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Volume 26 No. 7
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Japanese Retailer To Title Sponsor First PGA Tour Event In Country

Maezawa, pictured with PGA Tour exec Ty Votaw, hopes to incorporate fashion and IT into the event

Japan will "host its first-ever PGA Tour event starting next year" with Zozo, one of the "fastest growing online business companies" in the country, as the tournament’s title sponsor, according to Kaz Nagatsuka of the JAPAN TIMES. The six-year deal begins next season, and the Zozo Championship will have a "field of 78 players" and will "make its debut" Oct. 24-27, 2019. Zozo Founder & President Yusaku Maezawa said that he and his company "have not come up with any concrete ideas yet, but that they hope to make the Japanese PGA Tour event a unique one by taking advantage of its expertise." Maezawa: “We are a company that deals with fashion and IT. We would like to abundantly use those for the tournament, making it a fashionable and technological (event), something the world has not seen before” (, 11/20). The AP's Stephen Wade notes the event will be part of the PGA Tour's "swing through Asia along with stops in South Korea and China," as it replaces the CIMB Classic in Malaysia. The Tour said that the deal was "driven partly" by the '20 Tokyo Games and golf’s "high profile there" (AP, 11/20).

LONG-TERM PARTNER: In Jacksonville, Garry Smits noted RSM signed a "five-year extension" for its title sponsorship of the RSM Classic on St. Simons Island, Ga., which was held last week. RSM has "sponsored the tournament since its inception" in '10. The company has "two years left on its current sponsorship deal, which means the extension will take it" to the '25 tournament. Davis Love III is the tournament host, and his foundation is the "main beneficiary of charitable proceeds" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 11/19).

RAZOR THIN MARGIN: In Norfolk, David Hall notes women’s shave brand Pure Silk will become the title sponsor of the "newly renamed" LPGA event at Kingsmill Resort in a three-year deal, beginning in '19. The agreement "ends a long, wide-ranging courtship that often ended in near-deals with national corporations." Resort officials expect that having a title sponsor "will allow the tournament to put more money back into the community." The tournament, now the Pure Silk Championship, was "formerly known as the Kingsmill Championship" (Norfolk VIRGINIAN-PILOT, 11/20).