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Volume 26 No. 174
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BMW Ending Title Sponsorship Of Chicago-Area FedExCup Event

BMW in '07 came on as title sponsor of what was previously known as the Western Open
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
BMW in '07 came on as title sponsor of what was previously known as the Western Open
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
BMW in '07 came on as title sponsor of what was previously known as the Western Open
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

The PGA Tour BMW Championship "will have a new name" in '20, as the automaker "will not return as title sponsor" once its contract expires after this year's event, according to Teddy Greenstein of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. BMW instead will "focus on its global partnership" with the '20 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits. Sources indicated that the "annual cost of title sponsorship of a FedExCup playoff event" is $16-18M, and a "new partner -- or partners -- could be announced soon." Western Golf Association Senior VP/Tournaments Vince Pellegrino said the tournament is "in active discussions with several companies." Greenstein notes the tournament was called the Western Open before being "rechristened the BMW Championship" in '07 when it became one of the playoff events. The tourney has "thrived by many metrics, including being named 'Tournament of the Year' by the PGA Tour three times" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 6/26). GOLFCHANNEL.com's Will Gray noted PGA Tour execs are "not expected to struggle in finding a replacement" for BMW, leaning on the event's "Chicago tie-ins, a rotation of stout courses and a guaranteed star-studded field" to lure a new title sponsor (GOLFCHANNEL.com, 6/25).