home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


September 16, 2014

Gary Dunwoody

Dan Neal

Rick Onsurez

Adam Sperling

DAVE KIRVIN:  My name is Dave Kirvin.  On behalf of everybody who works hard to put on the tournament every year, I want to welcome you to our 2014 Media Day.
Traditionally we have had our defending champion at Media Day.  Webb Simpson is not here, he's disappointed he could not be here, but he is not disappointed at the reason.  He's just coming off The TOUR Championship last weekend and in nine days as a captain's pick he will be part of the Ryder Cup team.
So the schedule didn't work out for him to be here, but we'd like to take some credit for his great success, because in many ways it started with the FedEx points that he earned when he won our tournament last year.  He will be here to play, and we're looking forward to having him back.
We've got some exciting news we want to share with you.  First I'll introduce the folks on the dais here.  And they'll tell you all the exciting things they have going on and off the course for the tournament this year.
First starting here to my left, he is the marketing managing from Hyde Night Club, Rick Onsurez.
To his left is the sponsorship manager for Zappos, Zappos.com, Danny Neal.
Next to him our tournament director, a guy everyone is familiar with, Adam Sperling.  And the gentleman to our far left who will kick things off with a few remarks, we've been working hard to get Gary Dunwoody to come out of his shell after a four or five years.  We're almost there.  We have no bigger supporter in Las Vegas than the chairman of the Shriners Hospitals for Childrens Open Golf Tournament than Gary Dunwoody, and we always like to see him back here if we can get here.  Gary, if you can get us started.
GARY DUNWOODY:  First of all, I want to thank you.  I say the same thing every time.  Every day is what you make of it.  And every tournament is what we make of it.  I'll tell you what, this tournament is really, really doing well.  It's not without its growing pains and all, but every year it just gets better and better.  And that's not from anything the chairman does, that's a make up of everything from the press coverage we're getting here, which is outstanding, the destination, which is unsurpassed by any destination, and by such sponsors as we with have, with Hyde and Zappos and others.  It's a win/win.
And not the least ‑‑ but not last, but not least is absolutely our staff.¬† How could anybody have a better staff than we have here at the tournament.¬† I mean Adam, I mean he's the greatest thing I've had since I found Wanda 20 years ago, my wife.¬† He truly is.
The second best thing that ever happened to me was him coming on as our tournament director.
But a brief description for a second about our hospitals.¬† I want to bring you up‑to‑date a little bit about the hospital system.¬† It won't take me but a few minutes.¬† But we have a $761 dollar budget this year.¬† And that's a little bit over $2 million a day to operate the hospitals.¬† And we have 22 of these facilities.¬† And in spite of the fact we have 115 rooms and about 210 patients a night averaging, that's not very good business.¬† But so much stuff has gone to outpatients, and we've had to change what we do.
In that respect we're changing some of our facilities to a dormitory facility, to a clinic facility and we're affiliating with a lot of university and other hospitals, like in Twin Cities, up in Minneapolis, we're affiliated with Mayo Clinic.  Of course what that gives us is Mayo has an operation in Jacksonville and in Phoenix.  So their reputation is second to none, I guess.  So that's going to help us there.
We're building a brand‑new hospital in Montreal, Canada.¬† We're building a brand‑new hospital in Pasadena, California.¬† The one from Los Angeles is going to be in Pasadena.¬† That's ongoing, and we're building a new one in St. Louis.
So we are continuing trying to keep up with the times.  And the hospital system is just changing, but it's still there.  Even though we take third party pay, there's no way anybody pays anything to go to Shriners Hospitals for Children, either copay or otherwise.  So we are still completely charitable from that standpoint.  So that's kind of the status of the hospitals at Shriners Hospitals.
And the other thing I want to share with everyone here, that this particular tournament brings us a great amount of awareness that we truly, truly need.  And we've got to have it.  And I've had a tough time over the years convincing the board that this is not a fundraising effort out here in Las Vegas, this is an awareness program.  And it is holding up to be a good awareness for us.
And I've got to say again to the staff, we're changing elements, we're changing things we do, some of them have been good, some of them have been bad.  But you sure don't know until you try it.  They're flexible enough to do that.  One thing about changing, you won't see the same thing next year that you saw this year.  Change is not all bad.  They're doing a good job with that.
