BMW to end title sponsorship of top PGA Tour event
BMW, the German automobile giant, will end its title sponsorship of golf’s BMW Championship PGA Tour playoff event.
The carmaker will stop sponsoring the annual tournament, which is one of three events in the FedEx Cup playoffs, when its deal expires after this year’s edition at Medinah Country Club in Chicago from 15 to 18 August.
The BMW Championship has been on the calendar since the PGA Tour adopted a playoff format in 2007, replacing the former Western Open, which was staged annually in Chicago from 1962 to 2006.
In a statement, the PGA Tour said: “We are proud of the partnership we’ve had with BMW since the inception of the FedEx Cup. Beyond 2019, the PGA Tour and WGA are in active discussions with several companies and are very confident we’ll have a long-term agreement in place starting in 2020.”
Title sponsorship of a FedEx Cup playoff event is reported to be worth between $16 million and $18 million per year.
This year, the PGA Tour cut its playoffs events from four down to three, with the Northern Trust and the Tour Championship serving as the other two.
It also moved the playoffs up to August to avoid a clash with American football’s NFL season in the fall.
BMW is, however, seeking to retain a presence in golf, with reports indicating that the brand will switch its attention to becoming a sponsor of the 2020 Ryder Cup, to be staged at Whistling Straits, Wisconsin.