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PGA TOUR MEDIA CONFERENCE
July 10, 2006
JAMES CRAMER: ...Commissioner of the PGA Tour, Mr. Tim Finchem; the executive vice president and chief financial officer of Jeld-Wen, Mr. Doug Kintzinger; the President of PGA Tour Golf Course Properties, Mr. David Pillsbury. I would also like to recognize two of other our proud partners who are joining us here today from Price Waterhouse Coopers, their U.S. Markets leader,  Dean Kearn. And from UBS, the managing director, Mr. John Matthews.
At this point I would like to turn it over to Brian for a few words about The PLAYERS Championship.
 BRIAN: Thank you, James. This clearly is a very exciting time for The PLAYERS Championship. I look around this room and I see a lot of friends from the media. You ask every year, "Brian, what's new?" Don't bother asking me that this year. It's all new. Ask me what's the same.
It's going to be a lot of fun. And you're going to hear about some great announcements a little bit later here today. The one thing that I do want to make clear, there are some major changes. We're moving to May. Everybody knows that.
Tim  Trushes, who is our chairman for 2007, and all the Redcoats have already started the work, and we feel very comfortable from the volunteer side and from the tournament side of the changes and things that you're going to hear about today and the things you'll learn about through the course of the year.
There is one major difference that's going to happen. We have announced after 18 years of selling out, that we are going to release additional tickets. Those tickets have already started to be marketed on a national basis. We have a PGA Tour experience group that is packaging with hotel rooms. They're packaging with golf. They're packaging tickets along with this. It's again on a national, locally, as well. But we're going to be doing one major change, which is the parking.
General parking from now on will be at UNF currently for 2007 and they will get free shuttle. General parking free and free shuttle from UNF. On-site, we will have parking as well on-site, which will now become parking passes, and we will be selling some of those to our corporate and our ticket buyers. That's going to be a big change for us. I'm going to be leaning on the media to help me get that out.
We'll be starting that campaign here in the next month, our renewal process. We've had some really, really good feedback on a national basis and we feel that we're going to be able to accomplish our goals. A lot of this is due to the changes that you're going to get a chance to go out and see, as well.
Again, we have got a lot of exciting things. I'm looking forward to working with all of you over the course of the year. Free feel to call me any time you need or if you have any questions. Again, it's going to be a very exciting year for The PLAYERS Championship.
Now, the man that really has created the vision that I have had a chance to work with and watch what he has thought and his vision for The PLAYERS Championship has been very straightforward for many years, and I've had ten years, the opportunity to work and carry his vision on. It's been a lot of fun for me, but here to announce some of the things that are changing with The PLAYERS is commissioner Tim Finchem.
COMMISSIONER TIM FINCHEM: Thank you, Brian. Thank you for being with us this afternoon. We have a special announcement we would like to make. Let me preface that again by indicating or reiterating the kind of things that are happening here with The PLAYERS Championship.
This is really a watershed year for the players. We've been in the business of conducting this championship now for basically a third of a century. It's come a long way. It's come a long way just in the last five or ten years. But now we enter a new era, and to prepare for that era, a lot of changes underfoot that Brian alluded to.
We obviously are making some changes with the PGA Tour generally. When we think about the FedEx Cup and yearlong competition and some playoffs leading up to our championship, the overall structure of the PGA Tour is changing. But within that structure, the other important thing for 2007 is a new direction for the players, a new date, a new television relationship and orientation, a new weather pattern for the players.
And of course here, on-site, a new infrastructure, the golf course being redone, new clubhouse, the areas for the spectators being refurbished and reoriented, and the parking arrangements being restructured. As Brian said, we're going to have more people so we're going to need more parking, better parking.
This place was built to accommodate a fairly larger number of fans that we currently can accommodate, and we haven't been able to provide the support to allow for those kind of galleries. Now we feel we can do that as we rebuild the infrastructure and where we can handle people. So we're going to open up and allow ourselves the opportunity to share the players with people from around the country that want to come and be part of this wonderful experience.
One of the most important things about next year's tournament is the telecast. To think that we're going to have later air times, that's important, but we're going to have limited commercial inventory, with only four minutes of commercials an hour.
All of these changes, when we look at the context of the players and what it is, starting with television, which is so important to the millions and millions of people that connect to the players through television, all of these changes start with sponsorship. We have to have the support of sponsors to be able to stage this championship effectively and grow the charitable commitment we have with the community.
So over the years we have been blessed in the last few years with our relationship with Price Waterhouse Coopers and also with UBS. And today we're delighted to announce that Jeld-Wen, which is the largest manufacturer of reliable doors and windows in the world, will become our third sponsor.
