May 2, 2009

Coming Soon to a PGA Tournament Near You (Maybe): Spirit Sponsored Tourneys

The rumor mill has it that the PGA is considering allowing liquor concerns to sponsor tournaments:
"Executives at PGA Tour headquarters are taking their most serious look yet at loosening rules that prevent spirit companies from buying tournament title sponsorships or traditional endorsements with players, said multiple sources familiar with the talks. Industry sources estimated the category could be worth up to $50 million a year in new sponsorship dollars."
If approved, the Jack Daniels Open, for example, might be on the PGA schedule or perhaps a Johnny Walker Classic here in the States. The European Tour already allows spirit company sponsorship, and you may recall that 17 year-old Danny Lee is this year's Johnny Walker Classic champion (pictured.)

No doubt that if the PGA makes a decision to allow sponsorship from those companies, it will draw the ire of neo-prohibitionists and drunk driving organizations like MADD, the Mothers Against Drunk Driving. They will surely claim something akin to 'this will cause children to drink' etc. and leverage the change into a platform for their particular viewpoint.

NASCAR made this sponsorship rule change some time ago. Kids watch car racing too, and NASCAR's new sponsorship rules haven't caused a noticeable spike in teen drinking or teen drinking and driving. It is ironic, however, to see a car festooned with Jack Daniel's logo -- is there a more direct connection between drinking and driving than a car with the familiar Jack Black logo and label?

My opinion is that this class of company makes a legal product, and that responsible use of them is an embedded part of our culture. There are many folks like me that take the better part of a year to consume a particular bottle of liquor and when it's empty they too feel no rush to replenish their supply. I also never drink and drive, because I feel that I never want my pleasures to put others in danger. I bet that's the demographic that the spirit companies are after, and in my view that's fine.


  1. I am speechless. Yes, I am without speech.

    Cialis sponsored a major PGA tour event and sponsor the Bassmasters fishing thingamajiggy. The thieves in bankers' (brokers, lenders) clothing sponsor almost everything else.

    Erectile dysfunction peddlers and economy rapists can sponsor golf tournaments, but possibly not Crown Royal?

    I am without speech.

  2. Well said Charles. I couldn't agree more. This is down right silly and of course liquor sponsors should be allowed.

    But why did OEG have to go and mention erectile dysfunction? Although it is a valid point.


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