MCI Extends Sponsorship Deal

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PGA Tour (75x100)PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- The PGA Tour and MCI have agreed to a four-year extension of the communications company's sponsorship of the Heritage golf tournament in Hilton Head Island.
 
The extension means that MCI will sponsor the tournament through 2010. The previous deal, reported to be between $22 million and $26 million, would have expired in 2006.
 
Tournament director Steve Wilmot would not say exactly how much the deal was worth, but said it was 'in line with' the previous deal, 'plus some incremental increases.' An MCI spokeswoman said the company would not release the value of the new deal.
 
'The MCI Heritage has been a popular fixture on the PGA Tour since 1969 and Harbour Town Golf Links is recognized as one of the favorite courses among the players,' said Tim Finchem, PGA Tour commissioner.
 
MCI held the tournament name from 1987 to 2000. In 2001 and 2002, the event was named for parent company WorldCom.
 
After WorldCom filed the largest-ever U.S. bankruptcy case amid charges of massive accounting fraud, the town of Hilton Head made efforts to pay for the tournament with a tax. However, a reorganized MCI emerged from bankruptcy in time to sponsor the past two years' events.
 
'MCI is delighted to continue our longtime sponsorship of this historic tournament,' said Michael D. Capellas, MCI president and chief executive officer.'
 
The company said it has raised more than $10.5 million in the past 18 years for the Heritage Classic Foundation, which provides college scholarships to South Carolina students.
 
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