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Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Web.com Tour is Now

I mean, literally NOW -- immediately, even!

Web.com Tour logoAfter the press conference Wednesday morning announcing the "immediate" sponsorship of the Web.com Tour, I moused my way over to PGATOUR.com and -- lo and behold! -- all traces of the Nationwide Tour were gone from the site. When Tim Finchem said "now," he meant NOW!

You can get more details from this article announcing the Web.com deal and this article outlining the 3 main keys to the deal. (Both articles are at PGATOUR.com.)

There will probably be some debate over whether this was a good deal or not, largely because Web.com was pretty blunt that this was a "branding" decision for them. In other words, they aren't couching this purely in talk about how great it is to be associated with the PGA Tour, although Web.com's CEO David Brown made it clear that the Tour's image was a big draw for them. No, Brown made it clear that they expect to get lots of exposure from this deal -- not just on their new tour, but on the PGA and Champions Tours as well.

I don't know about you, but I thought it was kind of refreshing. I get tired of hearing the Tour talk about themselves as a "product" all the time, but I appreciated that Brown didn't dance around and try to minimize the business aspects of the deal. And given that the Tour is planning to develop PGATOUR.com more aggressively (and on their own), this deal is clearly a good one for both sides since Web.com specializes in (drumroll, please) internet business development. As one of the articles I mentioned earlier put it,
"In addition, Web.com, via its Official Marketing Partnership, will offer its internet services and online solutions for players across all three Tours and events looking to grow their individual brands."
Web.com is going to help all the players and all the events as well the Tour itself, so both sides are very happy with this deal. Nationwide will continue to work with the Tour and is apparently also very happy with this deal. And the new deal is for 10 years, which is pretty darn good in this economy.

It'll be interesting to see how this new partnership plays out. Web.com is a HUGE company and the potential benefit for all the Tours is incredible.

Now if they could just figure out some way to get the LPGA involved as well... (Say, Ty Votaw IS part of the PGA Tour now. Hmmmm...)

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