The main thing you've got to remember this is a fall tournament, we're not the first, but we're the best.  And like I say all the time, if you're not the lead dog, the dude never changes.  So you know that we are the lead dog when it comes to fall tournaments.  And we're happy to be here.  We want to be here longer than that next three years.  And we really intend to be.
And thank each and every one of you for being here today and most of all for your community support.¬† That is so important.¬† And I tell you I couldn't be more grateful for the coverage we get in the Journal‑Review, even though it's an Arkansas company that owns it, which makes them a little bit better than usual.
Anyway, it's a real privilege to have everyone here.¬† I tell you what, this is going to be the best one we've ever had, and I just‑‑ you just need to convince the people out here in the Las Vegas area that you've got this major FedExCup here now.¬† Come out and support it, because it's going to be here, we're going to bring people to Vegas.¬† We're going turn some money over to the Chamber of Commerce.¬† And we're going to give an event that nobody else can give you.
Thank you very much for what you do and your support.  And we love each and every one of you.  And we'll continue this relationship as long as I can stay around.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)
DAVE KIRVIN:  Thank you.  And the Shriners, Gary, and Rick wants to talk to you about a casino host job after today.  He liked what you had to say.
A lot of changes coming, as Gary indicated.  Some things you won't see anywhere else, frankly.  And to tell us all about it and to take us through what happens on and off the course is our tournament director, Adam Sperling.
ADAM SPERLING:  I'd like to thank everybody for being here.  I was going over the notes last night and thinking about the history, at least since I joined in 2009.  The theme that I kept coming back to was community.  Community is I think the one element across the PGA Tour that makes golf tournaments successful.  You look at courses.  You look at field strengths.  You look at purse.  You look at spots on the schedule.  It's all surface level stuff.  It's the community that makes all those events accessible.
And I think looking at what we're going to discuss today and unveil today, the natural progression of the community's involvement in this PGA Tour event, this will be the 7th year in a row that the Shriners have been involved under contract through 2017.  You'll see in this proposal or presentation, excuse me, that we built a foundation that we just created over a couple of years ago, our community events, our charities that we're involved in, our boards, our volunteers, the corporate partners that are getting involved.  A lot of it is a natural progression.
But we all live in Las Vegas, we all have interests outside of this week.  But we've all come together for goals for the community, goals for the charity and the title sponsor and then business goals and objectives.  I think it's a wonderful testament to today's event that we can fill the media with onsite activations, partnerships, Shriners Hospitals for Children activations and focus on that.  Because I think that's the key to getting to where we are now.  And I think it's the key to where we're going to be five or ten years down the road.
Moving forward in that, this year we've continued the tradition of putting together a Dream Team of Shriners Hospitals for Children patients.  RJ Renn will be joining us, he plays to a one handicap.  Does anybody in the room have a one handicap, other Lee?  No one?  I think RJ is 15 now.
Kip Moore, 11‑time defending champion of the Women's U.S. National Amputee Golf Association Invitational.¬† She was born with severe club foot, spina bifida and a right transtibial below the knee amputee at birth.¬†¬†
And then Jarrett Burns, who will be out here for that week competing in the Amputee Long Drive Association Championships.¬† He hit a 409‑yard drive on May 9th.¬† I've hit one of those, and it's been off of a canyon and off a cart path.¬† He hit it straight.
I think last year our Dream Team finished 4th in the Pro Am playing with Jimmy Walker, who won the week prior.  This is a group that has accomplished so much outside the ropes, but they're going to be champions regardless of how well they play.  If they get a little more help if their pro, they'll probably be winning, though.
If you look at our schedule of events, these are the events I was alluding to that we used this day in the past to announce these events.¬† To tell you that we're hosting the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame induction.¬† To talk about a charity Walk‑a‑Thon.¬† To let you know that Charley Hoffman, former UNLV Running Rebel, will be raising funds for five local charities.¬† Now they're part of the fabric of our events. ¬†It has not decreased in significance at all.¬† They're very important.¬† They provide the backbone for everything else that we're going to do Thursday through Sunday when the spectators are out here.¬† Couldn't be done without the charities, the boards, the support, sponsors such as Nb Energy, and Wells Fargo that have been behind a number of these events since we developed them.¬† New to the special events this year, Web.com, Small Business Summit, which will be a free summit on Wednesday in The Hill for local business owners to learn how to successfully market their businesses online, try to help their businesses grow and provide value back to the local business community.
Additionally this year we've themed our days and have some unique activations throughout the week.  Las Ventanas will be sponsoring Thursday's first round, which is Senior Day, will be providing free admission to seniors 55 and over.  There will be pastries and a new venue constructed on the first tee where Las Ventanas will play host to any members of the public where they will learn more and more about their business.
Friday our good friends at Bonefish Grill signed up to sponsor another important day, our Military Appreciation Day.  We have a new venue, Birdies for the Brave, Patriots Outpost, which will be constructed behind the 9th green.  And Bonefish will be supporting that throughout the week.
Saturday is Las Vegas day with Pandora.  Certain number of guests inside the gates by a certain time will receive a coupon to receive the signature Las Vegas charm at Pandora's establishments throughout the city.
And Sunday, our partners at the R‑J have stepped up, something we've never offered before, Sunday is Family Day, and will be offering a family four pack, which is four tickets, four sandwiches and four refreshments for $44.44 to all members of the Las Vegas community.¬† Something that would not be possible if it wasn't for the R‑J support.
Onsite enhancements, when you walk into the event this year you'll be greeted by quite a new number of additions.  We've got rid of the driving range bleachers to bring spectators closer to the players.  That's a theme that will continue throughout the course, as you will see.
But at the main entrance we have our Fan Enhancement Zone by Golf Smith and Fidelity with swing instruction as well as some financial advice.¬† Quicken Loans will have a long putt challenge.¬† And Twin Peaks will be sponsoring an October‑themed concession stand, with pretzels, brats, Miller, Coors, specialized October refreshments.¬† And the whole area is going to really come alive and it will be a wonderful welcome to the site.
Once we get out onsite, last year some may recall that we started building on the 15th green.  We've continued that this year with support from the Southern Nevada Hyundai Dealers Association, where they'll be hosting the Sonata Social Media activation with incentives throughout the week.  It's a great spot to view golf.
It will be even more exciting this year as Nevada State Bank has signed on the sponsor a quarter million dollar hole‑in‑one, for the professionals in the competition.¬† Scorecard says 342 yards, depending on weather, it can play as short as 290.¬† But the first pro in the field, if they're lucky enough to hit a hole‑in‑one will receive a $250,000 prize.
The 16th green new this year, is Lee's Discount Liquor Shank Shack.¬† Some may have already seen the commercials that Kenny and Mr. Lee have been running on local television here.¬† But it's a public viewing platform, activated, sponsored by and supported by Lee's Discount Liquor.¬† They're running the retail promotion now that will allow you to get tickets to the tournament and on the back of that ticket there's two‑for‑one drink specials, only good with that ticket, only good at Lee's Discount Liquor Shank Shack on 16.
At the 17th an area we have not activated, but our friends at Born and Raised will be activating this year is the The No Par Bar.¬† I think many people senior familiar with what a par‑3 can look like in the desert, based on Phoenix.¬† It's certainly something that is welcomed by onsite spectators and television audience.¬† Born and Raised will be activating Coors Light specials, probably some things that we won't know about until we get here during the week.¬† But I think a par‑3, that can just as easily produce a birdie as a bogey, is appropriately named The No Par Bar.
Our main spectator attraction for years has been The Hill.  Last year it underwent complete redesign.  Large investment from the tournament and the Shriners Hospitals for Children to make it a more desirable place to come on your weekend.  I think you'll hear from Rick and you'll see that this year it's going to render the changes that we did last year fairly insignificant, because Hyde is turning The Hill into Hyde on The Hill.  And bringing that venue to life in a much more exciting setting, something that more reflects the business that Hyde's is in and so successful in.  And we're hoping to bring that flavor out here into a golf tournament.
