It’s been a big couple of days in sponsorship news on the PGA Tour. <<snooze alert>> I know, most of you don’t care who the title sponsor is of an event. How much does it really matter for fans, anyway?
Well, for those who do have a skin in the game, here’s the latest from the past few days: Northern Trust will sponsor its last event at Riviera Country Club next month, and going forward, the financial institution will become the title sponsor for the tournament formerly known as The Barclays, which is held annually in the New York/New Jersey area.
Northern Trust will replace Barclays as sponsor through a five-year agreement that renames the tournament THE NORTHERN TRUST and maintains its position as the opening event of the FedExCup Playoffs.
When the tournament becomes THE NORTHERN TRUST in 2017, it will kick off with Glen Oaks Club in Old Westbury (Long Island), N.Y. Then, the event continues with a solid rotation throughout the greater New York/New Jersey area over the following five years:
2018 The Ridgewood Country Club, Paramus, N.J.
2019 Liberty National Golf Club, Jersey City, N.J.
2020 Plainfield Country Club, Edison, N.J.
2021 Black Course at Bethpage State Park, Farmingdale (Long Island), N.Y.
2022 Liberty National Golf Club, Jersey City, N.J.
So, what will happen to the tour stop at Riviera? Don’t sweat, the PGA Tour announced Wednesday (a day later) that it has come to a five-year agreement with Hyundai, making the motor company the title sponsor of the tour’s longtime event at Riviera.
Hyundai, which sponsored the Tournament of Champions the past few years, will shift its investment to what is currently known as the Northern Trust Open in Los Angeles. The motor vehicle company’s U.S. headquarters is located in Mountain Valley, CA, so the partnership makes sense.
“Considering that Hyundai Motor America is headquartered and heavily invested in the greater Los Angeles area, this is a perfect fit for Hyundai’s long-term vision and goals as a tournament sponsor,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem.
“Hyundai is a terrific partner that has actively promoted the Hyundai Tournament of Champions since becoming title sponsor in 2011 and used the event to broaden awareness of its brand and products. We are very excited to continue our relationship with Hyundai and look forward to helping with the transition to Riviera Country Club for 2017.”
Now, only one missing piece of the puzzle remains: Which company will take over the title sponsorship of the best kickoff event ever? I mean, it doesn’t get much better than Maui in January with a field filled with winners from the previous year. Plus, Jordan Spieth has vowed to show up and play in the event every year that he’s qualified!