Insurance giant Nationwide apparently has decided to end its sponsorship of the PGA Tour’s minor leagues when the contract expires in two years. The Columbus, Ohio company will, however, continue to sponsor Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial tournament.
What’s now known as the Nationwide began life in 1990 as the Ben Hogan Tour. There were 30 events that inaugural season. Nike acquired the rights in 1993 and sponsored the tour through 1999. It became the Buy.Com Tour in 2000, and in 2003, naming rights were purchased by Nationwide Insurance.
The Nationwide currently has thirty events where purses run to about a tenth of that on the regular PGA Tour.