Portland-Based Cambia Steps In As Presenting Sponsor Of Former Safeway Classic
Portland's annual LPGA event, the former Safeway Classic, will "return in August under a new name and an altered sponsorship structure," according to Mike Tokito of the Portland OREGONIAN. The Portland Classic Presented by Cambia Health Solutions will be played Aug. 28-31 at Columbia Edgewater Country Club. The tournament, which started in '72 and is the "longest-running regular event" on the LPGA circuit, had played as the Safeway Classic "the last 18 years." Tournament Golf Foundation, the nonprofit that runs the event, had been "seeking a sponsor for the tournament since its title sponsorship deal with Safeway expired at the end of last year's tournament." Although TGF was "not able to secure a title sponsor" -- typical LPGA title sponsorships start around $3M -- Cambia "stepped in with a lower-cost presenting sponsorship, the terms of which were not announced." Two other Portland-area companies -- ESCO Corp. and Barrett Business Solutions -- also have "committed to sponsorship involvement." The structure will "allow TGF to put on this year's tournament before trying to form a longer-term plan." TGF President Tom Maletis said, "Because of the urgency and the short time that we had, we just wanted to put together this year" (Portland OREGONIAN, 5/21). Maletis added, "We were in a time crunch. Without (Cambia) we would not have been able to pull the tournament off this year. They came through at the right time.” In Portland, Elizabeth Hayes noted Cambia President & CEO Mark Ganz "felt it was important for the tournament to have locally based sponsorship." Cambia made a "one-year commitment" to the event. Ganz said if the tournament finds a better presenting sponsor, "we will be happy to step aside" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 5/20).