By Paul Birdwell (firstname.lastname@example.org)
There was some great news in the world of golf this past week with both the PGA and LPGA Tours getting significant sponsorship commitments for two of their events that will secure both of those professional golf tournaments for years to come.
First the LPGA Tour which nailed down a new Title Sponsor for the Canadian Women’s Open with the Canadian Pacific railway company stepping forward to sponsor the event which will be held at the London Hunt and Country Club in Ontario.
There is a great back-story to this sponsorship that is well worth your time…
“LPGA Tour commissioner Mike Whan was putting out feelers prior to entering his post in 2010.
"Give me some of the names of some of the heroes," Whan remembered asking golfers on the world's top women's golf circuit. "Organizations like the LPGA thrive on heroes -- people that are on the business side, but really get women's golf, they understand what we're trying to build here and they're going to make a difference long-term."
One name kept popping up. E. Hunter Harrison. Railway tycoon.
Six months ago, the two finally met for dinner.
LPGA star Morgan Pressel's reaction upon hearing about the meeting?
"Well, now you've finally figured it out," Whan recalled. "That's who you've got to go talk to."
That dinner meeting apparently went well.
Looking dapper in a silver suit and purple tie, Harrison enthused in his Tennessee drawl during a press conference on Wednesday in downtown Toronto, "We've got a wonderful opportunity here."”
On the heels of the LPGA Tour getting a significant sponsorship commitment for the Canadian Women’s Open one of the best events on the PGA Tour…
The Farmers Open at Torrey Pines in the San Diego, California
….got a five-year extension on Farmers’ Title Sponsorship for their great event which is a key PGA Tour golf tournament during the Tour’s “West Coast Swing” at the start of each year.
“Nearly five years ago Farmers Insurance took a flyer while swooping in to sponsor San Diego’s PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines just six days before the tournament began.
The company has its eyes wide open to golf now, and it likes what it sees.
On Tuesday, the PGA Tour officially announced a new five-year contract for Farmers’ sponsorship that will run through the 2019 event.
“To be a sponsor of a PGA Tour event of this caliber is a perfect fit for us,” said Farmers CFO Scott Lindquist at the Farmers Insurance Open media day, where the announcement was made. “There’s been tremendous success for the tournament through the years and we’ve been pleased to be involved since 2010. We look forward to continuing that growth through 2019.”
In a statement, PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said, “We are extremely pleased to announce this five-year extension, which guarantees the continuation of the positive impact the Farmers Insurance Open has had throughout the San Diego area.”
With both of these Title Sponsorship commitments on the PGA and LPGA Tours being both multi-million Dollar and multi-year in length that is a great sign for the future of sponsorship of professional golf in North America but also something that we here at the Roaring Fork Agency have been noticing in the last 12 months and that is…
Companies are now becoming more willing to invest in multi-million Dollar and multi-year length sponsorships especially for live sporting events
….and that particular kind of commitment to sponsor sports is a very good sign that corporate executives and the marketing/advertising agencies that they work with to spend their advertising Dollars see better times ahead for the economy which is a very good thing for the world of sponsorship going forward.
LPGA Tour – www.lpga.com
Canadian Pacific Women’s Open – www.cpwomensopen.com
PGA Tour – www.pgatour.com
Farmers Insurance Open – www.farmersopen.com
If you have any questions about event sponsorship or venue naming rights contact the Roaring Fork Agency at:
San Francisco, California – 415 730 – 4854
Seattle, Washington – 206 940 – 3934
Bend, Oregon – 541 640 – 2221
Twitter - @RoaringForkAgcy