CDW Renews With PGA Tour as ShotLink Presenting Sponsor

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(from Sports Business Journal March 24, 2013)  Fans attending PGA and Champions tour golf events in the near future and beyond need not be surprised when they see the CDW logo prominently displayed on scoreboards, hospitality packages, and various other marketing items. Although financial terms have not yet been released, it was announced the software seller recently resigned its marketing partnership with the Professional Golf Association. Since 2008 the two have been engaged in a partnership that extends far beyond a normal sponsor and sports league agreement. For the length of the partnership CDW has been providing network security, disaster recovery planning, and various other networking options to the PGA and their two main tours.

Outside of its extensive IT capabilities, CDW has also provided the PGA with the technologically advanced scoring engine known as ShotLink. ShotLink is a program that not only provides scoring for tour events, but also complies data on every ball that is hit on the PGA tour. The data is then saved by CDW where folks like Lucius Riccio, an analytics professor of Columbia Business School, can access it. Riccio was recently awarded $25,000 by CDW after he used the ShotLink data to determine that Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Robert Garrigus, and Tiger Woods were the best long approach ball strikers.

Some other features of the deal will see CDW handling business-to-business hospitality duties for tour events, customer engagement, and on-site operations. Tom Wade, the Global Commercial Officer of the PGA and Champions tour, is exciting about continuing the partnership between the two familiar companies saying, “CDW’s partnership has enhanced the tour’s technological capabilities.”  The new deal is slated to run until 2016 and will make CDW the official and only technology provider for the PGA, and with content creators like ShotLink, the partnerships has officials and fans excited for the possibilities.