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July 19, 2012

Carol Chaplin

Chris Doyle

Gary Quinn

Chuck Scharer


THE MODERATOR:  We have a very special announcement to make today.  I'd like to introduce your panel.  On the front right is Mr.Gary Quinn of NBC Sports, Senior Director of Programming.  To his right is Chris Doyle of American Century Investments, VP of Corporate Communications.  And back left, Chuck Scharer, President and CEO of Edgewood Companies.  And last but not least, in the far right, Carol Chaplin, Executive Director of the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority.
Gary, we understand that this year we'll be extending well into the future.  Would you like to give a brief overview of what has been going on.
GARY QUINN:  Yes.  Thanks, Phil.  Can you hear me okay?  Now we're ready?  We're thrilled to announce, Phil, that all of our partnerships have been extended through 2015.  Last year we were able to come to agreement with Chris and his team and American Century.
And in the off season, since we left last year, we worked on the deals with the LTVA, the golf course and the hotels.  All of those deals are now married up.  And it's a real tribute to all of our partners here.
And we have something very special here.  And I think all of you that have been here for years can recognize that.  The beauty of this extension means that it guarantees us to celebrate our 25th anniversary in 2014, which when you think about it, that's pretty impressive.
This has become one of the most entertaining and longest running events in all of golf.  And if you would have told us that back in 1990 when we started, we probably would have told you that you were nuts.  But it's a real credit to Carol and her team, to Chuck, to Bobby King, to Brian Davis, to the folks at Harris, John Koster and his team have been fantastic.
And you know what, you can't have something with this kind of longevity and success without all of your partners walking in the same direction and wanting the same thing.  They share our passion and our vision that we want to make this thing bigger and better every year.
We know that we can't do just rest on our success, that there has to be different elements brought to bear every year for our fans, for the celebrities, for our clients, and everybody's working in lockstep.  There's no tension in discussions.  Everybody is almost like a family now because we've been together for so long.
And, again, it's a credit to everybody up here, and we're very proud of this event.  And we're very proud of our partners and the way that they work together with us, and we look forward to continuing to bring this event to this wonderful community that has embraced us since 1990 for many, many more years beyond 2015.  So thank you.
THE MODERATOR:  Chris, American Century has been the title sponsor of this event since 1999.  So this is, that's the right one.
CHRIS DOYLE:  You're going to make me do math this morning.  It was a late night last night.
THE MODERATOR:  Tell us about American Century wanting to move forward with the event in the future.
CHRIS DOYLE:  We're excited about the contract extensions.  After 14 years of doing this, we feel like we're just hitting our stride.  So it feels like we need a few more years to really make it perfect.
But this is our biggest client brand building event that we do every single year.  We're a Kansas City‑based asset management firm, but this gives us kind of an opportunity to introduce the firm to a wider audience, kind of tell our story, the relationship with the Livestrong Foundation, our connection to cancer research.  As you're probably aware, 40percent of our profits go to support cancer research.
We have a unique ownership structure in that we have a nonprofit biomedical research foundation that owns a big chunk of the company.  So, again, to the extent that we're successful as a company, it allows us to fund life‑saving research.
Again, that's what we use this tournament as kind of a platform to tell that story.  So we're just excited.  We're a Kansas City firm, but for one week a year, all the folks, great folks of Lake Tahoe area make us feel right at home.  So we're excited to continue this.
THE MODERATOR:  Carol, why don't we start with you, a little bit as far as the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority and what this event has meant to the destination and what you think it means in the future.
CAROL CHAPLIN:  Thanks, Phil.  As our partners here have already said, this is a great event.  It's really the highlight of our year as the Visitors Authority.  And we've talked a little bit about this week what it means in terms of impact to the community, ten to $20million with our visitors coming and enjoying all the events that surround the event.
And, of course, our partners NBC and American Century and Edgewood, without each one of those, this just wouldn't happen the way it does.  And it's just‑‑ somebody told me that there's a buzz in town this week.  And it really is.  It's just a very, very important event for us, and we look forward to 2013, '14 and '15 and of course I'm sure there will be some surprises for the 25th anniversary.
American Century and NBC have been good to the community in other ways as well, and we've told that story with some of the donations left behind.
So they come here but they never leave.
THE MODERATOR:  Chuck, as far as Edgewood Companies, what would you like folks to know.
CHUCK SCHARER:  As far as what I would say:  We're in.  We think this is such a great event not just for Edgewood but for the community.  And we're so proud to be the site for this event.
American Century, NBC, Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority, Harrah's Tahoe, I feel like I'm part of the Dream Team here.  This is such a great partnership.  And it really has become, over the years, the premier event for Lake Tahoe.  When you think about everything that goes on the basin, Lake Tahoe area, this is probably the premier event of the year.
And our employees, our shareholders, our board, we're all so very proud to be part of this.  And we hope to make it bigger and better this year as it has been every year.  We're really delighted to be here.  So thanks.
THE MODERATOR:  All right.  Questions?

