MB: Simmons Bank is going to be title sponsor. They also sponsor an event on the Korn Ferry Tour. I met their CEO a couple years ago, in St. Louis, at our tournament when he was playing in the pro-am. He’s also friends with Ken Duke and Glen Day on our tour, and he said, I think I want to bring a Champions Tour event to our hometown of Little Rock. I said, that’s great, I don’t really have anywhere on the schedule right now. If something opens up, let’s have a conversation. To be honest, he wanted a regular season event not a playoff. And so a little background, TimberTech was our sponsor in Boca Raton as our second playoff event.
They wanted to renew but they wanted to renew for a shorter term than what we asked for and the same dollars, and I just felt like our tour is better than that right now. So I said, we’re gonna move on. I felt strongly that I had Simmons Bank. So I went back to their CEO and said, Will you do a deal to be our playoff sponsor? And he was like, ‘Absolutely, we’re in.’ So we did a five-year deal with Simmons Bank. Those are the right markets. We’re not good when we played in Sherwood in L.A. Wrong market, too big.
But when we play in Birmingham, Alabama, Des Moines, Iowa, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, those markets work really, really well for us.
At the end of the day, our tour serves a significant purpose for the overall organization. We’re lifting the overall brand and markets where the PGA Tour is never going to play. The PGA Tour is never going to go to Sioux Falls but our brand is there and I think it helps everybody. So I think those are the right markets for us.