Golf News for Friday, September 20, 2013 | Sponsorship

Mississippi renews PGA Tour events with new sponsorship deals

JACKSON, Miss. -- The Mississippi Development Authority welcomes C Spire Wireless and the return of Sanderson Farms as presenting sponsors for the state's two annual PGA TOUR events.

"Mississippi has long been affiliated with professional golf and is pleased to continue providing in-depth exposure for our great state and all it offers guests, residents and businesses," said Mississippi Tourism Director Malcolm White. "Icing on the cake is the enormous local charitable support these PGA TOUR events drive while showcasing our natural beauty, True South culture and hospitality, and our world-class casino resorts and golf courses."

C Spire Wireless is the new presenting sponsor for the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic, a PGA Champions Tour event played at Fallen Oak in Saucier annually since 2010. The three-year deal includes requirements for continued administration of the tournament through the MGRC Foundation, along with additional funding from 14 other consortium partners from the Mississippi Gulf Coast. C Spire got its start on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in the wireless communications business.

Sanderson Farms has renewed its sponsorship of the PGA TOUR event held at Annandale Golf Club in Madison through 2016. The Sanderson Farms Championship, formerly known as the True South Classic and Viking Classic, will move from July to the beginning of the 2014-2015 TOUR schedule in October.

The event - which has been on the PGA TOUR schedule since 1968 - has increased its purse to $4 million and will again be part of the race for the FedEx Cup. Sanderson Farms is based in Laurel, Miss. and is the third-largest poultry producer in the United States.

In a study conducted by the MDA, the tournament's economic impact to the state in 2010 was $22 million. The Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic - which will next be held March 17-23, 2014 - has generated more than $55 million for the regional economy and over $750,000 for local non-profit community charities.

Island View Casino Resort Announces Expansion
Island View Casino Resort in Gulfport - home of the award-winning Windance Country Club - has announced plans for a $50 million expansion to create a beachfront hotel, restaurants, meeting and convention space, pool and bar area.

Developing the waterfront corridor of the resort's 40 acres, the project will increase Gulfport's hotel room inventory by 400 beachfront rooms as well as create the largest meeting and convention space in the county.

The hotel will be constructed within the existing footprint structure currently located on the south side of Beach Boulevard. Construction begins this fall and is expected to be completed by summer 2015. Island View is one of the Gulf Coast's largest casino resorts, boasting nearly 2,000 slots and 50 table games.

Windance Country Club has been ranked on Golfweek's "Best Places You Can Play" list for three consecutive years and is offering an "Unlimited Golf Package," starting at $99 per person (double occupancy). The rate includes all-you-can-play-golf, cart, range balls, one night accommodations at Island View, unlimited trips to the buffet, one free drink at any resort venue and $10 free slot play in the casino.

For details call 1.877.774.8439 or visit www.windancecc.com. For more information about Mississippi golf courses, or to schedule a stay-and-play visit, go to www.visitmississippi.org/golf.aspx or call toll-free 1-866-801-8551.

About Mississippi Golf:
Attractions contributing to Mississippi's growing popularity as the preferred golf-and-travel destination include:
• More than 170 courses offering a variety of price points and designs from world-class architects such as Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Jerry Pate and Tom Fazio
• Year-round golf weather with temperate conditions throughout five distinct regions -- The Hills, The Delta, The Capital/River, The Pines, The Coastal
• Home to two annual PGA TOUR events: The Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic of the Champions Tour, played at Fallen Oak in March and the Sanderson Farms Championship of the PGA TOUR, played at Annandale Golf Club in October.
• Third-largest gaming destination in North America, featuring exciting gaming, upscale shopping, live entertainment, luxurious spas and internationally acclaimed golf courses
• Birthplace of blues, rock 'n roll and country music. Mississippi Blues Trail and Country Music Trail markers are placed at key sites around the state to honor musicians and give visitors insight into the state's diverse musical heritage
• World-famous, authentic southern cuisine offering savory barbecue, fresh seafood and French-Cajun delicacies
• A busy calendar of more than 400 unique events scheduled throughout the year
• A host of non-golf activities including boating, fishing, bird-watching, hiking, biking, hunting, camping and more

For more information, visit www.visitmississippi.org or call toll-free 1.866.801.8551.

Media Contact:
Gary Trask, 978.228.0314
Buffalo Communications
gtrask@billycaspergolf.com

Dan Shepherd, 703.891.3320
Buffalo Communications
dshepherd@billycaspergolf.com