"Imagine how the new sponsorship development will be received by the guy who lost everything, including his self-esteem, because of the falling dominos in the ailing banking sector."
With the U.S. economy in the toilet, convincing companies to re-up or sit tight on deals with the pro tours is going to be increasingly harder, especially those with ties to banking or real estate, like the Ginn Company, a realty development firm which sponsors events on the PGA and Champions tours and two on the LPGA.
For the PGA Tour, re-signing Wachovia was beyond crucial, since the 6-year-old event has become one of the top 10 tournaments on the circuit. With title sponsors and corporate America being held evermore accountable for questionable, discretionary expenses, it will be interesting to see if companies blink going forward on inking deals.
You know, like 84 Lumber, AT&T, PODS, Buick, Chrysler and Booz Allen have done over the past couple of years -- all have either pared back their sponsorships or walked away from existing tour contracts, largely for economic reasons. The Tampa and Atlanta events are still seeking new sponsors for 2009 and beyond, in fact.Based on this Larry Bohannan story about the LPGA having trouble with U.S. sponsors, perhaps the economy is already catching up to one tour.