That is particularly important to be able to generate the kind of television presentation that we want to present. It's also important to help underpin all the changes and presentation that will occur with the players going forward.
Jeld-Wen is -- why Jeld-Wen? Not just that we have a relationship with Jeld-Wen that goes back several years, when Jeld-Wen has been sponsoring a major championship on the Champions Tour, the Tradition. The Jeld-Wen Tradition has quickly become a fixture on the Champions Tour.
But the nature of the people at Jeld-Wen, the executive team at Jeld-Wen are a group of people that believe in the game of golf. They believe in what the game can do for a brand. They have demonstrated in their relationship with the Tradition out in Portland, a commitment to charity as well, a million dollars have been raised for charitable causes in the Portland area. So they are a natural, big company, global brand to align not just with The PLAYERS, but in association with The PLAYERS with Price Waterhouse Coopers and UBS. So that rounds out our charitable mix and gives us the basis where we can move forward and have the security to know that we can accomplish the things we need to accomplish to create a better PLAYERS and bring it to our fans.
I might also note in addition to all these constructional changes and presentation changes we have, there will also be a couple of changes next year with regard to the field. Our board has approved two changes in the field next year. No. 1, we'll be inviting each year to play in The PLAYERS, the winner of the Senior Players Championship. And as you know, we are moving the Senior Players this year, Constellation Energy is our new sponsor, to Baltimore, to play at Baltimore Country Club starting in 2007. And the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship winner will be invited to the '08 PLAYERS Championship here at Ponte Vedra.
In addition to that, the lead money winner from the Nationwide Tour each year will be invited to play in The PLAYERS, as well. So we're excited about those two changes.
But today it fundamentally about two things; one, explaining to you, giving you an update on where we are with the construction out here that David Pillsbury will do in a few minutes, and then welcoming Jeld-Wen to our family of sponsors as our partner as we go forward.
What we are very excited about now as we enter, as I say, the second third of a century of the The PLAYERS Championship, and with that, and we share his thoughts on behalf of Jeld-Wen, I would like to introduce Doug Kintzinger, who is our good partner at Jeld-Wen, and who is the executive vice president and chief financial officer.
DOUG KINTZINGER: Thank you, Tim. Good afternoon, everyone. Jeld-Wen is very delighted to become a proud partner of The PLAYERS Championship, and as part of our agreement, Jeld-Wen is also pleased to extend its commitment as the official window, door and roller provider to PGA Tour and Champions Tour.
We have tremendous amount of respect for both the PGA Tour and the Champions Tour. When it says on the wall "These guys are good," they're really unbelievable. They have unbelievable talent, they work hard. They conduct themselves well, both on and off the course. They achieve their success based on how well they perform on a daily and weekly basis. And the Players commitment to excellence and the continual improvement are impressive. These traits are what we try to strive for as a company on a daily basis and are very consistent with our reliability for real life message.
Our involvement with professional golf has become a very important part of our business. We have met with great success in reaching important audiences, enhancing customer relationships, and recognizing outstanding employees.
In 2003, Tim mentioned that we helped bring the Jeld-Wen Tradition to Portland, Oregon. And as one of the five major championships on the Champions Tour, the Jeld-Wen Tradition has consistently attracted golf fans and has also helped raise almost $1 million for charity, which has being going to help support educational needs in the state of Oregon.
Beyond the tournament itself, Jeld-Wen is also sponsoring both Ben Crane and Peter Jacobsen on the tour, both native Oregonians. We are excited about the opportunity to get involved with The PLAYERS Championship. The PLAYERS Championship traditionally has the best field in golf of any event, including the four majors. The competition is always exciting, and the tournament is played on an excellent course, which I'm sure we'll hear a little bit more, is getting better.
The improvements that are made for the clubhouse, with good windows and doors, spectator enhancements and changes to the telecast, are all reasons why we felt it was time to further align the Jeld-Wen bran with the PGA Tour brand in a very exclusive way.
We are joining a distinguished company, with UBS and Price Waterhouse Coopers, and I know this partnership will be a great success. Thank you.
JAMES CRAMER: Thank you, Mr. Kintzinger.
Now I'd like to introduce a gentleman who lives this project each and every day and give us an update with what is going on with the clubhouse and the golf course, Mr. Dave Pillsbury.
DAVE PILLSBURY: Well, first, I can assure you that the windows and doors are in fact Jeld-Wen through and through. We are very proud to say that. A great product for a great clubhouse, building a platform really for the next 25 years. This is an incredibly exciting project for a lot of reasons.
