Big changes are coming to the PGA Tour sponsorship landscape.
The Associated Press is among those reporting that British financial firm Barclays will not renew as title sponsor of the PGA Tour’s first playoff event. Replacing them will be Northern Trust, who will move from sponsoring the PGA Tour event at Riviera, the old Los Angeles Open, to the playoff opener, with it being renamed The Northern Trust. The New York/New Jersey rotation will remain intact for the event, including Glen Oaks for the first Northern Trust-sponsored edition of the event in 2017. Northern Trust had been the L.A. sponsor since 2008.
Meanwhile, Hyundai, which signed a one-year deal with the PGA Tour to sponsor this year’s Tournament of Champions, has expressed interest in taking over Northern Trust’s slot. Hyundai has its American base in Orange County, Calif.
That leaves a gap at Kapalua. South Korean broadcaster SBS had a 10-year agreement with the PGA Tour to sponsor the winners-only event which runs through 2019. SBS essentially sold the sponsorship rights to Hyundai.
It’s also becoming clearer that Deutsche Bank will not return as sponsor of the second playoff event in Boston. The PGA Tour has given serious thought to reducing the number of playoff events from four to three, in part not to have to seek a new sponsor for the Labor Day event and partially to respond to player complaints that the four-event playoff series is too much of a grind.
Then there’s the Trump problem. The World Golf Championships event at his Doral resort will need a new title sponsor with Cadillac expected not to renew. The Tour has a contract with Trump Doral to host the event, but continuing that deal is at the whim of the new title sponsor. Were the PGA Tour to walk away from Doral, that would end a relationship dating back to 1962.