Our other onsite enhancement just north of the hill is Zappos.com and their investment in creating a new element here at the course.¬† We'll be constructing a nine‑hole miniature golf course, that will be activated with adidas and Puma partners of Zappos.com.¬† I think there will be some very unique obstacles on this golf course, probably obstacles that you don't see at traditional miniature golf course, and something that I think will be fun for all ages throughout the week.
And in my best Apple presentation efforts, the big announcement that we're very excited about, we're focusing extensively on this year, and we think is a game changer for our event is the addition of swimming pools at our PGA Tour tournament this year.
There will be six pools, two in the Zappos.com, four connected to Hyde on The HIll and their activation.  It's never been done before.  It is an extensive task.  The best part about it is when I think people come out here there will be about 20 people that will raise their hand and say that was their idea.  And that's key when you give back to the community, when you get a lot of people thinking about the same thing at the same time in the same place, it can only be good.
So we're very excited.  We thank Zappos.com, Hyde Bellagio, GM, and all of our sponsors that have come together.  Our day sponsors, our new venues, our new sponsors throughout the week.  You'll see there's viewing platforms throughout.  It's just going to be a different event.  It's going to come alive.  And I think it's going to be good for our partners and our spectators and No.1 our cause for Shriners Hospitals for Children.  (Applause.)
DAVE KIRVIN:  Adam, thank you.
We wanted to let you hear from the sponsors behind two of those elements that Adam pointed out here.  So Danny from Zappos, let's start with you.  Before we talk about the idea of putting a swimming pool in the middle of a golf tournament, what was it about the tournament that appealed to Zappos that made you guys want to get involved?
DAN NEAL:  Kind of what Adam was saying about community.  Historically Zappos has had three seeds; corporate culture, customer service and clothing.  And a few years ago we added the fourth seed and we call it community.  And we like to be part of events that are good for the community, especially at such a beautiful venue, and events that have a great charity.  And also speak to what our consumers like, which we do have a lot of golf products and a lot of what golfers wear to work the next day.
DAVE KIRVIN:¬† And so we know Zappos is a culture of fun and free wheeling a little bit is pretty well‑known.¬† How did you land on putting a swimming pool on the hill.
DAN NEAL:  We have ten core values you can find on our site.  But one of my favorite ones is create fun and a little weirdness.  And this is a little weird.
Swimming pools on the golf course ‑‑ usually the water on a golf course you don't want to get anywhere near, whether it's an alligator or the water we have here, but this will be a lot of fun, very different, and we're really excited to be a part of it.
DAVE KIRVIN:  When Hyde opened probably from Day One it became one of the top clubs in Las Vegas, but transforming that experience, we can see it from here, what was it that brought them to be a part of this?
RICK ONSUREZ:  (Inaudible.)
DAVE KIRVIN:  It's still a month away, are your plans finalized?  Do you know exactly what you're doing up there?
RICK ONSUREZ:  (Inaudible.)
DAVE KIRVIN:  How excited is your staff who are usually going to bed about the same time golfers are teeing off?
RICK ONSUREZ:  (Inaudible.)
DAVE KIRVIN:¬† The changes are exciting.¬† You're talking about raising awareness, all of this is going to build more awareness for the hospital.¬† Everyone up here, so you know, I don't know if there's any questions from the group, but everyone up here will be available on one‑on‑one.¬† There might be an easier way to do that.¬† Adam, any final thoughts on just how the tournament is going and its scope in the community?
ADAM SPERLING:  Nothing that can't be summed up with a simple thank you.  Our course staff continues to work tirelessly.  Our volunteers have grown every year.  We're well over a thousand this year, with solid volunteer leadership.  Solid commitment from fraternities.  There's a lot of coming to town this week to help support this cause.  Thank you to DC Summerlin, another group who doesn't rest on last year's success, and continues to push this facility forward whether it's food for their professionals and their families or golf course changes, which will continue this year with the lengthened tee box on 14.
It's justfeeling a lot of responsibility for the direction of this event.  Thank you to everybody involved that brought us to this point.  And thank you in advance for the events 10, 20 years, or where are it's going to take to get it to where we ultimately want it to be.
DAVE KIRVIN:  Thank you for coming out.  For our friends in the media, just let us know who you want to speak to and we'll get you all set up.  We'll see you in less than a month right back here.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297