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Tour Report: Three major keys to Web.com deal

PGATOUR.com
New conference: Tim Finchem

Prior to the 2012 AT&T National, PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem announces that Web.com has become the umbrella sponsor of the former Nationwide Tour.

By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM

BETHESDA, Md. — Web.com, a provider of internet services and online marketing solutions to small- and medium-sized businesses, has taken over as the title sponsor to what is formerly known as the Nationwide Tour.

The 10-year agreement is effective immediately (financial terms undisclosed), and this week’s tournament in Evansville, Ind., will be part of the Web.com Tour.

“We think this is an ideal match for this tour that includes this partnership with a strong dynamic company,” PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem said. “This company is leader in its space.”

Web.com is a Jacksonville, Fla.,-based company with 1,800 employees. It has been in existence since 1997 and has grown significantly over the past 15 years with its revenue increasing from $30 million to over a half-billion dollars during that time. When the company went public in 2005, it had 50,000 customers. It currently has more than 3 million, which was a large part of the reason it decided to become the title sponsor of the tour.

There were three major keys to the deal.

First, there are no conflicts among title sponsors on the tour, and Web.com has the same core values of the PGA TOUR with a focus on service and commitment.

Second, the PGA TOUR, along with the Champions Tour and Web.com Tour, is largely a collection of small businesses within communities across the country.

“This gives us unparalleled access to every major market,” Web.com Chairman, President and CEO David Brown said. “When you think about the Web.com TOUR, the PGA TOUR and the Champions Tour, they operate in practically every metropolitan market in the United States, and we will be there helping to educate and helping to teach and helping small businesses through our educational forums, through our support of charity, and through our support of the civic organizations. It helps us reach a market that would be virtually impossible to reach. It opens doors for us to mayors, to civic leaders that we otherwise wouldn’t be able to get.”

The third reason is because of Web.com’s place in the digital arena — an area that has become a major priority with the PGA TOUR, which includes its decision to bring all operations for PGATOUR.COM in-house.

“Having a partner with this expertise and reputation is going to help us significantly grow in that space and make sure we make the right decisions and execute in that space,” Finchem said.

Also, starting next year all 50 new PGA TOUR membership cards will be awarded through the Web.com Tour, with the three final tournaments on the Web.com Tour combining PGA TOUR and Web.com Tour players to determine who earns those 50 cards.

The fields for the three final Web.com Tour events, which will be held around the FedExCup Playoffs, will include the top 75 players on the Web.com Tour’s money list, the players ranked 126-200 on the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup points list and non-members who meet certain eligibility standards.

Q-school now will become the eligibility avenue to the Web.com Tour.

“This is the most exciting time that I can remember in certainly the evolution of this tour,” Web.com Tour President Bill Calfee said. “The restructure that we’ve talked about will position us in a very unique and different way and will closely connect us to the PGA TOUR, and clearly the partnership that we’ve just talked about here with Web.com will certainly position us for years to come, will give us the financial stability and continuity that we need.”


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