Report: Dean & Deluca Out as Title Sponsor at Colonial

Add “The Colonial” to “The National” as PGA Tour events that could be played in 2018 without a title sponsor.

According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the two-year old “Dean & DeLuca Invitational at Colonial” is reportedly ending its six-year sponsorship commitment some four years early.

The Star-Telegram reports that Dean & DeLuca reps sent a letter to the PGA Tour and Colonial Country Club to notify the parties that the upscale grocery store “may be unable to meet its financial obligations for tournament sponsorship in 2018.”

Some of the nuggets in the story:

  • RENOGOTIATION: Executives from Dean & Deluca, the PGA Tour, and Colonial will try to renegotiate terms of the contract, but are prepared to look for a new title sponsor.
  • DEAN & DELUCA SAYS: “We are in conversation with the PGA Tour and we hope to maintain a relationship.”
  • PGA TOUR SAYS: “It’s important to note that Dean & DeLuca is still the title sponsor of the event, and we are in continuous conversations with them on their position with the event going forward.”
  • COLONIAL SAYS: “The PGA Tour lined up Dean & DeLuca for Colonial, which is normal for PGA events. It turns out the club got a nice, shiny lemon at a time when event organizers felt it was coming into a stable run as a solid stop just behind the majors.”
  • PRICE TAG: The PGA Tour lists the title sponsorship at historic Colonial for a cool $11 million per year.
  • TOO EXPENSIVE: Colonial sources say this “price tag is roughly $3 million too rich for many companies.”
  • ESCROW: The PGA Tour also requires events to have a “rainy day” fund so if a club can’t land a title sponsor it can foot the bill for a season.
  • POOR RATINGS: TV ratings for the tournament in 2017 dipped dramatically.
  • SCHEDULE: The Colonial in 2018 will be played May 21-27. The tournament will not know its 2019 date until the week of the tournament next year, due to the new schedule with the PGA Championship moving to May in 2019.

Credit: Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Getty Images


Jeff Smith

Jeff is a writer and content producer for Pro Golf Weekly. He is working on a book, documenting the 2017 and 2018 seasons on the major golf tours.

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