Drinks giant Coca-Cola and energy firm the Southern Company have extended their sponsorship deals with golf’s PGA Tour and the Tour Championship in agreements that are set to provide enhanced broadcast coverage of the season-ending tournament.
Through the increased support of Coca-Cola and Southern Company, the final three hours of the broadcast, including the entire back nine featuring the final groups, will air free of national commercials, allowing shot-by-shot viewing as the final FedExCup Playoffs event draws to an end on US network NBC.
The enhanced broadcast component is the result of renewal agreements that will lift Southern Company and Coca-Cola to the elite designation of ‘Proud Partners’ of the Tour Championship, a distinction reserved for golf’s biggest events. The agreement secures Coca-Cola and Southern Company together as partners through to the end of 2020.
The new sponsor structure, with some modifications, is patterned after the Proud Partner model at The Players Championship. Both renewals also include both companies’ continuation in the PGA Tour Official Marketing Partner program. Coca-Cola remains the official soft drink and Southern Company maintains its designations as the official energy company and presenting sponsor of the Payne Stewart Award. The award is handed out annually to the player who best exemplifies the values of character, charity and sportsmanship.
As Proud Partners, Coca-Cola and Southern Company will share preeminent branding at Tour Championship venue, Atlanta’s East Lake, receive acknowledgment as the exclusive Proud Partners on all tournament promotion and marketing initiatives, and during broadcasts on Golf Channel and NBC, including on broadcast leaderboards and vignettes. The final three hours of branding on PGA Tour digital platforms will also be dedicated to the Proud Partners.
PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said: “We are excited to present this enhanced broadcast coverage of the Tour Championship’s conclusion, which will be further enriched with the reversal of the nines at East Lake.
“We are particularly grateful to Coca-Cola and Southern Company for their continued and elevated support of the Tour Championship. As Atlanta-based companies, their longstanding commitment to the tournament reflects their investment in and passionate support of their home community. Now, as we strive to continue the growth and impact of the Tour Championship, their newly defined roles as Proud Partners will play a critical role in further elevating the tournament’s stature in the coming years.”
The 2016 Tour Championship will commence on September 25, with America’s Jordan Spieth the defending champion.