USA Today has an interesting interview with PGA Tour Commissioner on the charitable side of PGA Tour economics.
Since donating $10,000 to charity at the 1938 Palm Beach Invitational, the PGA Tour, which operates the main men’s professional golf tours, has donated more than $1.4 billion. But the Tour’s donations are down 10% to 15% this year from a record $124 million in 2008. The Tour’s response? A renewed commitment to fundraising with a website coming in January 2010 and an advertising campaign, “Together, anything is possible.”
The PGA Tour is a unique sports institution in that it contracts with charities to run their events. The Tour brings sponsors, players, television, et. al, and the charitable institution sells tickets and corporate tents, promotes the event, and puts up about 1/3 of the purse. Net profits for the events go to one or more local charitable institutions. In some Tour communities, that event provides major funding. Flint area charities, for example, will be devastated by the loss of the Buick Open.