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MACKENZIE TOUR - PGA TOUR CANADA ANNOUNCEMENT


May 27, 2015


Jeff Carney

Tim Finchem

Jeff Monday


BRIAN DECKER:テつ Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for joining us for a special business announcement about PGA TOUR Canada.テつ It's Brian Decker with PGA TOUR Canada here.テつ I'd like to thank everyone for joining us, and to get things started I will turn things over to Jeff Monday, president of PGA TOUR Canada.
JEFF MONDAY:テつ Good afternoon, everyone.テつ Thank you for participating in today's conference call.テつ We are looking forward to kicking off our third year in Canada at this week's PC Financial Open in Vancouver.テつ Thanks to the support from our sponsors, host facilities, volunteers, fans, and you, the members of the media.テつ We're extremely pleased with the success of our first two seasons and confident that the future will take us to even greater heights.
The 2015 season looks promising.テつ Prize money at 11 of our events has increased from $150,000 to $175,000, and the season‑ending event where the five will be determined has been increased its purse to $200,000.
Our TOUR is all about access to the Web.com TOUR, and that's what our members are striving to achieve, and that's all made possible to the work of our tournament organizations who have done a wonderful job of embracing the PGA TOUR model in making both an economic and charitable impact in the communities in which we play.
From the onset when we launched this in 2013, the level of play out here has been phenomenal.テつ From our 2014 season we have over 40 players who played with us in 2014 that now have status on the Web.com TOUR, and in just two short years we have four players who have gone, played with us in 2013 that are now playing on the PGA TOUR:テつ Tony Finau, Mark Hubbard, Carlos Sands, Jr., and then Nick Taylor, who a mere 14 months after his playing on PGA TOUR Canada went on to win the Sanderson Farms Championship.
Nick is up here with us this week in Vancouver, a little celebration and reunion with his friends up in Canada, so we're extremely excited about the 2015 season, and we're equally as excited for the special announcement that Commissioner Finchem will now make.
TIM FINCHEM:テつ Thank you, Jeff.テつ We looked back on these last couple years as a great start to PGA TOUR Canada.テつ We got off to a great start.テつ We have a great fan base in Canada.テつ It is, as some people say, the most intense golf interest in the world in Canada, and our efforts here were to try to increase the amount of access that young players in Canada can strive for through this TOUR.テつ So based on all that, we're extremely pleased to announce today that Mackenzie Investments, a very significant company in Canada, has signed a six‑year agreement to become the umbrella sponsor of PGA TOUR Canada.テつ This will be the first umbrella sponsorship in this TOUR's short history, and it will enable us to continue to strengthen and grow this TOUR as an important path to the PGA TOUR.テつ Therefore beginning this week's season‑opening tournament in Vancouver, the TOUR will be known going forward as the Mackenzie TOUR‑PGA TOUR Canada.
Just a few comments on this announcement:テつ Having a Canadian company with Mackenzie Investments' reputation become an umbrella sponsor sends a clear message that this TOUR is being embraced by the business community in Canada and supports what the PGA TOUR is doing in Canada in developing the professional game for Canada going forward in a more robust manner.
Mackenzie Investments as the umbrella sponsor ensures continuity and growth for this TOUR in areas I've mentioned with such a rich golf tradition.テつ Mackenzie's long‑term support will help strengthen the TOUR and develop players that aspire to play on the PGA TOUR as Jeff alluded to a moment ago.
Mackenzie is an extremely well‑recognized institution in Canada, and having a brand at their level next to ours really does add to our ability to promote what this TOUR is all about and should be extremely valuable as we work to increase the significance of this TOUR and its impact on professional golf.
We look forward to working with Mackenzie to ensure players keep making their way through the TOUR to the game's highest level.
I particularly want to thank Jeff Carney, the President and CEO of Mackenzie Financial Corporation, for the efforts of he and his team in making this evaluation and coming to this conclusion.テつ We appreciate your personal involvement, Jeff, and we appreciate the leadership you've shown in bringing this forward.
With that, I'd like to ask Jeff if he would share with us some thoughts and remarks at this time.テつ Jeff Carney.
JEFF CARNEY:テつ Thank you, Tim, Commissioner Finchem.テつ We are honored to be a part of the PGA family, and that's really how we've been treated since we started this discussion, and that's how we feel today.テつ And we're thrilled to bring these tournaments to Canadians across our great country.テつ It's spread out, but we know that golf is a huge passion in this country.テつ In fact, when we were doing our work on this decision, I was surprised having grown up playing hockey that golf actually has more participants than hockey in Canada, so 6 million active participants in this great country, and it is the No.1 recreational sport in Canada, so that's exciting for us.
Ultimately this sport is all about passion, and we think that hopefully we'll inspire the next Mike Weir to come along and win important tournaments across the world so Canadians can play this great game as well as anybody else in the world.
I know that these events themselves are going to drive new opportunities for young players to get exposed to a system of staying in the game.テつ It's great to be associated with the quality that the PGA TOUR stands for, and for me in my experiences, there's not a larger contract that I've been associated with in my life, and these guys focus on giving back to the communities that the tournaments are in, but also supporting the game of golf and everything it stands for in its integrity and its exposure to some amazing places across this great country.テつ It's just so exciting for us.
And particularly we're really interested in just the charitable nature of it.テつ We plan to be a big part of that in the context of this TOUR as we go forward in making plans for those charities across Canada and its provinces.
The development of this area started last year when we sponsored Snow Sports Canada, and that was our first entry into sports marketing, and we had a great year with ‑‑ core sponsor with Manny Osborne‑Paradis, who won two several medals in downhill races this year and had just a terrific year as an ambassador.テつ But we also put a team together in different events across the country and globally, as well, for athletes in Canada.
So now we feel that the 12‑months‑a‑year sponsor program, it's a great sport, and associated with the two outstanding organizations as part of that, and we can't wait to see what the event looks like going forward.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thanks, Jeff, and thanks, Tim and Jeff, for your comments.テつ At this time in the call we'd like to open it up to questions for members of the media, so operator, if you could please.

