tournament by whether Tiger Woods played in it, the local event was decidedly on the outside -- Woods has never played here.” The tournament “has recovered” as FedEx, “came back on board last year and has provided stability -- and is hoping to achieve a fresh look in the local sports landscape.” Tournament Dir Phil Cannon said, "It's time for us to reinvent ourselves.” Different elements of the rebranding include a “less-traditional, more eyebrow-raising slogan” titled, “The Thwack Is Back,” created by FedEx's sports marketing team. There is also a party tent “just off the 12th green where patrons can drink all the beer they want for $10" and a Saturday night concert "featuring party band Super T." Cannon said of the party tent and concert, "[This is] a big departure for us. ... We're going to jump in feet first.” Meanwhile, tournament Manager Darrell Smith “has been driving a Ford Expedition wrapped with the event's logos across town, and teams have been promoting the event, person-to-person, by handing out schedule cards during festival season and at other events” (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 6/3).