Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wachovia Championship: An awkward leftover

It will be strange next spring to have the Wachovia Championship played at Quail Hollow when Wachovia, at least as Charlotte and the rest of the country has known it, no longer exists.

The word awkward comes to mind.

There's still so much smoke swirling around the Wachovia/Wells Fargo merger that it will take time for everything to be sorted out. Certainly, there are more important matters to be considered than the name of a golf tournament.

However, the announcement last week that the Wachovia name will remain raises questions.

Is it as simple as not having enough time to redo the branding of the event that led to the decision to keep the name as it has been through the first six years of the tournament?

Or does it suggest that perhaps Wells Fargo isn't sold on taking over the title sponsor role of the tournament?

I don't know.

It would seem an ideal way to become a part of the community where there are plenty of bruised feelings.

My guess is if Wells Fargo were to choose not to continue in Wachovia's role, the tournament could find another sponsor. There's another big bank in Charlotte that might be interested if it were asked. Again, I don't know but it would seem a logical question if sponsorship became an issue.

I do know a handful of naming options were considered before the decision was made to stick with the Wachovia Championship. And the decision to keep the name of an essentially defunct brand hasn't been popular with many associated with the event.

The tournament itself should be fine. The organization that runs it -- Champions For Education -- is committed to keeping it among the elite events on the PGA Tour. The top players will be here again next spring and in future years. The quality won't suffer.

Golf tournaments change names all the time. It's the nature of sports marketing these days.

This one seemed immune to that happening. Ultimately, though, it wasn't.

The Wachovia Championship name will live for one more year.

Beyond that, who knows?


Anonymous said...

Let us change the name to: "The Green Famiy, We know Everything About Golf" tournament. Or better yet, "We THINK we know EVERYTHING about golf" tournament.

Anonymous said...

Wells Fargo has sent a direct message by allowing this tourney to be called "The Wachovia" again this year -- the message is: