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April 21, 2010
JAMES CRAMER: Good afternoon, my name is James Cramer. I'm Vice President of Communications for the PGA TOUR. Like to welcome you for today's very important announcement regarding Together, anything's possible. It was nearly a year ago that we announced Together, anything's possible, with the goal of bringing together and putting a greater focus on the collective charitable efforts of all of our stakeholders, our tournaments, players, sponsors, fans, charities, and volunteers.
Joining me here today, our representative of that group from the PGA TOUR, Commissioner Tim Finchem, the CEO of Zurich, Mr. Martin Senn, Tommy Fonseca from the Fore!Kids Foundation, and the 2005 Zurich Classic champion, Tim Petrovic. At this point I'd like to turn it over to Commissioner Finchem.
COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: Thank you, James. Good afternoon, everyone. Thanks for being here. Obviously, we're delighted to be back in New Orleans for the Zurich Classic, and looking forward to this week.
This is a tournament that like many others on the PGA TOUR is known for what it does for the community here in New Orleans, particularly since Katrina.
As I think most of you are aware, the PGA TOUR is organized for charitable purposes. All of our tournaments on all tours are organized for a charitable purpose. 98% of them are 501(c)(3) organizations. Over a billion and a half dollars has been generated by those tournaments on the PGA TOUR for over 3,000 charities on all three of our tours, the PGA TOUR, the Champions Tour, and the Nationwide Tour.
As James mentioned, a year ago we announced Together, anything's possible, which is an initiative to really revitalize and scale up the charitable activity on the PGA TOUR, primarily by reaching out to individuals more effectively to engage them in these charitable activities and to corporations to engage them as well. And to partner with our fans and our volunteers and our constituents and our partners to grow the charitable impact on the PGA TOUR.
Today we're delighted to make another announcement in this regard by referencing the launch of our second phase or phase two of the Together, anything's possible website. This enhanced site creates a more robust content in terms of introduction of our database regarding not only tournament activities, but also our individual player activities.
I think most of you, again, are aware that the vast majority of our players who are regular players on the PGA TOUR are themselves either charities or foundations or actively engaged on their own. Telling those stories is a big part of the enhanced website that you'll see more about in a little while.
With this site, visitors will be able to actually contribute online to the various causes that are supported by our tournaments and our players. We also will be backing this new phase aggressively in our own programming by reaching out to our fan base around the world and telling them about the opportunity to learn more about charitable activity.
We made this announcement this week, the week of the Zurich Classic because we thought it was appropriate to do it here in New Orleans for a couple of reasons. First of all, it happens to be National Volunteer Week, and it's an opportunity to thank our over 50,000 volunteers on the PGA TOUR that support our tournaments week in and week out.
Secondly, given the partnership that's been created here in New Orleans between the Fore!Kids Foundation and Zurich Financial's charitable efforts, it's had a huge impact since 2005 in the New Orleans community.
Zurich has been extremely active in their support for New Orleans since the Katrina recovery began, and we are proud to be able to say that we were the first major sporting event that was conducted in New Orleans metropolitan area after Katrina.
In addition, we think it's appropriate because Zurich has also now broadened its charitable impact on the PGA TOUR by title sponsors through Farmers Insurance division in our tournament in San Diego which has a long history of charitable giving in Southern California.
There are a lot of great stories that will be cataloged through this website and the community impact here in New Orleans will be one of those.
To tell us a little bit about Zurich's continued commitment here, we're delighted to welcome to New Orleans and to the tournament, Zurich's new CEO, Martin Senn, who is a strong proponent of the charitable partnership that we enjoy with Zurich. Martin?
MARTIN SENN: Thank you very much, Commissioner, and good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. It is a great pleasure to be here with you today.
I must tell you this is the first time I am attending as the CEO, but I have been before three or four times here in New Orleans with the Zurich Open. And each time I come back I feel better and better about the work we can do here for the community and the people in Southeast Louisiana.
I've been very fortunate to now understand all the facets of the Zurich Classic, and how we operate together with the PGA TOUR and the Fore!Kids Foundation, which together we really can make a difference in the New Orleans community through the charitable efforts we are working on.
For this year's Zurich Classic in partnership with our friends from the Fore!Kids Foundation, our charitable initiatives will be sort of organized under the help point Fore!Kids theme, and will include a variety of exceptional programs such as funding for the Oschner Children's Hospital, and the St. Bernard Project.
