Exec Defends Tournament Sponsorship
By Kickntrue on 6/1/09
An execuative for Principal Financial defended his company's $1.7M sponsorship of the Principal Charity Classic in Iowa (Champions Tour). The company recently had to cut over 600 workers, yet didn't cut their spending budget for the golf event.
Senior Vice President Mary OGÇÖKeefe said this has been a tough year for the company, but the golf tournament raises money for charities, including the United Way, Blank ChildrenGÇÖs Hospital and Bravo of Greater Des Moines.

She said the tournament is also a way for Principal to market its services to potential customers.
While I feel bad for those 600 people who got fired, here is the truth. $1.7M for a golf event is MUCH cheaper than keeping 600 employees. Also, and this is a bit biased because my wife works in the hospitality industry, but pulling their sponsorship and killing the tournament hurts way more than 600 people who make their living working at functions like golf tournaments.

I think that's one of my frustrations with all of these companies running away because of "public outcry." The whole thing is a "Circle Of Life" (cue Elton) kind of thing where everyeone loses in every situation. People seemed pleased that their bank isn't spending a couple million on a golf event, but how many extra people are being hurt by the events being cut? I'm not crying for the golfers here. But ask the catering company, and the tent rental company and the waste management company what they think of the money being pulled.

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[ comments ]
kidputter says:
How about cutting the purse being paid out? Shelling out $1million + for the athletes is a LOT for a CHARITY event. And if it's a CHARITY event, aren't a lot of the services donated?
The idea of running a charity event is to show the patrons your kind heartedness. It's a way to get your company name exposed to the public in a good way. The money you don't make at the event will be made up by the business generated from the exposure. Don't tell me it won't. I've done it on more than one occasion.
6/1/09
 
lancekeck says:
If you want marquee athletes you have to have marquee payouts. The draw for the crowd is to see great players playing great golf and the money raised comes from the event attendees, not the athletes. This is a simple free market premise. Pro golfers could play charity tournaments every weekend and make zero dollars and that may be a Utopian thought but it's not reality. The reality is the bigger the purse the bigger the names in the field and the bigger the names in the field, the bigger the crowd that will pay to watch.
6/1/09
 
JWHpurist says:
This Firm and it's Management should receive a compliment for the courage to sponsor this event in these troubled times. It was a sensible business decision and of economic benefit to all parties concerned!! Give credit where credit is due, and that is right here!! They have "Real Guts and Ethics"!! JWHpurist
6/2/09
 
dlouder says:
Yeah, I agree with this. It's not like they laid off thousands of people, cut pensions, cut overtime, and then took the execs to a $1 billion dollar weekend retreat.
6/2/09
 
kidputter says:
Every American NOT making HUGE SUMS of money is suffering in this economy. Maybe it's time we took a stand against athletes, movie stars, politicians and corporate bigwigs.
What's the difference between making $5 million and making $4 million? A lot closer than the difference between making $50k and making $40k like us real people.
Stop rationalizing the payouts. It only perpetuates the situation.
6/2/09
 
Trav says:
We can philosophize about people making big money who don't "deserve" it, but the reality is that a well-run tournament is thought to be an efective marketing technique that benefits employees and stockholders. It's a straight cost/benefit assessment. And for those who talk about "this economy" (please - can we drop this phrase?), remember the Obama plan is to "stimulate" growth by pumping more money (read = spending), which is exactly what this kind of event does, but without using taxpayer dollars.

Conversely, a poorly run event hurts the parties involved. If you don't pay enough, players won't come and you wind up with a less than effective event.

People who object to athletes making good money can boycott and plead their case publicly, but a sponsor who thinks the event is working for them can, and for sake of stockholders should, continue sponsorship.
6/3/09
 
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