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FedEx extends sponsorship of Cup by five years

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MARANA, Ariz. – What was revolutionary five years ago is now engrained enough in the status quo to bring FedEx back for another five years atop the marquee.

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem announced early Wednesday at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship that the shipping giant has agreed to a five-year extension of its umbrella sponsorship of the circuit’s season-long points race.

The new agreement will run through 2017 and feature a rebranding of the four-event postseason which will now be called the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

“(The FedEx Cup) has had the effect of pulling our season together. We’re going to try to make some adjustments in the next couple of years to do that with the FedEx Cup in an even more impactful way,” said Finchem, who also signed a four-year contract extension earlier this year.

Other than the rebranding of the playoff events there will be little change to the current FedEx Cup format. The $35 million in total bonus money will continue to be determined via a points system with the winner receiving $10 million following the Tour Championship.

The only potential drastic change is now under review by the Policy Board and would move the beginning of each season to the fall after the Tour Championship. The 16-member Player Advisory Council was briefed on the new plan last week in Los Angeles and Finchem told GTC earlier this season that the new off-calendar schedule could be in place by the end of 2013.

Although Finchem said that the contract extension was not contingent on the new schedule alignment, Mike Glenn, FedEx’s executive vice president of market development, did not dismiss the impact the new schedule could have on the overall strategy.

“We’re very pleased with the Tour’s decision to extend the season and allow the FedEx Cup to be a year-round competition,” Glenn said. “That was an important part of our discussions and we were very happy with the outcome.”

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