Earlier this month I was here already to sort of check out how things are working out and what was going on. And I was recently at the St. Bernard Project, which is helping families rebuild their homes and in turn their lives.
They have already so far built more than 270 homes, and over 50 are currently under construction. This is a true good example on what we can strive for with our customers and employees.
We, for example, bring our guests to the tournament now. We bring them out to the project and they do help rebuilding some of the homes in St. Bernard's Project is supporting, and we will this year as well make sure that two additional homes will be fully financed and built with the help of Zurich.
That is probably another example of delivering when it matters. By the way, you'll remember what Katrina did to this part of the United States, and that is really when we sought together with this great golf event, we can bring the swing back. We are looking obviously at ways and means and how we can expand this good work.
Also, during this year's tournament, our U.S. personal and commercial line of Zurich family members Farmer's Insurance will sponsor Birdies for Babies. We'll make a donation for every birdie played here in the tournament. And this effort will be in conjunction with the March of Dimes.
The Birdies for Babies program which has already started and will make a success early this year -- or has made a success, I should say, earlier this year when Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego. I should note here that Farmers has begun its sponsorship of the Open in San Diego this year as well. Making Zurich one of the only multiple event title sponsors on the PGA TOUR.
As much as Zurich and the Classic has established a close and rewarding relationship, helping the New Orleans community get back on track economically and in the wake of hurricane Katrina, Farmers Insurance enjoys a similar affinity with the people of San Diego out of their experiences together when wildfires invaded the area many times the last couple of years.
We are proud that the PGA TOUR has chosen Zurich as the time to announce the Together, anything's possible initiative as we truly believe the charitable efforts made here in the tournament are a perfect demonstration of the remarkable charitable impact being made each and every week in the PGA TOUR communities and communities across the United States.
I do hope that you all will enjoy again this year's Zurich Classic, and we are looking forward to experiencing yet another successful series of charitable events throughout this week.
I also want to make sure that you understand that in my term here at Zurich, I'm fully committed to continuing this great commitment that the organization has started over many years to come. Thank you very much. With that, I hand it over to Tommy.
TOMMY FONSECA: I also want to welcome everyone to the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. We have one goal here is to become the best PGA TOUR event. And the way we do that is through partnerships. It's the partnership with the PGA TOUR, Zurich Financial Services, the Fore!Kids Foundation, and the help of local sponsors and spectators.
The key to our success, the key to becoming the best PGA TOUR, is to continue to develop those relationships. Through that we have together accomplished a lot of successful things.
So just to recap the week. We had a great start with our Money Pro-Am on Tuesday. We conducted our Louisiana Ford Economic Summit where we had more than 300 local business men and women out here on the golf course. This was the second year that we've conducted the summit here at the Zurich Classic.
And our focus was not only the local economy, but what the future has to offer. And the future looks very promising. This event helps bring in more than a $30 million annual impact to the region. And more importantly it helps all of us at Fore!Kids reach our mission of raising more than $1 million annually for local children's charities.
We applaud Zurich's efforts in teaming up with us for the Birdies for Babies, and their Reach Out and Read program that will support efforts at Oschner Hospital. It's with their help and their commitment that Zurich provides us truly helps us achieve our goals.
Zurich has been an amazing partner. A partner that New Orleans has needed since Katrina. We could not have come this far post-Katrina without the help of Zurich and the PGA TOUR supporting us over the years.
We're very hopeful. We're looking forward to the future, and we just want to play our part on the PGA TOUR, and, again, define what partners can do together and really, truly defines together anything is possible. So thank you, Martin.
JAMES CRAMER: Thank you, Tommy. As Commissioner Finchem had mentioned with the launch of phase 2, Together, anything's possible, this really is a new day for the PGA TOUR. For the first time, fans can find the causes connected to the tournaments and players and make donations to support those causes. Just as important, they can learn more about those causes.
Each tournament will have their own charity page. I wanted to share with you a video that details one of the causes here with the Zurich Classic.
In addition to the tournaments having their own charity specific pages, PGA TOUR players have their own specific pages. And today pictured on the home page is the story near and dear to the 2005 champion, Tim Petrovic's, heart. And I would ask that Tim comment on that.
TIM PETROVIC: Thanks, just wanted to thank the Commissioner for getting me up here and letting me use this platform to get our charity out there. It is something that Julie and I, my wife and I, strive to do for the past eight years since we've been out here. We've given to various charities, kind of written checks to various charities.
