For tournament organizers, par at the Toshiba Senior Classic is a
"The goal is to reach $1 million for the sixth year in a row and
everything's on track to do that," PGA Champions Tour spokesman Jeff
Beyond the competition, the tournament is essentially a weeklong
fundraiser for Hoag Hospital. Most of the money raised by the event
is earmarked for the hospital, and the Hoag Hospital Foundation is
the event's producer.
The last seven tournaments were also organized by the hospital,
and more than $6.7 million for charity was collected over those
The only other event on the Champions Tour -- where all golfers
are age 50 or older -- that claims to have raised $1 million in a
single year is the 3M Championship in Minnesota, Adams said.
The bulk of the Toshiba Senior Classic's revenue comes from
sponsorships, tournament director Jeff Purcer said. The event rakes
in about $6 million gross revenue each year, and about 95% comes from
Purcer would not disclose exactly how much the Irvine-based
Toshiba Digital Products Division has paid to be the tournament's
title sponsor for 11 years, but he said their annual contribution is
enough to cover the $2-million cost of the purse and television
Purcer's year-round job is to line up sponsors for the tournament.
When negotiating with potential sponsors, he said his biggest selling
point is the popularity of Hoag Hospital.
"It seems like everyone you talk to has an experience there,"
Purcer said. "It's like they're alumni of Hoag Hospital."
The thought was echoed by Rhonda Richardson, sales and marketing
director of the Marriott Hotel Newport Beach, one of the tournament
"We've all been to Hoag," she said.
Beyond altruism, corporate sponsorships offer business people a
chance to network at tournament events and on the green.
"It's an opportunity to invite an awful lot of people," Hoag
Hospital Vice President Pete Foulke said.
Some sponsorships come with the chance to shoot golf at the
Newport Beach Country Club with tour players, or to play a full round
the Monday after the event, with the course still in its tournament
setup. During a professional match, the green is faster, the fairway
is smaller and the rough is rougher, Foulke said.
Outside of sponsorships, admissions are the "icing on the cake,"
A boon to ticket revenues is the slate of golfers the tournament
draws. This year's field includes defending Toshiba Senior Classic
champion Tom Purtzer, and golfers Raymond Floyd, Hale Irwin, Curtis
Strange, Tom Watson and Fuzzy Zoeller, who have won major events.
"The list of pros that the tournament draws is always a help,"
said Mark Simons, Toshiba Digital Products general manager. Simons
and Purcer agreed the event's Newport setting helps to draw
The event also generates money for local hoteliers and
restaurateurs, Purcer said. He said tournament organizers have booked
3,000 hotel rooms for the event and estimated the tournament could
generate $1 million for local hotels and $750,000 for caterers and
"It brings that extra revenue to the hotel and to the city," said
Richard Gonzales, reservations manager at the Four Seasons Hotel
* ANDREW EDWARDS covers business and the environment. He can be
reached at (714) 966-4624 or by e-mail at email@example.com.