Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Bell coming off of Canadian Open?

According to well placed sources, Bell Canada is poised to walk away from its sponsorship of the Canadian Open. The Royal Canadian Golf Association said it would have the sponsorship deal wrapped up last year, but the issue continues to drag on. The 2006 Open is Bell's last year as title sponsor of the event.
That means the RCGA has to come up with a business willing to put millions into the golf tournament on a regular basis, despite a diminishing field and lacklustre consumer interest. It is worth noting the 2005 tournament at Shaughnessy in Vancouver was a financial disappointment, according to the recently released annual report by the RCGA. Typical profit for the tournament was cut in half as Vancouver fans stayed home, perhaps because they only recognized three names in the field -- and one was Mike Weir who went home early.
Speculation from golf business sources suggests RBC, the large Canadian bank, might be willing to step up and sponsor the event. Apparently the RCGA is still hoping for naming rights for the event, though that is seeming less likely.

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