According to Finchem, the changes will closely tie in all three major tours under one umbrella.
'After a detailed analysis that included significant marketplace research, we have developed a branding approach that more closely integrates each of our three tours with the primary PGA Tour logo, which has come to be recognized as a premier brand in all of sports,' Finchem said. 'Our goal is to strengthen the connection for fans and sponsors while reflecting the competitive excellence and common values personified on all three tours.'
Nationwide, one of the country's largest insurance and financial services organizations, has a five-year sponsorship agreement with the PGA Tour. The Nationwide Tour, which features a group of future PGA Tour stars, started in 1990 and has also been sponsored by Nike. Today, 57 percent of the PGA Tour's members are alumni of the futures tour.
The minimum age requirement to gain entry into the Champions Tour will remain at 50. Since its inception in 1980 as the Senior PGA Tour with just two events and purses totaling $250,000, it has grown to more than 30 official events offering $57.9 million in prize money.
'For more than twenty years, the Senior PGA Tour has been one of the great success stories in the sports and entertainment marketplace,' Finchem said. 'It has significantly broadened the scope and impact of professional golf, and provided a great platform for some of the game's great champions to connect with fans and sponsors. Whatever their road has been to the Champions Tour, these players continue to champion the game itself and its unique emphasis on giving back, integrity and sportsmanship. They also have embraced and are strongly supporting the many new on-site initiatives that have been tested throughout 2002.'