Golf Sponsorship To Reach $1.36 Billion In 2008

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North American-based companies will spend an estimated $1.36 billion to sponsor pro and amateur golf tournaments, sanctioning bodies and related events in '08, up nine percent from $1.25 billion in '07, according to IEG Sponsorship Report, the world's leading authority on sponsorship.

North American-based companies will spend an estimated $1.36 billion to sponsor pro and amateur golf tournaments, sanctioning bodies and related events in '08, up nine percent from $1.25 billion in '07, according to IEG Sponsorship Report, the world's leading authority on sponsorship.

The increase is due in part to some golf properties expanding opportunities for more robust partnerships beyond traditional hospitality packages and tournament title deals.

For example, the U.S. Golf Assn. in '06 launched a new corporate partnership program, around which it has signed four partners, two of which are new this year.

IBM Corp. announced a four-year partnership with the USGA in '08. Among many components of the deal, Big Blue helped re-launch USOpen.com as a platform to demonstrate its digital technology expertise.

In addition to IBM, the USGA signed a four-year partnership with the Royal Bank of Scotland in a deal estimated at $3 million a year. The USGA's other corporate partners are American Express Co. and Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.'s Lexus division.

"By working with a limited number of sponsors, the USGA has successfully raised the value of its sponsorship packages by providing corporate partners an uncluttered marketing environment," said William Chipps, IEG Sponsorship Report's senior editor.

Other golf properties have enhanced their corporate relationships by developing customized, turnkey activation programs. For example, the PGA Tour earlier this year created a health-themed program around Hartford, Conn.'s Travelers Championship that provided strategic tie-ins with GlaxoSmithKline plc's Avodart medication and other health-focused corporate partners.

The PGA Tour this year also expanded customized activation programs for General Mills, Inc.'s Nature Valley granola bars and Waste Management, Inc.

Spending on golf remains healthy despite the fallout in the financial services sector, one of the sport's most active sponsors, Chipps said.

"The serious issues facing the financial services industry are sure to have some impact on golf sponsorships, but the ability of golf properties to work with other industries will help to offset any loss of funds," said Chipps, pointing to the PGA Tour's recent first-time ties with The Dow Chemical Co. and Transitions Optical, Inc.

About IEG, LLC
IEG is the world's leading provider of independent research, consulting, training and analysis on sponsorship. Founded in 1981, IEG provides corporations and properties with the strategies and tools to harness the sales and marketing power of sports, arts, entertainment and cause marketing.

IEG offers services that include sponsorship consulting, competitive intelligence and valuation. IEG also publishes IEG Sponsorship Report, the international biweekly newsletter on sponsorship; the IEG Sponsorship Sourcebook, the definitive guide to sponsors, properties and agencies; and other industry publications and sources.

IEG also is the leader in sponsorship training. Its internationally renowned Sponsorship Conference, now in its 26th year, attracts a capacity crowd of delegates each year. Through its conferences, seminars and webinars, IEG has trained more than 45,000 sponsorship executives worldwide.

For more information about IEG and the sponsorship industry, please visit http://www.sponsorship.com or call 800/834-4850 (outside the U.S. and Canada, 312/944-1727).

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William Chipps
IEG, LLC
312-944-1727
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