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- 2014 - April - 22nd -

Officials urge businesses to leverage The Players Championship 'more aggressively'

By Max Marbut, Staff Writer

When the last check is written to the competitors at the conclusion of The Players Championship, a $10 million prize purse will have been divvied up among the world’s best golfers.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of economic impact, according to officials from the tournament and the JAX Chamber.

“Once the community understands the economic impact The Players brings, the more they will get involved,” said JAX Chamber President and CEO Daniel Davis at a news conference Tuesday at chamber headquarters.

Davis was joined by tournament Executive Director Matt Rapp, Perdue Office Interiors President Vince McCormack and Mark Frisch, executive vice president of Beaver Street Fisheries.

Rapp said the tournament provides a global showcase for Northeast Florida and its business community.

“We will have 1 billion potential television viewers and more than 900 credentialed members of the media,” he said.

More than 400 businesses, many of them local, use the tournament as a way to thank their customers and build relationships with new potential clients.

Rapp said the tournament and the PGA Tour encourage all companies to take advantage of the “international spotlight” during tournament week.

“A lot of Jacksonville companies get a lot of business out of The Players Championship and the PGA Tour,” he said. “We encourage local companies to leverage the event more aggressively.”

Perdue is furnishing the enhanced hospitality venues at the tournament this year. McCormack said The Players is an opportunity to showcase some of Perdue’s products.

“Fans will be relaxing in our soft seating. It will give us great exposure,” he said. “Getting involved with events to show off our products works for us. We’re helping a good cause and helping our brand.”

McCormack said his company has been “a huge supporter” of the tournament for many years.

“We like to take our clients there to thank them for their business,” he said.

Beaver Street’s Sea Best brand of frozen seafood products will be among the cuisine served at the tournament. Frisch said he is working with caterers to determine which products will be available at the Sea Best Deck near the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass, but one item is definitely on the menu.

“I know we’ll be serving our Sea Best shrimp and grits,” he said.

Davis said The Players has developed an economic impact that transcends geographical boundaries.

“County lines don’t mean what they used to mean. The Players has grown into a Northeast Florida event,” he said.

With two weeks until the tournament begins the first week of May, Rapp said it’s not too late for businesses to participate in The Players’ corporate hospitality opportunities.

“There’s always room at the inn. We’ll find a spot for you,” he said.

mmarbut@baileypub.com

(904) 356-2466

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