But we wanted to kind of get a hand's on experience and actually start our own charities. I think we've been blessed. I've had a blessed career out there. This is my ninth year out here, and I wanted to give something back and focus it. And we started For Every Child, Inc. And we are also focused on kids.
Julie and I have a quote, "It's no child should be without." No child should be without clothes, books, basic necessities. Things that we take for granted. And even in the United States of America, this is still a reality. It's hard to think that that could happen here in the United States, but it's actually true.
We have a program called Hope Totes, and we provide brand-new clothes, toiletries and basic necessities for kids that are being moved to foster homes. Basically kids that show up with just the clothes on their back, and it gives them new clothes, gives them a three to four day head start, gives them a nice note in there to let them know that someone actually cares. It just makes you feel good to get something done like that for the kids. I think we did 450 totes last year. And we're based in Austin. To get our For Every Child, Inc., on the website is really going to give us a boost.
The kids under 6 years old, they get a bonus. They get handmade quilts. We have a great of people, a network of people across the United States who we actually call stitchers, and they are stitching handmade blankets. And those handmade blankets get rolled up and get put in the totes.
I've seen the reaction on some of the kids faces, it's hard to describe. We also have local charities help us to get supplies for our totes. You know, it doesn't sound like much, just a small Hope Tote, but when you hand a Hope Tote to a kid that just has his clothes on his back and doesn't know what's going on, his world's just been turned upside down, it's a really big thing.
Just recently we did an auction, an online auction with Robby Krieger of the Doors, who is a friend of mine. He lives in Los Angeles, and we raised $3200 for a round of golf with him and me in Riviera. And Robby gave the guy a signed guitar, and he's in the Hall of Fame, by the way, but I don't know if you know that.
But the website is really well put together. Oh, you have the music there. The music kind of sets the tone. We've been really happy with it. The PGA TOUR Wives Association also made a donation of $3,000 this past year, so that really helped us. And we also had a 5K run in Tampa, all benefits went to for every child.
So I can feel the momentum going. We're starting to move forward with this. It kind of started slow. I think it took us a year to set up the charity. There was a lot of paperwork, but we're really pleased.
And Julie's, she is a saint in my life. She got this whole thing going. Our schedules are pretty hectic with the traveling and not having much off time, and she assembled a team, and we have two meetings -- two or three meetings a year. It's been fantastic.
So there is the number, if any of you want to call, 512-203-1139. Thank you.
JAMES CRAMER: We're accomplishing one of the main goals Together, anything's possible, and that is to provide a more visible platform for our players' charities. So good job on that, Tim.
All of the individual players pages will have links to their individual websites. Donations can be made through the Together, anything's possible website to support those causes. Tournament charities also have the links, and you can also make donations through the Together, anything's possible website. At this point we'll gladly take any questions.
Q. Do you know how many players' charities are represented on the website individual players' charities?
COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: It's a changing number. Where are we now?
JAMES CRAMER: We're at 150 different players across all three tours. We expect now that phase two has launched, that that number will go up. And every PGA TOUR championship is represented.
Q. It kind of seems like a lengthy task to get your hands wrapped around all the players and their various interests. How long did this whole thing take to put that together? I mean, that's a lot of guys.
COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: Well, you know, it's interesting, because we sort of have known for a good number of years about so many players being involved, but we've never gone through the trouble to either catalog it or tell the story for the players ourselves.
So we really started talking to players about this in January of '09. And the reaction was so enthusiastic that I think somebody tell me if I'm wrong, but I think since that time the players are so excited about this development, they're doing great work for us.
We just reach out and say here's the kind of information we need, and they're providing it. So it's working quite well. Is that a fair statement? So it's been fun.
Q. Could you tell us where you got your inspiration to start a charity like the one you have?
TIM PETROVIC: Well, like we said about the website, we have 150 or so players either participating in or have their own charities. And they've kind of paved the way for some of the new guys.
It was something that we wanted to do. I knew a lot of our friends were doing it, and they got a lot of joy out of it. It wasn't something I was doing obviously for myself. But we love kids and we wanted to focus on one particular thing.
I remember during Katrina we actually came down and helped a family that came out of New Orleans and went to Texas. We actually met the family. They were about to be kicked out of -- I think they were on an army base or something. We actually met the family and put them up for a week or, I think, two weeks until they found a place to live.
But we were just trying to follow -- not follow suit -- we were just trying to do something we felt in our heart. That's kind of the way it happened.
JAMES CRAMER: Thank you very much.
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