Sanderson Farms re-ups with PGA Tour
From PGA, Sanderson Farms press releases
LAUREL — Sanderson Farms has expanded its commitment with the PGA TOUR through a three-year renewal with the Sanderson Farms Championship and the tournament will move to fall dates.
In addition to the extension, tournament officials and PGA TOUR announced today that the Sanderson Farms Championship, held at Annandale Golf Club in Madison, Mississippi, is moving from July to late October. The date change will allow the tournament to compete at the front end of the 2014-2015 official schedule, the same week as the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in China. By doing so, it will not be contested during the 2013-2014 season. The tournament has been held the same week as The Open Championship the last three years.
Officials also said the purse is increasing by $1 million to $4 million for the 2014 event.
Joe Sanderson, Sanderson Farms’ Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board, spoke of the importance of the tournament’s charitable impact and economic benefit to the State of Mississippi, and an increased focus on elevating that presence over the next three years.
“When we agreed to sponsor the 2013 Sanderson Farms Championship, we felt it aligned with our company’s goals and mission to support our local communities and charities. We had a very positive experience this year and saw the potential to magnify the impact the tournament has,” Sanderson said. “Since it was first held in 1968, this tournament has been very important to our state and the metro Jackson area in terms of the exposure, charitable giving and economic impact it
has provided. That is why we made the decision to extend our sponsorship,” Sanderson said.
“We are very pleased to announce this extension with Sanderson Farms as well as the date change, which should benefit the strength and growth of the Sanderson Farms Championship,” said Andy Pazder, PGA TOUR Chief of Operations. “We are excited about Sanderson Farms’ commitment to upgrade the event and make an even bigger impact to charity.
“By moving to the front of the schedule, we anticipate a number of players will use this as an opportunity to get out of the gates fast and strengthen their early standing in the FedEx Cup,” he added. “The overall tournament experience also should be enhanced by less volatile weather and more moderate temperatures. Plus, the players undoubtedly will enjoy playing the Champion Bermuda greens that time of the year.”
The sponsorship extension will solidify and increase the Sanderson Farms Championship’s support for Friends of Children’s Hospital, which became its primary beneficiary in 2008. Sanderson Farms, one of the nation’s leading food corporations, also plans to increase activities around the tournament, building upon this year’s distinct theme relating to its business and hospitality through entertainment, signage, and even chicken tee markers, hand-painted by patients at Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children.
“We had a wonderful experience working with Sanderson Farms to create a distinctive atmosphere this year and had fun incorporating its core business into the tournament thematic,” said John Lang, President of Century Club Charities, the tournament’s host organization. “Sanderson Farms has been a wonderful corporate citizen over the years and shares a great vision for what our tournament can do for the area and entire state of Mississippi through its involvement. We are very excited to work with the Sanderson Farms team to expand upon our unique identity and the impact we have for Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children.”
Regarding the Sanderson Farms Championship’s economic importance to the state, a study commissioned by the Mississippi Development Authority and conducted by Mississippi State University determined that in 2010 the tournament had a $22 million impact.
Golf Channel will continue to televise all four rounds of the tournament. PGA TOUR veteran Woody Austin is the defending champion.
In the weeks to come, Sanderson Farms executives will continue to evaluate the 2013 tournament’s success as the tournament officials continue gathering data. The Sanderson Farms Championship plans to announce the total amount raised for Friends of Children’s Hospital, as well as the amount raised through the Birdies for Charity program at an event later this fall.