The Nationwide Tour schedule is out today and perhaps not too surprisingly, Wayne Gretzky’s troubled celebrity eventin Collingwood is not listed. It looks like the end for the troubled event.
I broke the story about the tournament in November, 2007, and the event was announced a few weeks later, with Gretzky making an appearance to promote it the following spring. However, it never garnered much media attention, and last year was at the receiving end of a nasty column by the Toronto Sun, which seemed to indicate it was poorly run and the volunteers were a pain.
Frankly, I only went up one year and the location was a challenge. The three-hour drive kept those from Toronto from making the trek, the “celebrities” never really materialized (Canadian hockey players at a summer golf tournament is far from extraordinary), and the event generated little media buzz beyond the first year.
Interestingly the tournament organizers did a dodgy job of initially promoting the event to the Canadian media. When it was first announced, Gretzky did an interview with Golf Channel, but didn’t talk to Canadian reporters. That created a tepid reception for the event with the media for the following three years.
At the same time the Nationwide Tour announces its schedule, rumors abound that the tour may not be televised beyond this year. Sources have told me that costs and lukewarm audience numbers have left the Golf Channel uninterested in pursuing it beyond 2011.
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Would the event have done any better near the GTA? The Canadian Open can hardly lure a full capacity crowd at St. George’s….
Events like this do better in secondary markets but this was simply too far from even those markets. I attended the first two years and there weren’t many people there. Speaking of scoops, Robert, what is the news on the Cantour schedule for next year and their deal with Golf channel that expires this year?
Jim: As far as I know the CanTour is planning on moving ahead with the same sort of wrap-up show they did this year. I played golf with Rick Janes in the Fall, and that’s what he was discussing.
I think the NW event was ill conceived. Too bad — might have worked in London or some place like that.