Q.テつ Can you just run down what the financial or economic impact on the TOUR that this new title sponsorship will have?
TIM FINCHEM:テつ Yeah, I'll let Jeff cover the details.テつ I think this sponsorship allows us to start to grow charitable contributions with a number of our tournaments, which is a part of our long‑term goal for this TOUR.テつ We do it on all of our Tours, and also starts to move prize money up somewhat.テつ I think when we started the Web.com TOUR as the Hogan Tour years ago, every tournament had a $100,000 prize money, and today that number is nearly $20 million.テつ It takes a while to get it going, but we think this is a step in the right direction.テつ Jeff, would you like to offer some more‑‑
JEFF CARNEY:テつ Yeah, our plan is to make a contribution from Mackenzie, and then from there working with each tournament to raise the profile of the events, and what goes through the communities that those events are held in to raise money, as well, that are going to local charities and specifically what that particular tournament wants to sponsor.テつ We've got a team that's dedicated to supporting these events across the country and we'll work very closely with PGA TOUR officials to make sure that we're making the biggest impact we can on those communities as we travel across Canada.
JEFF MONDAY:テつ Further to that, having a partner that's making this long‑term commitment really provides great stability and enables us to focus a lot more on strategic planning, how we can have a greater impact on the players, great more opportunities as well as what we do with our tournament organizations.テつ You know, and it also gives you somebody that helps you market the TOUR, market and promote the TOUR and grow the stature of it and the visibility of it, so we see a lot of benefits there.テつ And then immediately one of the things that we're going to do, Mackenzie TOUR‑PGA TOUR Canada is going to be making direct charitable donations within the communities in which we play to the charity or charities of the tournament's choice.
JEFF CARNEY:テつ We also built in the sense of a social media strategy around this year to do the same thing, to bring awareness to people across the country and talking about the TOUR and talking about golfers and helping develop these young athletes.

Q.テつ I don't know if this is for Jeff, either of the Jeffs, I guess.テつ How did this come about?テつ Could you sort of walk me through the process?テつ I know you guys have been looking for somebody in this role for a while.テつ How did it come to Mackenzie's attention, and on the Mackenzie side were you looking for an opportunity like this or was it presented to you?
JEFF CARNEY:テつ Maybe I can start because I was part of this journey in a way.テつ I've been living this for the last 11 years, and I got to know the TOUR and some of the leadership of the TOUR through conversations we've had in the past about different ideas working with the TOUR in my previous role, and I was so impressed with the quality of the organization and the leadership, and when I came to Canada and discovered this TOUR was out there and we were looking at ‑‑ we started looking at what we wanted to invest, and we very quickly uncovered two outstanding opportunities, and that was golf and skiing.テつ If you look at the coverage that we get from the commitment that the Canadians have to those two sports, it's just unbelievable.テつ So from a business standpoint, from developing Canadian athletes standpoint, and from a charitable standpoint, it was just a win‑win‑win.
So we kind of reached out and said, let's see the evolution of the TOUR and what is your goal and what are you trying to achieve, and we decided to dig into the strategy and to plan through the TOUR for the long‑term.テつ That's what was really appealing, and that's why we've made a long‑term investment.テつ I think that this TOUR has tremendous potential, and to be able to give an incredible experience for the athletes to develop their skills against the type of quality, great golfers so they compete against the best in the world.テつ So our goal is to help Canadian athletes and other athletes develop their skill sets the best they can.
JEFF MONDAY:テつ I think there's two key elements to how it led us to this point.テつ One is making sure you have the right partner, and you have lots of discussions, but getting that right partner is critical, and so we couldn't be more pleased with that and the potential that it has for the TOUR.テつ And then I also think that what has happened the first two years and the credibility that's been established for the TOUR and professional golf in Canada and the working relationships we've had with all our constituents was a good vantage point for Mackenzie Investments to see what could be done but also let them see the potential of what could be done when they came on board.テつ So it's a combination of those two that got us to this point.

Q.テつ Obviously this is a financial firm; you've got a lot of financial backers.テつ I'm thinking Freedom 55 or even this week.テつ Any conflicts in that at all or is that separated from your concern?
JEFF MONDAY:テつ They complement a number of our sponsors.テつ Freedom 55 Financial is part of the Power Corp family.

Q.テつ That makes sense.
JEFF MONDAY:テつ So I think they will complement one another very well.テつ Their advisors carry a number of Mackenzie Investment products, as does PC Financial, Island Savings and ATB.テつ So we think they can bring some synergy to those relationships.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thanks, everyone, for joining us on the call today, and thanks, Jeff, Jeff and Tim for your comments.テつ We'll have a transcription of today's call available later this afternoon, and if you have any further questions, feel free to contact us.テつ The contact information is listed at the bottom of the release, and we look forward to hearing from you.テつ Thank you very much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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