PGA Tour title sponsor negotiations are in high gear as a number of agreements will expire in 2010. With a current bailout of six mainstays and a weakened economy looming, options are dwindling despite the aggressive efforts of Tim Finchem.
Crowne Plaza is the most recent sponsor to jump ship two years before its scheduled exit date and takes along with it seven million dollars in endorsement and media commitments. FBR and Ginn are two additional casualties leaving Tim Finchem to bemoan, "We've obviously had, and are having, some bumps in the road."
Temporary declines in attendance also hurt the tour and were to some degree caused by the 2008 absence of Tiger Woods but, since his return, that ship has righted itself.
There are also corporations eager to extend the life of their sponsorship deals as well as new deals on the horizon, forcing Commissioner Finchem to think outside the box when considering any and all offers.
New ideas to help soften a hard-hit Tour? Introduce hard liquor and casinos as sponsors, once thought of as the bane to a sophisticated American way of life.
In my opinion, allowing spirit sponsorships can add a whole new host of problems although the PGA Tour has been loosening up a bit knowing that estimates run as high as fifty million dollars for the Tour if they just change the rules to allow it. But if you amend the rules, accept any and all penalties because of it.
How would fans behave if spirit companies forced a plan on the PGA Tour to offer their liquor during tournaments? Nascar on grass!
But the PGA Tour will have to find a poster child other than John Daly to sell this idea to the public. Daly is svelte and says he's almost totally off the sauce. If hard liquor was title sponsor of events when Daly had committed his egregious activiites, would he still have received a six month suspension or just a slap on the wrists?
On this week's Golf for Beginners show we wonder what allowing hard liquor will do to the PGA Tour. And, if the PGA Tour relaxes its rules, would there be more questionable sponsors lining up in the conga line?
Life without Annika at this year's Sybase Classic is discussed.
Hank Haney also helps us easily fix a slice using the basics of G.A.S.P. and Butch Harmon's golf tip tells us how not to hold back.
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