- Beretta leaves Maryland over gun laws, heads for Tennessee
- Neal Boortz defends Hillary Clinton for representing child rapist
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- Top federal judge uses pizza to explain complex Obamacare situation
- Obama, Biden overhaul job training programs
- Drought-plagued Californians turn to paint to keep lawns green
- ISIL now forcing Iraqi shopkeepers to veil mannequins in Mosul
- 11 parents of Nigeria’s abducted girls die
- Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia
- Turkish P.M. Erdogan won’t speak to Obama, but he’ll take calls from Biden
Officials ditch sales for quality
Question of the Day
The tens of thousands of golf fans at the AT&T; National this week likely have noticed a relative dearth of advertising and the absence of sponsors hawking everything from new energy drinks to timeshares in Boca Raton.
While the tournament has no shortage of sponsors (more than 20), the majority of those firms are practically invisible at Congressional Country Club this week, as organizers have given up as much as $500,000 in revenue in exchange for a clutter-free experience for fans.
“We wanted to have the presentation at the highest level and wanted it clean, with minimal signage,” said Greg McLaughlin, the tournament director and executive director of the Tiger Woods Foundation. “We all decided that we were going to present the tournament in as fine a fashion as possible.”
Typically, golf tournaments are a field day for companies, which use a captive crowd to try out new products and advertise their services. But the only company with a truly visible presence this week is AT&T;, the tournament’s chief sponsor, which is operating a digital media center near the 17th green and has lent out hundreds of wireless “mobile caddies.”
There is little evidence of any other corporate involvement, aside from a scattering of scoreboard advertisements and 20 small, rectangular signs depicting sponsor logos at the club’s main entrance. Even merchandise at Congressional is being sold only in the facility’s small golf shop and out of small booths barely large enough to house a single worker.
Local broadcasters are forbidden from hanging large signs announcing their presence; most of the affiliates generated their reports from makeshift sets near Congressional’s driving range, out of sight of most fans.
“We weren’t bombarded with it when we walked in,” said Chris Shehane of Baltimore, as he watched golfers coming in on the 18th green. “It’s good. It really makes you want to come back.”
Tournament organizers credit the event’s clean look to its host, Woods, who insisted on keeping ticket prices low and offering free admission to children and thousands of active members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
“He said from the start he wanted to have a different kind of tournament,” said Congressional Country Club president Stuart Long. “He didn’t want any of those credit card stands, that kind of stuff.”
McLaughlin said the tournament willingly gave up between $250,000 and $500,000 in revenue by fending off requests by companies to establish an on-course presence. Any and all efforts to set up booths or kiosks or put in place large advertisements were denied, despite countless requests by many companies looking to take advantage of the tournament’s special accommodation of military personnel.
“They’ll do anything,” McLaughlin said. “The sky’s the limit, and there are so many companies that wanted access to the military and that demographic. I can’t tell you how many people are interested in the members of the military and their presence here.”
“This is a different kind of event,” said Granville Smith, a club member from North Potomac. “There are not a lot of corporate tents, period. From our standpoint, the course has never been in better shape. It’s fantastic.”
The president could pay the full price for ignoring Congress
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies
- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- Gen. James Amos, Marine Corps commandant, slams Obama's handling of Iraq
- 'Straight White Guy Festival' supposedly set for Ohio park
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
- Hamas terrorists wear Israeli army uniforms to ambush soldiers in Gaza
- PRUDEN: A deadly enemy within exacerbating immigration crisis
- EDITORIAL: Obamacare in intensive care
- DEACE: How to go from civil rights icon to bigot in one quote
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq