Subscribe to Florida Trend


May 27, 2018

sports business

Players Championship Immune to Economy Struggles

Cynthia Barnett | 5/1/2010

The recession’s been tough on corporate-funded philanthropic and sporting events across Florida. Many companies have been forced to slash non-essential spending. Others want to project an image of austerity in hard times. But The Players Championship, the May golf event in its 37th year, is proving immune to those trends.
The event at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach has grown to become a local holiday on the corporate calendars of Jacksonville businesses, which pay for a sea of hospitality tents and ticket packages. Last year’s tourney — featuring the Stadium Course’s grueling final three holes, including the iconic, “island green” on 17 — was the biggest-selling ever despite the economic downturn. This year’s, scheduled for May 3-9, is on target to beat the record. As of mid-March, neither the recession nor the assumption that Tiger Woods wouldn’t be teeing up had slowed corporate sales.

“Year-over-year, we’re 20% ahead on revenues,” says Jay Monahan, who is running his last Players as executive director. After this year’s event, Monahan starts his new job as senior vice president of business development for the PGA Tour.

Monahan has helped make The Players both more national and more local, pulling in corporate sponsorships from beyond northeast Florida and making the tournament more affordable for local families. The PGA Tour makes a special tent for moms on Mother’s Day and another for military personnel for the entire week of the tournament.

The Players Championship

» 144 — number of players
» 21 — countries represented
» $9.5 million — the purse, largest in professional golf
» 400 — corporate participants
» $4,200 to $15,000 — how much it costs businesses for 14 to 40 upgraded tickets that provide access to tents on the course or The Players clubhouse
» $4.15 million — amount raised in 2009, its best year. All proceeds go to local charities.

Source: Jay Monahan, executive director of The Players Championship; Visit Jacksonville

Tags: Dining & Travel, Northeast

Digital Access

Add digital to your current subscription, purchase a single digital issue, or start a new subscription to Florida Trend.

An overview of the features and articles in this month's issue of Florida Trend.


Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook
2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook

Dr. Gerry Bell, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, and the rest of his team NOAA, are predicting an 75 percent chance that the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season will either be near-normal or above normal.

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

Do you think Florida's election systems are secure?

  • No
  • I have doubts
  • Yes

See Results

Ballot Box