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


May 12, 2010

Tim Finchem


COMMISSIONER TIM FINCHEM: I'll just start off by telling you guys are how pleased we are to come to our new home. I think it's great for the tournament to allow the tournament to continue to grow.
But I think it's terrific that the announcement that the tournament is generating another $8 million for charity, I think it's like 53 million historically, but two years in a row 8 million is pretty stout in this economic environment. Demonstrates what can be done with the product. That's a good message.
And then also the tournament focusing on recognizing our men and women in uniform tonight and I Saturday is Military Appreciation Day. So that's great.
And you know, we got a good station situation here. Valero is a phenomenal sponsor. Got two good golf courses here to support that and you know, you don't know how guys are going to play until they play a real round so we'll see how that develops.
But from what -- I was just out there and talked to a lot of players and anytime you play a new golf course the players haven't seen you're going to get different opinions, but I think the overall reaction is very positive because of the condition of the golf course and because of the strategic structure of the golf course.
Couple of the greens are going to be a little tricky but I think it's going to set-up well and I really like the closing holes. I think from a television standpoint those closing holes are going to really look good.
That's important in terms of delivering the product around the world. I'll be happy to answer anything you want to talk about.

Q. Ernie mentioned how important the change in the tournament dates were to his coming here. Do you see that as important, especially in the future as it begins to build on the momentum of this year?
COMMISSIONER TIM FINCHEM: Well, tying it in to the Texas events I think is good. You know, I think the tournament actually performed well in the Fall but from an overall interest standpoint it's going to -- getting out of football season is always a positive. That will help.
Yes, I think the mix -- this date mix is going to work well. We'll watch it the next few years but it would appear that's going to work well.

Q. Can you go through the process that happens now with the new TV contract in the future and then you kind of look at the schedule?
What will go into the decision as far as you talked about the charity aspect here, talked obviously the new golf course. Lots of good things happening here. And Tony Piazzi said he would like a spot at the table as far as moving into a great prime spot.
When does that discussion take place and what goes into that?
COMMISSIONER TIM FINCHEM: It will be a process that culminates when we do television. We won't know where we come out on the schedule until we finish our television negotiations which will probably be in the fall of '11 for the cycle starting in '13.
We need a year in between because of schedule adjustments or anything else that falls for television. Usually there are things that fall out of those discussions that impact us.
We always negotiate at least a year in advance at the start of the season for the new cycle and that will be in late '11.

Q. It's a remarkable revolution. Bill Greehey was talking about the other day, the fact like it seemed yesterday you guys were talking about the future of this event and it evolved quickly with what's happening with the charity initiatives and now today we sit here at a brand new golf course that no one could have imagined in 2001.
When you look at this event and look at what's happening, how remarkable is it on the landscape of what the Tour has done and this event is where it is today?
COMMISSIONER TIM FINCHEM: Well, it was right after 9/11 that Bill and I first talked when I was here that week, week after 9/11, and you know, we had pretty much decided to not move forward with the event. We didn't have sponsorship and it had not performed all that well and Valero said we're -- we think we can take this to a whole other level and so we took a shot.
It turned out great. In short order the event made a major shift right there. So it's been good ever since.
But to generate these kind of numbers from a charity standpoint, moved to No. 1 on the Tour is pretty spectacular, and then to maintain it during a down economy is really something because -- again, it's good for us because it does demonstrate how strong the product is. It does have to be marketed, you have to work at it but if you do -- Tony has done a nice job, Valero is a great partner, but you can take advantage of the strength of the brand and the strength of the sport and the strength of the overall platform and market it effectively and when you do, you can really do great things for charity.

Q. When you look at this week, you have Vijay here and Ernie, some names that have never played San Antonio ever and then, of course, Sergio comes in, this is a course he's very interested in, how much does that have to do with the scheduling, how much does it have to do -- Rick and I talked actually last week about the player relations folks and everything else.
COMMISSIONER TIM FINCHEM: It's both. I think schedule is important. I think the word of mouth on this change here has been very positive in terms of the facilities and the golf courses and the only speculation -- Greg Norman has a reputation to build a hard golf course. And not many players have seen the golf course. So we had a little bit of, you know, sort of scuttlebutt about possibly it's real hard.
As I say, I'm very pleased with the reaction of the players I talked to today. And so, you know, now, of course, players who aren't here will watch it on television, they'll see how it plays and then the word of mouth, the quality of operations here, this unbelievable setting will help solidify the quality for the future.

Q. I'd be remiss if I didn't ask you, obviously you've had a lot of things happen over the last few weeks, Tiger and all those kind of things. The Tour overall, the landscape even with Tiger, are you encouraged by how things are looking?
COMMISSIONER TIM FINCHEM: Actually from a point in time just before Tiger's problems started until today, we've done a lot of business. We've done a lot of extensions, we brought in some new sponsors which is what you have to do in this kind of economy and, no, we're very pleased.
As a matter of fact, we've continued to grow. Our charity dollars were off a little bit last year but rebounding nicely this year and, you know, I think that if this trend continues, we will look back and be really, really pleased about how we performed during the downturn and that's been the history. The last two, three -- I think this is my third one.

Q. Downturn?
COMMISSIONER TIM FINCHEM: Yes, of significance. Our history is we've been able to manage our way right through them. This is the worse one, obviously, by a significant margin, but knock on wood, we are both from the standpoint of generating benefits back to the players and continuing to move down the road of the charities, both directions we're performing well.
We don't need the economy to come back to where it was. We need the economy to be stable and grow a little and -- but unless something else that we have another downturn, I think we can look to us growing, continuing to grow over the next five, six years. Not at the same level, the rate of growth that we enjoyed when the economy was roaring, by any means, but still growth. Growth in this environment is really good.
So, again, it's a testimony to the quality of the players, their popularity, their image and this great, vast array of volunteer organizations around the country that work so hard to promote and stage our tournaments.
It's a model that works. From a sponsor's standpoint it's also another indication that the value generated for a sponsor is very solid, and I often get the question, "What do you do when Tiger doesn't play?"
Well, we have good tournaments. We have tournaments that raise a lot of money for charity, they're successful and a lot of people enjoy them. Other people get to be seen, other players get to be seen.
That's been the pattern now for 14 years. I don't know why people continue to ask me that but they do, and it's just the sport has gotten that strong. It's good.

End of FastScripts

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