RBC to renew until 2017: Golf Digest Canada

I’m contributing to the newly launched this week — the Canadian version of the American golf publication. My first two stories are up on the site, which launched this morning, including a piece on RBC’s agreement with Golf Canada to renew its sponsorship until 2017. The deal is all but done, with the final negotiations now ongoing between the PGA Tour and Golf Canada. The hope was to announce the deal at the Canadian Open, but it appears that has been slightly delayed and the arrangement will be forthcoming in the weeks after the event.

Here’s a tidbit of the story:

VANCOUVER, BC – The Royal Bank of Canada is in the final stages of negotiations with Golf Canada to renew its sponsorship of the Canadian Open through 2017, Jim Little, RBC’s chief brand officer has confirmed.

“I fully expect we’ll have a deal in coming weeks,” Little says. “It is just a lot of fine tuning when it comes to media rights and broadcast details.”

Little wouldn’t confirm the value of the sponsorship extension, but did say the new deal has a bigger television advertising component attached and therefore is more expensive than its current deal. It was estimated that RBC is currently spending around $5-million on the Canadian Open, a significant discount from a standard tour event, which costs upwards of $8-million.

Scott Simmons, Golf Canada’s executive director, wouldn’t confirm the arrangement with RBC.

“That’s a tough one,” says Simmons. “I’d simply characterize it that since 2007 if you compare the Open today it is a far more attractive event for a sponsor. That kind of analysis goes into that when you are negotiating with a title sponsor. The deal with the tour has changed, but the benefits they are getting out of it is better. They are getting more television units out of it, which is good for them and in turn good for us.”

The story continues here. The introduction to Golf Digest Canada can be located here, including a note from Stu MacDonald, the man in charge. I’ll be contributing there throughtout the week.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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