The Business Capsule: 12.14.10

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GM Back In Golf; Tiger Speaking Canrtonese???; Tseng Turns Down $25 Million...

GM Back In Golf

Carmaker General Motors is to make a comeback as a PGA Tour sponsor in 2011, two years after filing for bankruptcy and ending its 50-year relationship with the golf. GM has signed a six-year deal to be the title sponsor of the World Championships at Doral Golf Resort & Spa in Miami in March. “The prominence of being associated with the PGA is the best players in the world playing at the highest level. We were the standard of the world for the better part of a century and we do intend to regain that mantle,” said Cadillac marketing vice president Don Butler. Cadillac is also holding talks to create a new event in Detroit, but location and dates are yet to be confirmed. Added spin master, PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem, “The problems that befell this company were not about selling cars.” Huh?

IMG Heading East
Global sports and media company IMG Worldwide, has entered a 12-year joint-venture agreement with golf’s Asian Tour from January 2011.The deal will emulate European Tour Productions - a joint venture between IMG Media and the European Tour – that will see them manage all television production and global distribution of the Asian Tour, enhancing tour-wide sponsorship agreements for the tournament. Said Asian Tour Executive Chairman Kyi Hla Han. “Given the strength of this landmark announcement, the Asian Tour is committed to staging a minimum of four new tournaments in 2011.” IMG has represented the worldwide media rights of the Asian Tour since January 2009, during which time the tournament’s television packages have reached over 40 countries and 400 million homes.

15-Year-Old Wants More Playing Time
According to reports by the Golf Channel and Golfweek, agent Bobby Kreusler has formally filed a petition with the LPGA requesting an additional six sponsor exemptions for Alexis Thompson in 2011. Non-members of the LPGA Tour are currently allowed to accept six sponsor exemptions. If they also qualify to play in the U.S. Women's Open and Women's British Open, a non-member can get into eight tournaments.

Mercedes Becomes SBS Becomes Hyundai…
The tournament open only for the season's previous winners on the PGA Tour will now be known as the Hyundai Tournament of Champions beginning in 2011, after a year as the "SBS Championship." The field is usually around 35 or so players. Editor's Note: Inside Golf's Gord Montgomery will be covering the 2011 edition.

Tiger Speaking Cantonese???
Tiger may be weighing up sponsorship offers from Chinese companies to make up for a series of sponsor dropouts following his marital infidelity scandal. Companies including AT&T, Accenture and Gatorade ceased their involvement with Woods this year after the revelations hit the media worldwide. “We’re certainly considering Chinese companies as they are certainly considering [me],” he said during the four-day HSBC Champions in Shanghai according to news agency Reuters. “It’s just a matter of finding the right fit and believing in the company and making sure that I can help them and we see eye-to-eye in that regard.”

Tseng Turns Down $25 Million
Taiwan's Yani Tseng, the fourth-ranked woman golfer in the world, has refused a $25 million endorsement that included the condition to change her nationality to Chinese, according to the China Post. It is understood a Chinese businessman had hoped that Tseng would represent China in the 2016 Olympics. Golf will be an Olympic sport in Rio for this first time since 1904. Yani Tseng’s father, Tseng Mao-hsin, said a Chinese company had been trying to woo her since last year. The latest contract deal also included the use of private jets and a luxury villa in Beijing, he said. Twenty-one-year-old Yani Tseng is the youngest player in LPGA history to win three career major championships.

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