PGA TOUR MEDIA CONFERENCE
May 19, 2002
ANA LEAIRD: Good afternoon everybody. It's my pleasure to welcome you here. I'm Ana Leaird, the director of public relations for the PGA TOUR, and I'd like to thank all of you who are here in attendance in the media center, as well as those of you joining us on our AT&T Conference Service.
In just a few minutes you are going to be hearing from this panel on the stage, as well as someone joining us on the telephone. So let me quickly introduce to you, Duke Butler, the vice president of tournament affairs for the PGA TOUR; and perhaps in this particular location more importantly, he is a member of the Texas Golf Hall of Fame and someone I know all of are you very, very familiar with.
To Duke's right is Kim Farrell, who is president of Bank of America here in Fort Worth.
And to her right is Dee Finley, the tournament chairman.
Duke, I'd like to go ahead and reintroduce you to say a few words.
DUKE BUTLER: Thank you, Ana. Great to be here in Texas and see so many of our friends from the host committee in their jackets on this fine Sunday as we culminate the MasterCard Colonial.
PGA TOUR would like to thank MasterCard for its wonderful sponsorship of the tournament since 1996. During their tenure as title sponsor, they have helped to generate worldwide television coverage, attract the best professionals in the world to Colonial and generate worthy proceeds for local charities.
MasterCard is continuing as title sponsor of the season-opening SENIOR PGA TOUR event played in Hawaii known as the MasterCard Champions, as official credit card of the PGA TOUR and as a supporting sponsor of over 80 PGA TOUR and SENIOR PGA TOUR tournaments. Joining us today from MasterCard are John Stewart (ph) and Barry Hines (ph). Gentlemen, we thank you very much for your fine support.
Before I introduce Commissioner Finchem on the telephone, I would like to acknowledge and thank and introduce Ms. Dockery Clark, senior vice president of sponsorship marketing from Bank of America. Thank you for being with us today, Dockery.
Now, Commissioner, I believe you have some news.
COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: Thank you, Duke.
Good afternoon everyone. I know you're excited about the exciting conclusion to this year's MasterCard Colonial Tournament.
We are going to take a few minutes today to announce our new sponsor, the Bank of America, and we are extremely pleased to welcome Bank of America as the new title sponsor for the Colonial beginning next year. This four-year commitment over the next four years will allow the Colonial to continue to grow. Indeed, next year's tournament from May 19 to 25 will offer a $5 million purse, with $900,000 going to the winner.
This is a great partnership between two terrific, in their own right, terrific brands and companies and organizations. On the one hand, we have the history and the reputation of the Colonial Country Club and the Colonial Tournament, dating back to 1946 when Ben Hogan won his first of five titles. Colonial is the longest-running continuous host site on the PGA TOUR. As an Invitational tournament, it generates, along with the character of its golf course, one of the strongest fields in golf, and certainly is one of the most prestigious events over the long history of the PGA TOUR.
On the other hand, the other partner, the Bank of America, has been a very strong sponsor of the PGA TOUR for a number of years and has been involved with us in a number of programs over the last several years. It is one of our premiere corporate partners. Bank of America is a leading global brand, is certainly one of the premiere brands in the marketplace. Having these two together, Colonial and Bank of America, makes for a partnership which we think will allow this championship to continue to resonate throughout golf and continue to grow in its impact, both for the players and for the local charities that are assisted.
I'd like to also take just a moment and reiterate Duke's commendation of MasterCard for support of the Colonial over the last seven years. Although MasterCard won't be continuing at Colonial, they will be actually increasing their involvement with the PGA TOUR and the senior tour in a variety of different areas and remain a major partner of the PGA TOUR and the SENIOR TOUR moving forward.
Today, however, we are celebrating a new era of the Colonial with Bank of America. We certainly want to thank Ken Lewis, the chairman, president and CEO of Bank of America for his leadership and continued support of the PGA TOUR.
I would particularly like to thank Dockery for her patience and cooperation in all of the discussions leading up to this announcement over the last several weeks in working with our staff. I would like to commend Dee Finley and the club for all of the efforts they have made in the past but particularly here in the last couple of months to complete this sponsorship in a timely fashion so that we could announce it and leave no doubt about the future of this championship moving forward.
We absolutely look forward to an exciting future the next four years with the Bank of America Colonial.
Now I would like to call on the president of the Bank of America Fort Worth, Kim Farrell, to make some comments, and I'll be available a little bit later to answer any questions that you might have.
KIM FARRELL: Thank you very much. But before I start, I would be remiss if I did not recognize Congressman Martin Frost. Thank you for being here today, Congressman. Appreciate that.
And to my husband I now know why I bought me golf clubs. (Laughter.)
Bank of America is absolutely thrilled to be here today. This golf tournament is one of the premiere stops on the PGA TOUR, but for those of us here in Fort Worth, we would like to consider this really the premiere spot and we really appreciate it.
As president of Bank of America, I am thrilled to announce the four-year title sponsorship of the Bank of America Colonial. This sponsorship underscores our commitment to Fort Worth and to the Texas market. The Texas market is one of the most valuable markets in the Bank of America franchise. And over the next four years, we will use this tournament as a national platform to showcase our PGA sponsorship, the City of Fort Worth, Tarrant County, to all of our valued partners, our customers and our associates everywhere.
