From the Rough

Golf without discretion

Bob Hope Classic inks sponsor deal, breathes a huge sigh of relief

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GM’s return to the sponsorship picture at the end of last month signaled a potential return of automakers and financial institutions to the sponsorship picture. It’s no surprise that golf has been struggling to land title sponsors over the past year. With the departure of GM and other long-time sponsors from the sport, there were many people — myself included — that wondered if the sport could continue to have multi-million dollar purses with so many tournament looking for heavy financial hitter to keep the events afloat.

While Harbour Town — and other events — is still looking for a title sponsor, Doral (Cadillac) and the Bob Hope have landed title sponsors for 2011, giving golf hope that the sport may be well on its way to being out of the woods.

As the Associated Press reported, Franklin, Tenn., mortgage company Franklin America will be the new title sponsor for the event:

Franklin American Mortgage Co. has agreed to a three-year, $1.5 million sponsorship deal with the Bob Hope Classic, whose 52nd edition will be played Jan. 17-23.

The mortgage company based in Franklin, Tenn., first participated in the PGA tournament this year.

While the Hope has lost some of its luster in recent years, the event is still a favorite for golfers during the early part of the west coast swing. While the news might not make as much noise as Monty’s comments about Westwood winning next year’s Masters, the fact that the tour is adding sponsors — rather than losing them — is a cause for renewed hope.

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Written by Jonathan Wall

12/08/2010 at 3:54 pm

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