MARANA, Ariz. — FedEx has built a global reputation on punctuality. For the PGA Tour, the latest delivery couldn’t have come at a better time.
FedEx will be part of the Tour for the next five years after the Memphis, Tenn.-based shipping and logistics company agreed to continue sponsorship of the FedEx Cup through 2017.
Tour commissioner Tim Finchem made the announcement Feb. 22 before the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship at the Ritz-Carlton at Dove Mountain.
“It’s great continuity, and it allows us to continue to build what the FedExCup is all about, in a continuous fashion, which drives value for everybody, including FedEx,” Finchem said.
Since concluding negotiations late last year on a new nine-year TV deal with CBS and NBC, Finchem has been focused on renewing FedEx as sponsor of the FedEx Cup playoffs that debuted in 2007.
The extension, which begins with the 2013 season, will feature the same $35 million annual bonus pool. The series name will change from the PGA Tour Playoffs to FedEx Cup Playoffs.
“The playoffs were very important in my decision to join the PGA Tour,” said England’s Lee Westwood, No. 3 in the Official World Golf Ranking and a two-time money leader on the European Tour. “They were one of my main reasons. I’m 38 and been out here 19 years and fancy doing something I haven’t done before.”
When Finchem unveiled the FedEx Cup in June 2006, he pointed to a season in which every week would be meaningful. Players not only would focus on winning each week but on their performance over the course of a year.
Australian Adam Scott, the world’s eighth-ranked player, called FedEx’s extension “absolutely huge” in a playoff system that he says players have embraced.
“It’s had some teething problems, I guess you could say, but everyone’s got the gist of it now, and on the whole, everyone’s pretty happy on how it operates,” he said. “It’s an incredible opportunity for us as players, and it’s great for the game of golf to have a company like FedEx committing for five years, putting a serious amount of money into the game.”