Finchem: The good, the bad and the potentially ugly
PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem addressed sponsorship issues at a news conference at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.
The good news: Accenture has agreed to an extension to sponsor the Match Play through 2014. Travelers also also agreed to sponsor the Travelers Championship through 2014. Two-thirds of the title sponsors are signed through 2012.
The bad news: FBR will discontinue its sponsorship of the FBR Open in Scottsdale, Ariz., after 2010, and as had been previously announced U.S. Bank will discontinue its sponsorship of the U.S. Bank Championship after 2009. Then there was Ginn Resorts, which pulled its sponsorship of a Champions Tour event, prompting the PGA Tour to file a suit.
The potentially ugly: Finchem said the Stanford St. Jude Classic will go forward, though he would not comment on Stanford Financial's troubles with the SEC. He also had this to say about Northern Trust, which suddenly has Congress angry at it (see the previous post): "We're pleased with the direction of the Northern Trust Open. Northern Trust has turned out to be a fantastic partner, as we thought they would be, but also there's a lot going on to help build the quality of our tournament in Los Angeles."
In summary, Finchem said, "We're going to keep blocking and tackling and work our way through this."
-- John Strege