There is no better venue than this place right here in Texas, to hold an event like this. We chose the Colonial because this tournament shares the values Bank of America shares: A rich heritage and a commitment to excellence. For more than five years Bank of America has been active with the PGA TOUR in a long-standing relationship as the official bank of the PGA TOUR and the SENIOR PGA TOUR. This is one more example of our commitment to the ongoing relationship.
As you know, a portion of the proceeds from this golf tournament benefit more than 100 charities throughout Fort Worth and Tarrant County, including a substantial commitment to Cook's Children Medical. We take seriously our commitment to the communities we serve. We sponsor the Bank of America charity cup, which enables participating tournaments to receive more than $1.3 million for distribution to the charities of their choice and the communities in which they serve. In the spirit of giving, I would like to invite Russell Pullman, the president and CEO of Cook Children up to the podium, please.
On behalf of Bank of America, please allow me to present Cook Children's Medical Center with a check for $25,000. (Applause).
Before I turn it over to the Colonial folks, I would like to reiterate one more time how excited we are. Bank of America is really excited about this partnership.
If I may, let me recommend in addition just a minute with Ben Hogan who wrote Power Golf. This is a power event. What a great place for us to come together, celebrate a new sponsorship in the Bank of America Colonial, and I want to be the first to invite you to be here next year for Power Golf, May 19-25. Hope to see all of you. (Applause).
ANA LEAIRD: Thank you, Kim.
And now it's my pleasure to introduce the tournament chairman, Dee Finley, for some remarks on behalf of Colonial Country Club.
DEE FINLEY: Thank you for those comments, Kim. It is a pleasure and an honor for me on behalf of the members of Colonial Country Club, the tournament committee many of whom are in this room and all the members of Colonial Country Club to be present and share our excitement and thrilling thrill at this particular day.
I would like to recognize our president, Elliot Garsek, who was worked hard and long and right beside me, along with Bill Bowers (ph) who worked to put this together. Thank you both.
We are excited to the begin this new partnership between Colonial Country Club and Bank of America for the future of our great tournament. We know that Bank of America will play a big part in helping us carry on the historic tradition of this event which Kim just mentioned.
Our tournament committee and I thank MasterCard International for helping us enhance the traditions of excellence for this great tournament, for helping Colonial increase the Country Club from $1.4 million in 199r before their participations to $4.3 million this year, and for its commitment to Fort Worth and Fort Worth charitable organizations. We look forward, Dockery and Kim, to a wonderful relationship and many years of improving this golf tournament. Thank you very much. (Allows applause).
ANA LEAIRD: At this point, we'd like to entertain some questions from the media.
Q. Dee, I'm wondering, as you were going through negotiations on who the sponsor would be and whether it would still be MasterCard, if the subject of Colonial brand name still being in the tournament name was a topic of discussion?
DEE FINLEY: That was never brought up in our conversations with MasterCard. It has not been an issue with us. As far as we know, they support the name and feel it's a valuable part of the tradition and excellence of this event.
Q. I don't have a calendar in front of me as far as the May 25 finish date there had been talk about a Sunday or a Monday finish.
DEE FINLEY: I believe that's a Sunday.
Q. What happened there as far as there had been some talk as far as changing discussions of a Monday finish?
COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: Well, we had a period of time where we looked at a Monday finish on Memorial weekend that would have affected Colonial one of next four years. I believe I'm correct in that next year Colonial plays on Memorial weekend. The following years, the Bank of America Colonial will be played off of Memorial weekend; I believe the FedEx St. Jude's Classic is that weekend. So it would only affect you all in Fort Worth one year anyway.
After going through it, for a variety of reasons, television reasons, concern about if we play on Monday with a weather delay which happens occasionally, which seems to bother us more here the last few years that time of year, the risk of going all the way into Tuesday was realistic; so our new policy is to try to play the 72 holes at all costs. So for a variety of reasons, we discarded notion of finishing on Monday Memorial weekend, and consequently we are looking to a Sunday finish next year, as well.
Q. Dockery, just wanted to get your comment on this event and the bank's involvement, given your base here and obviously reaching out on a national stage like this is, could you just talk about what went into the process of this event and what it means to the bank?
DOCKERY CLARK: Obviously, we have had this long-running relationship with the PGA TOUR, and this was just a natural evolution of that relationship. The Colonial is one of the longest running sites in the PGA TOUR, if not event, and that heritage and commitment to excellence we thought matched up very well from a brand perspective. So it was an easy linkage in that regard.
But even more importantly, Texas is a great market for us. Golf generally offers a more upscale, fluent audience and the benefits that we get here will help us drive business throughout the division by giving our customers access to exclusive opportunities which we think ultimately will help us build business down the road. Like Kim mentioned, the third prong of that would obviously be our commitment to each and every one of our communities, and the PGA TOUR has been a wonderful partner over the years to many, many local charities and every community in which they serve and we share that same commitment, as well.
You know, there are not many banks who could do this kind of thing on a national level, and our franchise is certainly one that's about as national as any, and the media opportunity is unbelievable in terms of owning the air waves for one complete week. We just think if we continue to grow our brand, that it was just a great link.
ANA LEAIRD: Dockery, thank you to you.
Commissioner Finchem, thanks for being here with us. Likewise for Dee and Kim and Duke. It's an exciting day for this tournament and for Fort Worth and for the PGA TOUR.
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