Q.  How do you foresee the lodge construction affecting the tournament in the upcoming years?
CHUCK SCHARER:  I guess I'll take that.  Let me give a little context here.  What she's speaking about is a project that our company's working on called the Edgewood Tahoe Lodge, which when‑‑ and we're currently going through the approval process with the regulatory agencies.
And we hope that we're going to get approval to do that and over the next several years develop that project.  We will work very closely with American Century, NBC and the LTVA as we plan that project.  But at the end of the day it should not affect this great event.  Frankly at the end of the day I think it will enhance the venue.  It will enhance the event, and it will really turn this property into a destination resort and help enhance the American Century Championship down the road.

Q.  Do you want to expand a little bit, Chuck, on what the vision is as far as the project is concerned, so folks here that haven't heard about it have an idea what some of those components might be?
CHUCK SCHARER:  Sure I'm always delighted to talk about the Edgewood Tahoe Lodge.  This is a project that's been kicking around our company for many years.
And we really feel now is the time right to bring the project to the marketplace.  As our Tahoe market sort of transitions.  The Edgewood Lodge is made up 194 units.  It will have a bistro restaurant, a first‑class spa and fitness center.
We'll have some additional conference space.  In fact, this room that we're in right here, if we get approval, will be expanded threefold.  So the lodge has really been designed and developed to be an integral part of this resort and to work with the current clubhouse, all the amenities we have here, and the lodge will be situated on what now is basically the ninth fairway, the ninth hole gets moved towards the lake and becomes a fantastic finishing hole to the front nine, not unlike No. 18, with the green right lakeside.  It will still be a par 4, but it will be a tremendous finishing hole to the front nine.  We're excited about it.

Q.  Carol, you talked about the financial impact of this event on the community estimated to be 10 to $20million.  What does that all include?
CAROL CHAPLIN:  You have, of course, all the people who come out of town to join us for a couple of days.  We understand they stay for about three days.  And so our lodging properties benefit.  They shop.  They dine and they recreate here.  We also have volunteers.  We have 350 volunteers who come here.
And they work.  But this is their vacation as well, and they come back every year.  So we have that layer.  And of course all of our partners down here on the golf course are contracting with caters or other kinds of professionals.  And so we have that additional impact to the community.  I know that NBC hires some folks.  Gary, I think, to come in and support the core team.  And there's all kinds of other activities and entertainment that go along.
So it's really a trickle‑down effect.  And it starts much earlier than the tournament starts and it goes on much later than it does‑‑ it continues on into the month.

Q.  As far as media exposure, obviously network television coverage on NBC Sports is big as well as the folks in this room that help generate coverage.  So what does that do as far as the reputation, in your opinion, for the area and the golf course and the event?
CAROL CHAPLIN:  I think it was Chuck that said the other day:  You can't buy that kind of opportunity.  We get some beautiful coverage across the country with NBC.  They do a professional job and people understand that brand and depend on it.
And we have our media folks that are here with us this week that write about the tournament and the area.  And that goes on all year long, too.  It just is‑‑ it's a great story.
GARY QUINN:  Just to add to that, when Comcast purchased us 18 months ago, we obviously became a much larger media company.  Now we're the NBC Sports Group which entails not only NBC, NBC Sports Network and the Golf Channel, and I think if you turn on the Golf Channel and NBC Sports Network this week you'll see wall‑to‑wall coverage.
And the beauty of this, we can get a lot of original content, interview pieces.  We're doing our NBC Sports talk show live from the back deck here.  Yesterday, today and tomorrow.  So there's just‑‑ we've added nine hours of live coverage is what our total is for the weekend.
Golf Channel is re‑airing our first round coverage on Saturday.  They also re‑air the event in its entirety three times throughout the year.
So you're getting multiple bites at the apple from an exposure perspective for the community and that's something that we try to leverage as much as possible with the new NBC Sports Group.

Q.  Chris, your CEO, Jonathan Thomas, is a key player in this event.  And he seems to have grown into it along with his tenure with your company.  He seems to be very, very proactive and I'm wondering, is that just Jonathan or is it something about this event about American Century investments in general that has sparked him to become so active and so rah rah rah with this particular tournament?
CHRIS DOYLE:  People who know Jonathan, he's sort of a high energy guy.  He joined our company back in 2005.  He became the CEO in 2007.
And he was the one that recognized that this relationship that we have with this biomedical research foundation was sort of‑‑ we were keeping our lamp under a bushel basket.  So he's been excited to tell people that story.
To the extent we can use this event to amplify that message, he's embraced it with full force.

Q.  Gary, I was just curious, in these last several years as this tournament has really grown, has NBC fielded any questions or offers from other broadcasting companies about possibly buying this tournament?
GARY QUINN:  Well, it's definitely not for sale, I can tell you that.  And we've never even really gone down that road.  Our main concern is keeping our sponsors happy.  And as you know a title sponsor is key to the longevity of the event.
And fortunately for us we have a great one who believes in it and without them we wouldn't be here.
But no, I think our next step, if American Century decided that they didn't want to do this anymore, we would have to go pursue somebody else.  But we wouldn't sell this to another network?
I wanted to say thank you.  I see so many familiar faces every year.  We all appreciate what you guys bring to the table as far as exposure.  And it means a lot to us.  You guys have become like family.  You come into the media room, you see so many people.  I'm hugging Al over there and all this stuff.
We really want to thank you for all you guys do, because it doesn't go unnoticed.  So thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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