Companies partner with Players for piece of pie

Tournament's economic impact is estimated $151 million to northeast Florida

Fans gather at the TPC Sawgrass course to watch The Players.
Fans gather at the TPC Sawgrass course to watch The Players.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – We're just 11 days away from The Players Championship at the TPC Sawgrass Players Stadium Course in Ponte Vedra Beach, which historically means huge revenues for local businesses.

More than 400 companies have already partnered with the tournament this year, everything from banks and retail companies to food trucks.

A kick off event at JAX Chamber on Friday emphasized The Players' financial impact, which will be felt not just by Ponte Vedra Beach, officials said, but by the entire city of Jacksonville, St. Augustine and even Amelia Island.

All of these cities are planning on cashing in on a prime opportunity to showcase the northeast Florida area with one of the most prestigious golf challenges in the world.

Organizers said The Players is on pace to break last year's attendance record of 179,000 people, who will all be spending money while while watching the greatest golfers from around the world.

"It's the ability to build relationships with key customers, suppliers and prospects and have them develop relationships with your whole team," said Matt Rapp, executive director of The Players.

Rapp, who just learned Friday morning that two-time champion Tiger Woods has committed to The Players this year, said each day brings new business opportunities. He said The Players isn't just an international sporting event, but is an ideal place for money to change hands.

The economic impact is an estimated $151 million to northeast Florida.

"It's really all kinds of businesses that are benefiting," Rapp said.

David Davis said BBVA Compass bank forged one of its most lucrative relationships at The Players just a few years ago. He said the ripple effect felt on the greens resonates from Amelia Island to St. Augustine -- among businesses big and small that are positioned to prosper.

"It's a great opportunity for us to entertain our clients. You could say it's the premier event of the year," Davis said. "You can just look at the traffic at the hotels and the airports. It's good for business no matter what."

New this year at the tournament, enhanced viewing areas at the greens, more food options, nicer bathrooms and more merchandising tents. Tickets range from $20 to $65 and organizers said it's still not too late for interested businesses to partner up. 

About the Author: