Will Wyndham Hotel and Wyndham Timeshare Continue to Sponsor PGA Tour Wyndham Championship?
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
If Wyndham had been buying television sports drama, they could not have done better than the Wyndham Championship’s final round on Sunday that offered a first time Tour winner, a three-hole sudden-death playoff, and a one-inch bunker shot miss by Sergio Garcia to keep him out of the playoffs. As Greensboro News-Record writer, Robert Bell put it, “How do you improve upon a tournament that sold out in an economy that has bottomed out?”
The PGA Tour’s Greensboro Open (as the event was originally called prior to Wyndham and others becoming title sponsors) has a long and celebrated history in golf. For years, this tournament was the last PGA Tour stop in the spring before the players headed to Augusta, serving as a warm-up to the Masters. Ask the average golf buff what he or she knows about this tournament and Sam Snead’s name always comes up. This tournament proved to be a history-making event for the legendary Sam Snead who not only won the Greater Greensboro Open’s inaugural tournament in 1938, but won it again in 1946, 1949, 1950, 1955, 1956, 1960, and 1965.
Sam Snead’s eight victories in this event is a PGA Tour tournament record number of wins of the same tournament by a single player. His 1965 win in Greensboro at the age of 52 years, 10 months, 8 days, makes him the oldest winner of a PGA Tour tournament—years before the introduction of the graphite shaft produced lighter, easier to swing clubs. Both of Snead’s records in Greensboro stand after 44 years.
Wyndham Hotel and Wyndham Timeshare’s Future with this PGA Tour Tournament
Wyndham Hotel and Wyndham Timeshare‘s contract with the PGA Tour expires after next year’s tournament, with Wyndham having the option to extend its arrangement for two more years. The PGA Tour hopes instead to get Wyndham to extend its deal until 2014.
Sponsoring a tournament on the men’s tour doesn’t come cheap. Wyndham spends some $26 million to brand this event with their name and then uses it not only to expand their visibility, but as a way to do some serious entertaining of important business contacts. Some speculate that Wyndham chairman Steve Holmes and tournament chairman Bobby Long would like to see the tournament moved to earlier in the season when they reason that the course will be in better shape and their guests more flexible to attend, rather than late August with the start of school approaching in many areas.
For Wyndham, signing that longer deal would certainly give them more negotiating power with the PGA Tour about changing the tournament’s dates. On the other hand, as PGA Tour Network correspondent Brian Katrek pointed out, leaving the Wyndham Championship scheduled for the week before the Tour goes to the Fed Ex Cup playoffs, creates exactly the kind of jockeying for position in the FedEx Cup standings and battle to the finish that we saw on Sunday.
Possible Tournament Favorite for the Folks at Wyndham Hotels and Wyndham Timeshare
Adding one more interesting twist to the interworking of the Wyndham Championship is a point brought out in Bell’s article, who wondered if Wyndham officials weren’t quietly rooting for Sergio Garcia. Bell noted that, RCI, a holding of Wyndham timeshare, has 160 Spain timeshare resorts (Garcia’s homeland), and another 700 plus Mexico timeshares and South America timeshares, meaning that an international winner of Garcia’s statue would be widely publicized by the Spanish and Latin media.
…Interesting, but as we all know about golf, the ball doesn’t know or care who hits it, leaving little room for politics and positioning in the game.
See the wrap up of this tournament, and watch the “one inch” that stood between Sergio Garcia and his chance to be part of the play off. This video also includes comments by Brian Katrek on scheduling for this always-successful event.