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Volume 24 No. 218
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Colonial Making Progress In Effort To Gain Sponsor Support For '18 PGA Tour Event

Colonial Country Club's attempt to secure funding for its annual PGA Tour stop in '18 has "not changed dramatically," but there has been "some progress" in recent weeks, according to Mac Engel of the FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM. American Airlines has "pledged to help" following Dean & DeLuca's "decision to cease the event's title sponsor." Additionally, XTO Energy Media & Communications Advisor Jeremy Eikenberry confirmed that the company is "in discussions with Colonial about becoming a contributing sponsor." Sources said that Ft. Worth-based BNSF Railway also is "tentatively scheduled to be a contributing sponsor." Engel noted Colonial needs approximately $11.5M to "meet its financial responsibilities for the May event." Meanwhile, there is "some confusion as to exactly where Dean & DeLuca sit in this evolving equation." Dean & DeLuca is "under a binding contract with the PGA Tour and Colonial to remain in the role," and there has been "no change to that." However, Colonial, the city of Ft. Worth and the Tour are "functioning like D&D will not be the title sponsor" next year. Sources said that the Tour is scheduled to meet this month "with another prospective contributing sponsor and a potential title sponsor." A source said that the Tour "did propose Colonial to a prospective title sponsor but was rejected because the company did not like the date" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 12/2).

HANG TEN, OR TWENTY: Sony has signed a four-year renewal with the PGA Tour as title sponsor of the Sony Open in Hawaii that runs through '22. The new deal begins after the '18 tournament is held Jan. 11-14 at Waialae Country Club. The '18 event marks the 20th year of Sony’s title sponsorship, one of longest running title deals on the Tour. Sony now is tied with John Deere, behind Honda ('82) and AT&T Pebble ('86). No agency was used in the deal (John Lombardo, Staff Writer).