- February 14, 2014
The PGA Tour will bring its star golfers and their fans to Innisbrook Resort in March, just as it has for the last several years, but the event will be staged under a new name, the Tampa Bay Championship.
The tournament was known as the Transitions Championship, but sponsor Transitions Optical announced before this year's tournament that it would not renew its four-year contract for the title sponsorship.
That left the PGA seeking another title sponsor, for which Transitions reportedly paid $7 million a year.
However, after no companies stepped up, the PGA has decided to go without for the 2013 tourney.
Although there is no title sponsor for the 2013 competition at the popular Copperhead Course, the tournament will remain essentially the same.
Despite the new name and logo, the championship still dangles a $5.5 million purse, and the March 11-17 event will be broadcast by NBC Sports, the Golf Channel and other PGA Tour partners, as in years past.
PGA Tour spokesman Joel Schuchmann says its marketing team will be “on the phone day and night” courting potential sponsors. “We've had title sponsors come in two or three weeks before a champsionship,” he says.
Schuchmann says the PGA Tour likes the event because, aside from being a players' favorite, it fits in the tour's “Florida Swing,” which keeps players in Florida for about a month before hop-scotching back and forth to other states.
Tampa Bay charities like it, too. The event has generated nearly $30 million for the community.