Altvater: Presidents Cup generates millions for PGA Tour, charityWritten by Fred Altvater | | BackNine@toledofreepress.com
Twenty years ago the PGA Tour initiated the Presidents Cup to create a cash cow that could imitate the riches that are generated by the Ryder Cup.
The PGA of America, not the PGA Tour, and The R&A of Europe jointly own the Ryder Cup and receive millions of dollars from sponsors and television rights.
The Presidents Cup does not have the history and tradition that has become a factor for the biennial Ryder Cup matches. It has, however, done a very good job of creating a money-making machine and best of all they don’t have to share with anyone else.
In an interview, Steve Mona, CEO of the World Golf Federation estimates that the 2013 Presidents Cup will generate $40-$50 million in revenue for the central Ohio area. Ticket sales have sold out and more than 140,000 spectators are expected throughout the four days of the event.
Presidents Cup team members are not paid to appear, but donations are made to their designated charities. In 2011 $4.5 million was given in the players’ names and more than $27 million in total donations have been made since the first Presidents Cup in 1994.
The fees that NBC must pay the PGA Tour for the broadcast rights for the Presidents Cup are never made public, but one can assume the tour is receiving a fair compensation for the coverage.
Fox Sports recently announced an agreement to broadcast the USGA’s major events beginning in 2015. It was reported by the New York Times that Fox paid double the $37 million annually that NBC and ESPN had been paying to the USGA.
Corporate donations are always welcome at any PGA Tour event and the Presidents Cup is no exception. Citi Bank and Rolex have paid big bucks to be the Global Partners of the Presidents Cup.
With all of this money changing hands it is hard to remember that there will be golf matches taking place over the verdant fairways at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio.
Even though the International team has only won once and the 2003 Presidents Cup was designated a tie, it is slated to continue for the foreseeable future.
The question becomes, however, does the International team need to become more competitive for the Presidents Cup to survive and prosper?
There is one guarantee, whenever and wherever a Presidents Cup is held, the PGA Tour and their designated charities will be the big winners.