The Washington Times (is it still owned by the Moonies?) has Yet Another Article on the challenging economic climate for the PGA Tour. Unlike most, however, it ends on a positive note:
Finchem signed a 10-year deal with Korean media giant SBS to replace Mercedes for the season-opening event in Hawaii. And given his stellar track record, Finchem likely will pair the other handful of vacated events with sponsors.
“The value proposition for sponsorship in golf is very, very strong,” Finchem said. “That’s why we have always been sponsored, even through economic downturns. I don’t see anything moving right now from a regular tour standpoint that’s going to upset that. I think this is all a reaction to some rhetoric [concerning the Northern Trust Open].
“The [players] have really stepped up this year. They’ve done more stuff with corporate hospitality. They’ve sent thank you notes to CEOs and things of that nature. That’s who we are, and why I know our product is second to none. There have been some bumps this year, but we’ll get through it.”
It’s good to see that the players know who’s signing their paychecks. Given the size of the sponsor outlays (Crowne Plaza reportedly puts out $7 million for the Colonial), they should be grateful. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that they were playing for peanuts.
Consider: Arnold Palmer earned just over $2 million in his PGA Tour career. As of this week, eight players have already surpassed that for the 2009 season. Nicklaus earned nearly nine million in his career. Tiger earned three times that in his 2007 season.
Yes, times are good for the players on the Tour.