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Business Observer Friday, Jun. 17, 2022 1 month ago

PGA Tour event raises nearly $2M locally, approaching $50M lifetime mark

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The Valspar Championship, under Ronde Barber, tops last year’s total as it nears the milestone.
by: Louis Llovio Commercial Real Estate Editor

The Valspar Championship, an annual PGA Tour event played in Pinellas County, raised more than $1.75 million during March’s tournament, a 7% increase over the 2021 event.

The money, according to Copperhead Charities, which puts on the event, came from ticket sales and the other tournament related proceeds.

With this year’s haul, Copperhead has raised $48.7 million from sponsoring the golf tournament since 1977. Tournament officials expect to cross the $50 million mark during next year’s event.

Copperhead is a charity organization tied to Innisbrook Golf & Spa Resort, where the tournament is played. Pro Links Sports, a private company, is charged with organizing the event.

The two entities work closely, with Pro Links' partner and tournament director Tracy West working in hand-in-hand with Copperhead’s board chair. That person, for this year and next year, is a familiar face, former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Ronde Barber.

Ronde Barber, the general chair of Copperhead Charities and former Tampa Bay Buccaneer. (File photo)

The main financial goals of the tournament is to raise money for charities, a mandate given Copperhead’s status as a nonprofit.

The money raised at the March tournament will go to about 70 local charities. So far this year, tournament officials say money has gone to Tampa General Hospital, Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties, St. Petersburg College Foundation and area chapters of The First Tee. 

“Ultimately, we’re raising a ton of money for charity,” Barber told the Business Observer in September. “But we also have got to put on an event. Essentially, we’re entertaining 100,000 fans in four days. There’s a lot that goes into that.”

The Valspar Championship traces its roots back to 1977 and has been known by a slew of different names. For more than 20 years, it was known as the J.C. Penney Classic and featured players from both the PGA and LPGA tours.

Valspar, a paint brand within Sherwin-Williams Co., became the title sponsor in 2014. It has a title sponsor contract that lasts through 2025.

Sam Burns won the Valspar for the second consecutive year in March.

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