The PGA TOUR has announced that 2015 will mark Humana’s final year as title sponsor of the Humana Challenge.
A search for a new sponsor already has begun and the TOUR, in consultation with Desert Classic Charities and the Clinton Foundation, is currently in active discussions with a number of prospects to become title sponsor in 2016. The future of the tournament is secure and the PGA TOUR is confident that a sponsor will be found to replace Humana.
“Humana has been a wonderful sponsor that has worked diligently to maintain and elevate this tournament through a focus on health and well-being, while continuing to have a positive economic and charitable impact on the Coachella Valley,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. “The PGA TOUR, Desert Classic Charities, and the Clinton Foundation greatly appreciate Humana’s contributions as title sponsor and look forward to working together to make the 2015 tournament a great success.”
Humana, which became title sponsor of the former Bob Hope Classic in 2012, is committed to working with the PGA TOUR, Clinton Foundation and the tournament to ensure a smooth and successful transition to the next title sponsor.
“We are proud of the work we’ve done, and continue to do, to make the Humana Challenge a successful event, especially when it comes to the health and well-being elements of the tournament and our impact on the Coachella Valley,” said Tom Noland, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications at Humana. “We remain excited that the partnership we formed with the TOUR, the Clinton Foundation and Desert Classic Charities helped to maintain the historic tournament and we expect the 2015 event to be one of the best ever.”
Noland cited the current national health care environment and a shift in the company’s business priorities as reasons for discontinuing the tournament sponsorship after the 2015 Humana Challenge.
“Humana’s business is changing rapidly. As we continue to shift toward a direct-to-consumer focus, we have to align our marketing and sponsorship commitments to areas that are the best fit for our business, brand and members,” Noland said.
Humana’s joint sponsorship with the Clinton Foundation helped preserve the future of the tournament that dates back to 1960 and began its longstanding association with Bob Hope six years later. While the new partnership between the TOUR, Desert Classic Charities, Humana and the Clinton Foundation placed a new focus on healthy lifestyle practices, the Humana Challenge took care to celebrate the legacy of Bob Hope and his longtime role as tournament host, including the creation of Bob Hope Square on the tournament grounds, and awarding of a new Bob Hope Trophy to the winner.
“Our partnership with Humana, the PGA TOUR and Desert Classic Charities has been one of true collaboration, and affirms that we all can get more good things done by working together,” said Valerie Alexander, Chief Marketing Officer at the Clinton Foundation. “We are so proud of how this tournament has grown into a world-class event that reflects the vision and commitment of its founder and longtime champion, Bob Hope. The Clinton Foundation remains dedicated to the tournament’s future success and to promoting health and wellness in the Coachella Valley, year-round, as we have for the past four years.”
“While we at Desert Classic Charities regret that Humana will not be our title sponsor beyond the 2015 tournament, we are extremely thankful for the resources they have brought to the event beginning in 2012,” said Bob Marra, Executive Director and CEO of the Humana Challenge. “Together, we developed and presented a unique and special PGA TOUR event based on Humana’s desire to create what we have often referred to as a week of well-being with a side of golf. The concept was so unique and effective that we won a coveted sports industry award as the 2012 Sports Event of the Year, beating out the Super Bowl, the NCAA basketball Final Four and several other prestigious events.
“In addition to their contributions as our title sponsor, Humana went above and beyond with additional charitable donations through their foundation to local charities, they built three wonderful parks for underprivileged children to enjoy for many years to come and they participated in several other initiatives with desert-based organizations, including the city of La Quinta, to make the Coachella Valley a better place. For all of this, we are grateful to Humana.”
Marra expressed optimism regarding the tournament’s future as the search for a new title sponsor continues.
“What a small group of community leaders started in 1960 will carry on in all its glory as we find a new partner to continue to build upon the enduring traditions we have enjoyed over so many years,” he said. “Because of the commitment of Humana, the TOUR, the Clinton Foundation and Desert Classic Charities to the tournament’s success over the past four years, we are strongly positioned for the future.”
Source: PGA TOUR