Smith & Nephew to sponsor St. Jude Classic

Bryce Molder tees off during the 2009 St. Jude Classic in Memphis.

Bryce Molder tees off during the 2009 St. Jude Classic in Memphis.

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Smith & Nephew, a medical device company, will become the presenting sponsor of the 2010 St. Jude Classic in Memphis, giving the troubled tournament financial relief – at least temporarily.

The event, scheduled for June 7-13 at TPC Southwind, will be renamed the St. Jude Classic presented by Smith & Nephew, according to the PGA Tour.

The company’s support plays an important role, considering the tournament had been without a title sponsor for more than a year. Stanford Financial had backed the event until it was accused of fraud by the SEC. Tour officials did not disclose whether the new sponsorship extends beyond this year.

Tournament organizers have expressed concern about the long-term viability of the event, which since 1970 has served one beneficiary: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The Tour stop has helped raise more than $23.3 million for the institution.

For now, the event and the hospital’s mission will carry on.

“Being headquartered in Memphis, we get to see firsthand the impact St. Jude has on the lives of children and their families,” said Joseph M. DeVivo, president of Smith & Nephew’s Memphis-based orthopaedics division. “Many of our employees have been touched by the St. Jude family, either through direct care or by involvement in their mission. It is an honor to associate our brands and to broadcast our shared message of restoration and healing.”

Smith & Nephew operates in 32 countries and reported annual sales of nearly $3.8 billion in 2009.

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