Nationwide Becomes Web Dot Com

I’m sure this is old news to everyone but me (I was out of touch last week at Boy Scout camp): Web.Com has inked a ten year agreement to sponsor the PGA Tour’s developmental tour.

This is the fifth title sponsor for the Tour’s minor leagues. It began as the Hogan Tour, then became the Nike, Buy.Com and finally the Nationalwide Tour. It’s been the Nationwide Tour since 2000.

Web.com is a little known internet service and marketing provider which targets small- and medium-sized businesses. The company has a convoluted history, starting as a semiconductor design firm in 1978. It evolved through various incarnations and acquisitions, finally ending up as an internet services company by the time it went public in 2005. Web.Com has 3 million customers with revenues of $500 million.

The deal with the PGA Tour is Web.Com’s coming-out party of sorts.

I don’t know what Web.Com paid for the title sponsorship, but I think they got in on the ground floor of something good. With the abolition of Q-School, the Nationwide now is the primary path of players to the big show. If the Tour plays this right, the Web.Com Tour and the ensuing fall series playoffs for Tour cards could become a very big deal indeed. One thing the Tour could do is to insist that CBS do regular updates on the status of Web.Com Tour leaders on its weekend broadcasts.

Still the “Web.Com Tour” just doesn’t have the same cachet as the “Nationwide Tour.”

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