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It appears the business landscape for the PGA Tour is improving. It has a new partner in Farmers Insurance, the title sponsor of next week’s San Diego event and today it added another new member to its sponsorship family. The latest addition also represents an extra bang for the buck, as it happens to also involve a new event on the schedule.
PGA Tour Commissioner, Tim Finchem announced that the accounting, tax and business consulting firm RSM McGladrey has pledged its support to a Fall Series (October 7-10) tournament (The McGladrey Classic), which will be held at Sea Island, GA on the Seaside course. According to Finchem, it is the last piece in the Tour’s puzzle with regard to a full schedule of events for 2010. Finchem stated that the number of events in total will be consistent with a year ago and the cumulative prize money would be up slightly from 2009. Charitable contributions, with the addition of its new business partners are expected to be in the range of $116 to $118 million in 2010, Finchem added.
There is also an interesting element, which can get lost within this story line. First and foremost in a tough economy, another deal was accomplished. But more important, McGladrey, a company renown for doing its homework and knowing numbers, has determined it’s appropriate for it to increase its presence, exposure and financial commitment to golf. According to company president, C.E. Andrews, the factors that influenced the decision were centered on its varied business relationships. “ We know that our clients and prospects through our research very much enjoy playing and watching golf, and by partnering with the PGA Tour, that enables us to really connect all of these individuals in a meaningful way,” Andrews said. “We believe that it is a very, very efficient marketing investment for us. And of course the real power in any relationship comes through understanding, and our employees across the nation use that philosophy every day to create long-lasting partnerships with our clients really that are based on trust and integrity, and that's what our business is about.”
The company has been associated with golf through its marketing arrangements with Zach Johnson, Chris DiMarco and Natalie Gulbus, otherwise known as team McGladrey. But this takes it to another level as the deal is for three years and the purse is expected to be $4 million.
The host organization for the McGladrey Classic will be Davis Love III's foundation. Love will also serve as the tournament chairman. His brother Mark Love will be the executive director. Zach Johnson, a Sea Island resident will be actively involved as a member of the tournament board, as well.
“The St. Simons/Sea Island area has been home for Mark and me and our families for a long time, and we're extremely happy to support the community that means so much to us,” Love said on a conference call announcing the new event. “Probably more important than the prestige of serving as a host organization for a PGA Tour event, which in itself is huge and a big responsibility and one we take very seriously, is the impact we can have our community's charities. It's no secret that this economy has crippled towns that depend on tourism. And with McGladrey's title sponsorship and Sea Island's status as a magnet making this possible, the St. Simons/Sea Island community as a whole will benefit.”
Love continued, “As we've always said, golf is a game of honor, and one of the aspects of this sport that I've always been most proud of as a board member and as a Tour player is how much our Tour, thanks to sponsors like McGladrey, gives back to their communities and really to the whole country and to the game. And Special Olympics plus many local regional and national family and children's charities will greatly benefit from this tournament, and that's what we're most proud to be a small part of.”
The Seaside Course, which opened in 1929, was originally designed by noted architects Harry S. Colt and Charles Alison, and in 1999 was renovated by Tom Fazio. It measures 7,055 yards and plays to par 70. The resort also features the Plantation Course, designed by Walter Travis and renovated by Rees Jones in 1998. The McGladrey Classic will feature a 132-player field.