Bridgestone Inks Four-Year Extension Of WGC Event Title Sponsorship As Woods Wins Again
Bridgestone yesterday announced that the company has signed a "four-year extension of its title sponsorship" of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational that will keep the tournament in Akron through '18, according to a front-page piece by Marla Ridenour of the AKRON BEACON JOURNAL. Bridgestone's previous agreement with the PGA Tour ran through next year. The Tour will "celebrate its 60th year of golf at Firestone" in '14. Tiger Woods, who won the event yesterday for the eighth time, said of the extension, "Every time they extend I win. I was telling the guy out there, they’ve got to do one-year deals. ... Let’s tear this thing up and do one-year deals and now my stats will be looking pretty good." Ridenour notes Woods won in '05 when it was "announced Bridgestone was taking over sponsorship from NEC starting in 2006, and in 2009, when a four-year extension was reached." Meanwhile, PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem "left himself a little wiggle room if Bridgestone executives want to consider moving the event to Japan after 2018" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 8/5). Finchem said that the tournament is "expected to remain at the same weekend, although the 2016 schedule -- when golf will be in the Olympics -- still has not been worked out." He added that the IOC will "finalize the competition schedule in spring 2014, and the PGA Tour will work around the schedule from there" (CLEVELAND.com, 8/4).