Nationwide Insurance introduced as presenting sponsor of the Memorial Tournament
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 3, 2010
Tom Sprouse, Memorial Tournament (614) 889-6791
Mike Switzer,Nationwide Insurance (614)
Chris Smith,PGA TOUR
Dublin, Ohio – The Memorial Tournament, Nationwide Insurance and the PGA TOUR announced today that Nationwide will become the presenting sponsor of the Memorial Tournament, beginning with the 2011 event. Nationwide and the Memorial have mutually committed to a six-year initial relationship through 2016.
The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance will enter its 36th year of competition in 2011 as one of the elite events in professional golf. Founded and hosted annually by Columbus native Jack Nicklaus and the Nicklaus family and played at storied Muirfield Village Golf Club, the Memorial Tournament regularly attracts an outstanding international field, recognizes those who have distinguished themselves and contributed significantly to the sport, and at the same time ensures that many deserving charities are recognized and supported to help those in need.
“I am delighted and proud that Nationwide Insurance has joined the Memorial Tournament as presenting sponsor,” Jack Nicklaus said. “When we created the Memorial Tournament 35 years ago, we did so with Central Ohio in mind. It was our way of bringing world-class golf to our hometown and to the passionate fans of our state. I believe Nationwide Insurance furthers our national platform but at the same time brings us back to the genesis of the event, and that is to showcase golf to Central Ohio and at the same time showcase Dublin, Columbus and the surrounding area to the golf world. There is a commonality and a commitment to excellence between Nationwide Insurance and the Memorial Tournament.”
“Nationwide Insurance has been one of the leading companies in Central Ohio for over 80 years. As a native of Columbus, I have watched and admired Nationwide’s growth and, more important, the company’s contributions to the community. In addition, Nationwide Insurance has a rich history within the game of golf. It has been a strong supporter of professional golf and the important charities the game and tournaments benefit.”
Through this relationship, Nationwide Insurance will become the first locally-based presenting sponsor in the Tournament’s 35-year history. The partnership brings together two iconic Central Ohio brands, with a goal of staging a world-class event that gives back to the community and many deserving local charities.
“We’re excited for the Nationwide brand to be associated with one of the premier golf tournaments in the world, and golf’s greatest player, Jack Nicklaus,” said Steve Rasmussen, CEO of Nationwide Insurance. “Partnering with the Memorial allows us to support an event that draws the national spotlight to Central Ohio every year, while helping deserving local charities like Nationwide Children’s Hospital fulfill their mission.”
Over the past two decades, Nationwide Insurance has maintained a long-standing high profile relationship with the PGA TOUR as one of the game’s most passionate supporters. From 1991-2000 Nationwide sponsored the Champions Tour’s Nationwide Championship near Atlanta. Since 2003 the insurance giant has sponsored the Nationwide Tour, making Nationwide Insurance the longest running umbrella sponsor in that Tour’s history. It also has sponsored the Tour’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational in Columbus since 2007.
“Nationwide Insurance has been a terrific partner of the PGA TOUR dating back nearly 20 years beginning with its involvement with the Champions Tour and now with the Nationwide Tour,” PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem said. “Nationwide not only has proven itself to be passionate about golf, but passionate about giving back to local communities through its golf sponsorships. Now it has that rare opportunity to partner in its hometown with Jack Nicklaus and the Memorial Tournament and to impact charities throughout the Columbus area.”
Since its inception in 1976 the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance has produced great entertainment, memorable moments and compelling winners. Of the 26 past winners of the Memorial 16 are major champions, including some of the greatest names in golf—names like Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Raymond Floyd, Greg Norman, Vijay Singh, Fred Couples, Ernie Els and four-time winner Tiger Woods. The Memorial boasts one of the truly elite fields in golf with a strong contingent of both national and international players. In 2010, Justin Rose became the fifth international player to win the Memorial and broke through with his first PGA TOUR title.
Similar to the tournament it hosts, Muirfield Village Golf Club is a truly elite venue. The course was officially dedicated on Memorial Day, May 27, 1974, with an exhibition match between Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf, and has since hosted several national championships and international team competitions including the 1986 U.S. Junior Amateur, 1987 Ryder Cup, 1992 U.S. Amateur and the 1998 Solheim Cup. In 2013 The Presidents Cup will be added to the list, making Muirfield Village Golf Club the first venue in the world to host three of golf’s most prestigious international team competitions—The Presidents Cup, Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup.
Each year the Memorial Tournament is themed around a person, living or dead, who has contributed to the game of golf. When the game’s top players convene for the 2011 edition of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance this May 30 – June 5, World Golf Hall of Fame member, Nancy Lopez will be honored.
“I am excited for the Memorial Tournament, Muirfield Village Golf Club and the patrons who year in and year out support our event,” said Jack Nicklaus II, General Chairman of the Memorial Tournament and Muirfield Village Golf Club. “Thanks to the vision and commitment of my father and mother, the Memorial long ago elevated itself as one of the most prestigious and popular events on the PGA TOUR, while Nationwide has a decades-old reputation of being one of the strongest providers of insurance and financial services in the country. But, at the foundation of both our organizations is Central Ohio, and I think this partnership serves to further galvanize a community. On behalf of everyone involved with the tournament and club, we are proud to welcome Nationwide Insurance into our extended family.”
About the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide
The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance is held annually at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus. The Tournament, founded and hosted by Jack Nicklaus, is conducted each year with three goals in mind: to honor the memory of individuals living and deceased who have distinguished themselves in the game of golf; to showcase the world’s best golfers competing on one of the most challenging venues in the world for the enjoyment of spectators; and to benefit charitable organizations in central Ohio. For more information, call 614-889-6700 or visit www.thememorialtournament.com.
About Nationwide Insurance
Nationwide Insurance, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by A.M. Best. The company
provides a full range of personalized insurance and financial services, including auto insurance, motorcycle, boat, homeowners, life insurance, farm, commercial insurance, administrative services, annuities, mortgages, mutual funds, pensions, long-term savings plans and health and productivity services. Visit www.nationwide.com.
About PGA TOUR
The PGA TOUR is the world’s premier membership organization for touring professional golfers, co-sanctioning more than 100 tournaments on the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour.
The PGA TOUR’s mission is to entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back, generate significant charitable and economic impact in communities in which it plays, and provide financial opportunities for TOUR players.
In 2010, the three Tours collectively have tournaments in 34 states and in 12 countries outside of the U.S. PGA TOUR tournaments are broadcast to nearly 600 million households in 225 countries and 30 languages.
Virtually all tournaments are organized as nonprofit organizations in order to maximize charitable giving. In 2009, tournaments on the three Tours generated $108 million for local charitable organizations. The TOUR’s all-time total of charitable contributions is approaching $1.5 billion.
The PGA TOUR's web site is PGATOUR.COM, the No. 1 site in golf, and the company is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.