We really think we are beginning the first half of this next era with a facility that truly will deliver the kind of experience for our players, for our proud partners, for our fans that this tournament deserves. So I want to give you a quick update.
I see my good friend, Fred Klauk, the golf course superintendent, back here in the back, who lives and breathes this project, along with Cindy Rice, our construction manager, probably more than any two people probably on the whole project, and we're very pleased to say we passed a couple of key milestones in the project.
We are on schedule. And the key milestones we have passed are a couple of the real risk factors that we faced around primarily the greens, to start with, and secondarily, around the foundation for the clubhouse, both of which are complete.
The greens, are in fact all being mowed, all 18 on the golf course, and the balance of the greens in the surrounding areas, the practice greens and so forth, are not only sprigged or is grassed, but have been mowed now for quite some time. We have been mowing for the past four weeks or so. We think you will be quite impressed with the progress we have made. And that of course is the most significant milestone.
The biggest risk was around the greens and around weather. And the same applies to the clubhouse, with the foundation. The foundation is in. The foundation includes the walls for the first floor. And the second foundation, on the top of the first floor, which you will be able to get a look at from a distance today.
Things are going very, very well. We are delighted with the progress. We think we have got the best management team in the business working on this project and we're confident we're going to deliver something that our proud partners will be very, very proud of, our fans will be very proud of, come May 2007.
As for the fans, as Brian and Commissioner Finchem both mentioned, we are expanding our capability not only to host additional fans, but improve the experience for the fans that do arrive.
There is a significant outreach to international fans and national fans to come and experience what we offer here at The PLAYERS Championship, which for a fan on the ground will be truly magical.
We want to encourage fans starting August 1st, PGATour.com/Players, and you can get all the information about the packages that will now for the first time be available to fans around the world to come and experience The PLAYERS Championship here at Ponte Vedra Beach.
The last thing I wanted to comment on was the fact that not only our infrastructure facility improving, but we are delighted to share with you that there was a new owner of the Marriott next door. It's an owner that shares or vision and passion for The PLAYERS Championship and for this facility. And that's RQB, an Irish company, who was thrilled to take the hotel quality to the level we're talking the quality of Sawgrass and The PLAYERS Championship.
In fact, they're commencing right away. A $16 million room renovation, which I'm proud to report will be completed by The PLAYERS Championship in 2007.
So all in all, the entire infrastructure of this property is being raised to another level, not just the clubhouse and the golf course, but also our important partner next door at the Marriott.
So we want to especially thank our proud partners for making this possible and tell you that come May 2007, we're going to have a terrific golf course product for our players and our fans to experience on television all over the world, but we're also going to have a world class clubhouse facility for all to enjoy, as well. Thank you.
JAMES CRAMER: I would now like to invite our dignitaries and  Mr. Kearns and Mr. Matthews to join me by the easel for the unveiling of the new PLAYERS Championship logo.
 SPEAKER: Real quickly, just a few things on this logo. First of all, it's important that we all understand the name of the tournament has not changed and will always be The PLAYERS Championship. However, we feel the logo will depict better what this championship stands for, which is the players. It's the players that play on the PGA Tour.
It ties the PGA Tour and The PLAYERS Championship even closer together. We are one and the same, most of you know in this room. This is our flagship event, the PGA Tour's flagship event. "The Players" is in the same blue as the "PGA Tour" blue. And the golfer, as you'll notice, is the same as the PGA Tour golfer. It's gold. It's never been gold before in a logo for the PGA Tour. This will be as you see it. At our gold standard event, it will be this gold from now on.
Just a couple of things on the logo, if you have any questions on that afterwards you can ask. We're excited about that. It's a nice change for us. It does represent what this event stands for, which is the players.
JAMES CRAMER: At this point we can now take questions from the media that have joined us here on-site. And we have also a number of media that are on the line from Oregon. Let's begin with any questions we have in the room. I do ask that you raise your hand so our guests from Oregon can hear us.
Q. What is the capacity, the fan capacity, that you expect next year?
 SPEAKER: Next year, we feel comfortable that we can grow 10,000. We're right about 40,000 spectators, so a lot of that comes with the parking, but it's going to be the infrastructure and things we can now do on-site with the spectators and the mounding. But again, the biggest component will be that we'll shuttle, guarantee shuttle spectators from UNF.
Q. (No microphone.)
 SPEAKER: We'll maintain about the 12,000 cars we park right now. The key is that we're going to have to improve that property, so we're going to be working on that from now through next May. The second thing is the UNF property. We have about 8,000 cars there. UNF just happens to have their graduation the week prior to The PLAYERS Championship, so they are totally closed down before the summer session. So UNF is an important factor for us. That's all paved. And in future, more growth with parking as we get it. We think this is going to be a stepped process and we're going to build more and more.
