Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday and the Sports Illustrated Golf Group today announced the formation of an integrated marketing and sales partnership as part of the SI Golf Group's agreement to become the title sponsor of the "World's Largest Single-Site Amateur Golf Tournament" which will now be called the "GOLF.com World Amateur Handicap Championship." The 2010 tournament begins August 30.
In its role, the SI Golf Group - comprised of GOLF Magazine, SI Golf Plus and GOLF.com - will immediately begin working with Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday to develop marketing and sales opportunities to deliver a national client base. Concurrently, the SI Golf Group will assist in developing social network and digital platforms to drive awareness and participation for the tournament. This is a two-year deal with a mutual option for a third.
"We are excited about working with our friends at Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday to take the GOLF.com World Amateur Handicap Championship to unprecedented heights," said Dick Raskopf, Sports Illustrated Golf Group Publisher. "This tournament is one of golf's crown jewels, and the opportunity to bring Sports Illustrated back to Myrtle Beach where it all began is exciting."
The SI Golf Group is a unit within the Sports Illustrated Group. It is the No. 1 media company in golf with a combined audience of 12.6 million avid golfers and fans. GOLF.com is the digital engine of the group and is the most visited website in the sport.
The relationship also brings Sports Illustrated back to its place of origin: Pine Lakes Country Club. Back in 1954 Time Inc. executives planned the concept of a national sports weekly magazine during a company outing at the club. Today, Pine Lakes commemorates the birthplace of SI with a plaque, pictures and articles inside the club.
Every August for the past 26 years, Myrtle Beach has been the site where 3,600 golfers from all 50 states and more than 20 foreign countries gather to stake claim to the title of "World's Amateur Golf Champion." Only Myrtle Beach, a destination with 102 public golf courses, can host to the world's largest single-site amateur tournament where a minimum of 50 golf courses are played daily during the 72-hole event.
"This partnership will be a mutually-beneficial relationship for both the World Am and GOLF.com," said Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday tournament division director Dave Macpherson. "Not only is this an opportunity to align with one of the biggest names in golf but the World Am participant's experience will be enhanced by the GOLF.com sponsors who will be introduced to the event. There is no other amateur golf tournament in the world like the World Am and this event will provide a new realm of story opportunities for GOLF.com and its readers, in addition to advancing their goal of growing the game of golf."
The Rawlings Golf Company was the title sponsor for the first two years of the event followed by a 19-year run with DuPont as the lead sponsor, and most recently with PGA Tour Superstore, who served in that role for 5 years.