I think most people that have been around here have seen that the spectators at The PLAYERS Championship, we have room for more. It's right now been the infrastructure of getting people here.
Q. (No microphone.)
SPEAKER: We'll have general parking down the road. Once we get  Nakati established, we'll get Nakati and UNF, so they can shuttle from there, and we'll always have the on-site parking, some on-site parking here with parking passes only.
Q. (No microphone.)
SPEAKER: Those people will always have the opportunity to buy -- it's just like going to a Gator Bowl game. You can buy your parking pass down there. You don't have to. You can shuttle or do something different. We will have and sell parking passes.
I think it's going to be something that's going to help me move my ticket sales up, actually. Because now if you want to your ticket, make sure you get your ticket and buy parking now. They don't have to. They can always park and shuttle for free.
COMMISSIONER TIM FINCHEM: Just to add to that, when we've had to park there, when we've lost these parking areas in the past, we've actually had a lot of people tell us they prefer to drive over there and park. It's just easier. It works better for them. Now, of course, we'll improve this parking area close in, but the combination of the two gives us what we think we want and we would add something down the road.
Q. (No microphone.)
COMMISSIONER TIM FINCHEM: That's our plan, yes. We'll improve it so we'll have it in inclement weather regardless, and then eventually we'll have on-site parking to the north off Butler, off-site parking to the south of 210, close-in parking here, and that will give us the flexibility to do what we want to do.
Q. (No microphone.)
SPEAKER: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday are free. We feel comfortable we can park everybody here Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday at this point. Thursday through Sunday is $20 per day or $50 for the whole week.
Q. I've eliminated John Daly, which golfer is there in the silhouette of the logo?
Q. The Nationwide invitation, will that start this year?
COMMISSIONER TIM FINCHEM: Yes. Actually, the winner of the Ford Senior Players this year, too.
JAMES CRAMER: They're going to make that announcement in Dearborn this afternoon.
Q. (No microphone.)
COMMISSIONER TIM FINCHEM: Yes, we wouldn't necessarily make it to The PLAYERS.
Q. (No microphone.)
COMMISSIONER TIM FINCHEM: This way it's a recognition of the quality of play on the Nationwide Tour. The best guy of the year gets in regardless of what happens. These two players are added to the field, by the way.
Q. Doug, just a quick question, how does this in any way affect what you're doing with the Tradition?
DOUG KINTZINGER: I don't think it affects anything with the Tradition, only enhances it. I look at the Tradition as being one of the five majors in the Champions Tour, and I look at the The PLAYERS Championship as being one of the five majors in the regular Tour, so I think it closely aligns the two tournaments. And being involved in both is what kind of creates the excitement for us as a company.
Q. You're in the last year with that contract, right?
DOUG KINTZINGER: We are, and we're working on the future of the Tradition as we speak. And hopefully we'll have something announced in the next few weeks.
Q. Doug, Jeld-Wen has been named as a major backer of a group that's trying to buy the Portland Trailblazers. Talk a little about your overall sports marketing strategy and focusing on basketball and on golf.
DOUG KINTZINGER: Jeld-Wen has an overall brand strategy that includes not only golf, but other items, as well. Our involvement with the group in Oregon was announced just a few weeks ago. Our involvement will be a fairly minor involvement. But any questions regarding that, you will have to talk to Rob Kramer who is kind of the spokesman for that group.
Q. When you say a fairly minor involvement, can you give me a sense in terms of, you don't anticipate being a lead investor in that group?
DOUG KINTZINGER: No, we would not be the lead money behind that group.
Q. And also, can you talk a little bit why you would be interested in the Trailblazers?
DOUG KINTZINGER: Well, the reason we were interested in getting involved was really to help the state of Oregon. The Trailblazers have been an important part of the community of the Portland for many years, an outstanding franchise. And the group we're involved with I think is trying to bring that sense of maybe community backing back into the Trailblazers. The Trailblazers probably bring in, I don't know what the exact number is, but hundreds of millions of dollars to the state of the Oregon, and we certainly wouldn't want to lose that for our state.
JAMES CRAMER: Just a couple of housekeeping items. On the way out, we have press releases announcing the Jeld-Wen partnership, the new PLAYERS Championship logo. We have press kits, as I said. We also have CD that has graphics, clubhouse renderings, photos from the golf course and other information.
Also we'll be leaving from the side in a few minutes for a tour for anyone wishing to join us on the tour of the golf course.
Thank you very much for coming out and we look forward to seeing you in May at the 2007 PLAYERS Championship.
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